Background of LUSH
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics was officially founded in 1995 in Poole, United Kingdom. In the early 80s, some of the founders of LUSH (operating under the company Constantine and Weir) were The Body Shop’s biggest suppliers. LUSH now has stores in over 50 countries with 4 stores in Singapore.
LUSH sells handmade bath and body products that are made using fresh, vegetarian ingredients with little or no preservative or packaging and without animal testing. LUSH practices ethical buying with all their ingredients, and prides itself on providing excellent customer service at every part of the business.
A noteworthy aspect of LUSH is that it does not advertise in the traditional sense; instead it has always been focused on word of mouth marketing. However, with the rise of social media, it has embraced the importance of the platform, reaching out to customers and communicating its brand story.
How can LUSH can use social media to communicate its unique company culture and build its reputation as a socially responsible company?
LUSH has the most following on its Facebook and Instagram page, while very low following on Twitter and YouTube. They are also currently mainly focused on their Instagram page, where they post an average of 4.33 posts per week (they post an average of 2 posts a week on Facebook).
Engagement with followers on their social media is low, where most comments and questions are not replied, and many that are replied are not done so in a particularly helpful manner, as they ask customer to email in instead.
Content on their social media pages has been more marketing focused, and during the period tracked, posts by the pages have been mainly product-related (specifically to the newly launched Easter products), or related to the reopening of their flagship store at Wisma Atria.
One weakness thus is that the brand does not communicate many of its ethical features that make it a socially responsible brand and make it distinct from its competitors. For instance, the fact that its Easter collection is made of 100% vegan ingredients and that the glitter used in the Easter products is entirely plastic free and biodegradable (thus not harming marine life) is not mentioned on its social media. Also, as discussed above, the brand lacks in user engagement, as it does not reply to a majority of comments and questions received.
- CSR Strategy
With the aim of informing customers about LUSH’s efforts to reduce packaging and increase its pool of brand ambassadors, LUSH can have a week-long Instagram contest where customers can be encouraged to post content of how they have reused LUSH’s iconic “black pots” (such as for storage and as plant holders). To incentivize contribution, the 5 participants with the most creative ideas will win a gift set from LUSH. LUSH can also share the most creative ideas on its on Instagram page, thus rewarding these participants as well.
- #lushtime and #MeetTheTeamMonday
With the aim of communicating its focus on excellent customer service, LUSH can also create films for its YouTube channel that demonstrate the type of service that can be received in stores. These films can be about three to five minutes long, published twice a month and shared on its Facebook page with the hashtag #lushtime as well. As identified above, there is currently low engagement on LUSH’s Facebook page, and this content would serve to increase conversations on the page. Facebook also allows easy sharing of YouTube content, and this strategy would attract more subscribers to their YouTube page.
One example of a video would be a shop tour, where a member of staff shows a customer around the store and provides pampering demonstrations of some products on the customer’s skin. As LUSH has recently reopened its flagship store at Wisma Atria, this would serve to introduce customers around the newly renovated store as well. Another example would be a video of a member of staff providing a customer with a skincare consultation and providing the customer with a pampering facial massage.
Another proposed strategy is for LUSH to incorporate its employees into its social media content strategy. Every Monday on its Instagram page, LUSH can feature an employee with their favourite LUSH product, with the hashtag #MeetTheTeamMonday. This would have the result of communicating that lush staff are friendly, relatable and passionate about the brand, and increasing their reputation of providing excellent customer service.
LUSH’s values, ethics, practices and company culture indeed sets them apart from their competitors. With the proposed strategies, it is hoped that LUSH will be able to utilize their social media platforms to better establish itself in Singapore as a socially responsible company that provides excellent customer service.
Thank you for reading!