Moss Studio + Magazine examined the creative trends and visual strategies behind the Honorees of CEW’s Female Founders (announced this past spring) to identify exactly what it is that makes them so revolutionary. Here, a look at Honoree Amy Errett, Founder and CEO of Madison Reed.

Identifying the real in beauty

For a long time, and to some extent still, there has been a disconnect between beauty and reality. That unattainable beauty showcased by the cosmetics industry’s models could only be achieved by purchasing the product they marketed. Madison Reed has succeeded in bridging the gap between real women and goddess-like beauty by keeping their focus on what’s real in their campaigning.

Under the hashtags #NoFilter, #NoRetouch, #NoProblem, and the tagline ‘Confident is the New Beautiful’, the company is showcasing real women, who are beautiful, with real identities, that are aspirational. Their common denominator? Gorgeous hair color from Madison Reed – and nothing else.

It’s a brilliant strategy that establishes this cosmetics company as innovative and grounded through its visuals. Simultaneously, however, it reaches out to half the world’s population, and appeals to them on a (individual/personal) level.

Education and visual strategy unite

How-to’s are becoming the industry standard for both consumer and retail partner education, but look to any cosmetics company ahead of the curve, and you’ll find original blueprints for the format. Madison Reed is the perfect example of just this; the brand has developed a fusion How-to style that serves to both inform and captivate the viewer.

As would be expected, their content is informative and useful to the viewer, but as you take a more analytical look at them, you find that there’s more communication at play here. Firstly, the How-to models further accentuate Madison Reed’s message – that real is beautiful – simply by going through the coloring steps in the same pace you would at home.

Secondly, these edits, beyond the instructional aspect, tell a story both existing and potential Madison Reed consumers can feel at home in and identify with. A woman waking up, sorting out her hair on her own, and expressing joy at the result. It’s simple and sweet – and essentially makes the viewer forget about sales entirely.

Believing in your brand’s message

A brand’s founder will always be passionate about its message. When it comes to visual strategy, however, this fact can and should be leveraged in consumer-brand communications. Madison Reed has succeeded in this, and uses Amy Errett frequently in their campaigns.

Her voice-overs are clear, confident and real, and coupled with the models (carrying/exuding) those exact same ideals, you get a strong sense that Errett genuinely believes in Madison Reed. Next to the fact that she named her enterprise after her daughter, the brand appeals to its audience on an emotional and personal plane, and it works.

Madison Reed’s visual strategy exists in complete harmony with its vision, goals and value pillars. By clearly communicating the brand’s ideals across all types of campaigns, the company opens up to honest and nurturing relationships with its customers. To read a more in-depth analysis of Madison Reed’s visual strategy, click here.