The luxury beauty retailer, known for its in-store expertise and close customer relationships, fine-tunes its strategy to deliver a similarly human touch on digital.
For Cos Bar, it’s all about nurturing customer relationships, regardless of channel or device, and setting itself apart from the competition with a memorable buying experience.
“Luxury used to be all about the product, but now it’s shifted dramatically to the experience and service as well,” said David Olsen, Chief Executive Officer, Cos Bar. “Fortunately, we’ve been laser-focused on both for 42 years.”
Part of that laser focus and customer service has led to some recent nips and tucks to Cos Bar’s social media strategy in order to create an inviting space where customers can connect, share, learn and be inspired.
“Our company is made up of local beauty boutiques, each with their own personality, but all with the special Cos Bar DNA that is focused on the needs of each client,” said David. “On social, as on all our digital channels, we want to share what makes us unique: our people; our expertise; our long-lasting client relationships; our events; our best-in-class assortment of products.” Cos Bar’s overriding priority is keeping things high-touch.
“One way we do that is by bringing in-store expertise to our digital clients and followers – connecting the online and offline worlds through discovery, education and information. We think of our clients as friends, and approach social as an extension of how our beauty specialists interact with clients in-store, by sharing expertise in an engaging, fun, personal, warm, inviting, easy way,” said Mimi Slater, Vice President of Marketing, Cos Bar.
Cos Bar manages one Instagram account, receiving content from its stores, brands, customers and influencers, as well as creating it in-house. However, the retailer has Facebook pages for each store, where it features more localized content.
“We have a blog that lives on our website. Every week, we feature one store or beauty specialist and interview them about their favorite products. We don’t offer any paid placements on our digital channels, so it’s really authentic,” Mimi added.
Cos Bar has also added an engaging tutorial video series, Cos & Effect, which showcases the in-store experience.
“At our annual company summit, we interviewed and filmed all of our store managers to find out their favorite products, tips and techniques, and filmed them applying product to customers. The videos are short and sweet, but give our followers a lens into what it’s like to visit a store and get that one-on-one, personalized Cos Bar experience,” said Mimi.
Cos Bar has also evolved the way it utilizes data.
“Two years ago, we were very new to the social space. Now we’re more strategic about when and what we post, whether it’s polling customers or looking at what products are resonating in-store.”
Cos Bar aims to keep its target demographic front and center: a woman aged 35 to 55 with a six-digit household income.
“I call them the forgotten customer as everyone’s attention seems to be on the millennial and technology, which is important, and we do acquire, but we know our customer,” said David. “She’s engaged on social media and is ‘millennial minded,’ but she plays on different platforms and responds differently to different messages. She is seeking more authentic, true and honest information as opposed to the ‘beauty fantasy.”
Cos Bar’s social media goals include growing followers, active engagement, impressions and reach.
“Our goals are to remain true to our company vision, while remaining ahead of the curve on digital innovation. Social media has changed so much in the last five years,” said Mimi.