Why Is ColourPop Such A Successful Insta-Brand?

In the world of beauty and cosmetics, @colourpopcosmetics is a brand that’s constantly on everyone’s lips (literally and metaphorically). As one of the brands under SEED Beauty, they are a particularly interesting case study to consider especially in relation to fellow labels like Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty. How does ColourPop manage to perform on par with, and in some instances surpass, brands that aren’t backed by the Kardashians or any other major celebrity? 

In our previous article on the success behind E-Commerce and Insta-Brands, we identified visibility (specifically “everywhere on social media”) as ColourPop’s secret. This is definitely their biggest selling point, but let’s take a look at some other tools that are driving their engagement and bolstering the brand’s rise as one of SEED Beauty’s most successful ventures. 

1 – PR Lists & Giveaways

7 months ago, this post announcing a chance to be on ColourPop’s PR List was their most liked post in the last 3 months. Today, it is their Top Liked and Top Commented Post this whole year. 

PR Lists make followers and/or consumers feel like they are seen and valued by the brand. It says: I don’t just want to gift you products, I also want your opinion on them. 

The winner of this, @itsscottmichael, has an entire highlight dedicated to the PR packages he receives from brands, and he frequently does looks or tutorials that feature the products. Majority of the IG stories in this highlight feature ColourPop products and swatches like in the example below. 

As a result, he also talks about the brand a lot, giving ColourPop the necessary noise on social media that allows them to penetrate the industry and stay on top. 

This year, the brand was mentioned a total of 69 times on static posts alone, which don’t include IG Story mentions. PR Lists allow brands to show followers how important they are to the process, and at the same time give brands very essential exposure. 

2 – Collaborating w/ Celebrities

ColourPop has proven that there is no real need to be fronted by a public figure, but the occasional collaboration does go a long way. It also adds a necessary facet of diversity in terms of who the brand collaborates with and why, which will appeal to different audiences. 

Additionally, it also creates conversation around the product, and fans + followers of the celebrity / influencer are likely to re-share posts, talk about the products organically on their own Instagram accounts, and in ideal instances: drive sales. 

Here are screenshots from 3 out of the 5 celebrities that have collaborated with ColourPop this year. Each of them list their collaboration title or hashtag in their bio, thus widening the reach of publicity and also contributing to the hype. 

This unique reach report reflects how many people ColourPop managed to target from their collaborations with these 6 influencers. The fact that they don’t share many followers in common means that ColourPop is casting their net as wide as possible and they have appeared on the Instagram feeds of at least 31.3M people from just 6 palettes alone. 

This is far more than just working with one celebrity or influencer, who would only have 3.5M followers on average (from the e.g. above, excluding Becky G). 

3 – High Turnaround & Low Costs

This year alone, ColourPop released 29 new original palettes, and 6 collaborative palettes. That is an average of 3 palettes a month. 

The fact that they are able to ideate, create, and release products at such a rapid pace also gives them an immense edge. People are constantly interacting with their Instagram page, viewing their stories and commenting on/sharing posts in anticipation of something new, which really helps to amp up the ColourPop conversation on Instagram. 

Another great thing about ColourPop is their affordable products — eyeshadow palettes retail at an average of USD $13, which is far cheaper than the market average. This means that they tend to attract a younger audience — millennials and Gen Zs — and are able to focus their marketing efforts solely toward this demographic. 

With a cohesive and foolproof marketing strategy, as well as a team that can produce new eyeshadow palettes at the literal flick of a wrist, it is no wonder the brand is so well-loved. 

Don’t Stop, ColourPop❗

There is indeed a lot to learn from ColourPop when it comes to strategizing on social media, but at the same time it is important to remember that every brand is different. ColourPop has found their niche selling point and built a key set of tools to keep pushing the brand forward. What is your brand particularly known for, and how can you centre this around a strong Instagram strategy? 

Written by Deesha Menon

Influencer Marketing at Popular Chips. Interested in social issues, narratives, books, social media, and machine learning.

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