The Sephora Accelerate program began in 2016 and has worked for years to build a community of brand founders in the prestige beauty space, creating a foundation, network, and ecosystem for founders to launch their businesses and grow under. Including a six-month curriculum program with mentorship, merchandising support, grants, and investments, the accelerator has helped BIPOC brands, including Brown Girl Jane, Seaspire Skincare, and Oui The People. Taking the Accelerate initiative one step further, Sephora recently announced a collaboration with TikTok and its partner agency Digitas, designed to "inspire new, founder-led brands to navigate the world of creator content."
The Sephora x TikTok Incubator Program has been created to connect TikTok creators with beauty brands from Sephora's previous Accelerate programs, helping them understand social content strategies' benefits, as well as learn different content creation techniques through a series of educational training modules. Brands participating will be able to interact with beauty TikTok content creators, including Amy Chang, Rocio Lopez-Jimenez, and Nyma Tang.
The incubator is set to take place over three sessions: two on Zoom, and one at TikTok's NYC offices. The first session is set to teach the cohort about content creation strategies and will include breakout sessions with training from the creator mentors as well as members of a team from TikTok. The second session will focus on building a bigger marketing plan tailored to each brand for advertisements on the app. In the final stage of the program, smaller, mainly BIPOC influencers will be invited in to create content for the brands taking part, allowing them to practice what they have learned during their time on the course. Each brand is set to complete the course with six pieces of content that can be published to its TikTok channel.
"The future of brand storytelling lies in the hands of multicultural creators, and by championing diverse creators, brands can unlock their full potential on TikTok," says Soniya Monga, Head of US Agency Partnerships, TikTok. "Our partnership with Sephora and Digitas aims to educate brands on the importance of a DEI-first approach to creator partnerships. Together, we are building a framework that celebrates diversity and intersectionality, ensuring that every brand can accelerate their growth and success on TikTok through inclusive and impactful storytelling."
Brands from past Sephora Accelerate cohorts, including Topicals, Eadem, and Hyper Skin, will play a part in the launch of the new program, with three other unnamed brands to follow, giving a total of 12 different brands the chance to be involved.
"Brands that have a savvy understanding of creator-led social media and creator relations have a clear advantage in not only conceptualizing beauty content that resonates with their audience but also in building genuine connections," says Brent Mitchell, VP of Marketing, Social and Influencer at Sephora. "At Sephora, we have long been known as a brand builder in the prestige beauty landscape, and we are thrilled to partner with TikTok to share this unique creator-driven perspective with our brands and build a more inclusive beauty community."
TikTok plays a huge role in beauty marketing, with several brands already having viral moments across the platform, whether through collaborative marketing or organic content from fans. CTZN Cosmetics, for example, saw a 12,348.3% increase in sales after a TikTok viral moment in October 2021, Bubble Skincare saw a 600% rise in daily sales, with 84% of sales being from new customers, and K18 has over 415.6MM views on the app after several viral moments. Ultimately, the power of the video-based app is not to be underestimated.
"Routine tutorials, behind-the-scenes into our inspiration, formulation, and content creation processes, and content that showcases product results are some of the examples of what drove higher engagement and virality for us. Ultimately, our approachable and relatable storytelling coupled with serious results resonated with the TikTok audience," Glow Recipe co-founders Sarah Lee and Christine Chang told BeautyMatter. Through the Sephora x TikTok Incubator, brands can adapt and learn essential lessons such as these.
Sephora currently has no plans to announce the program on its public social feeds; however, once the program is complete, the content created by participants is set to be published on the retailer's platforms. The incubator is set to be repeated every quarter, with three new Accelerate brands that have previously launched at Sephora being part of the mentorship teams. "[The program] directly ties back to our day-in, day-out goals for Sephora social and TikTok, which are to lift up underrepresented voices in beauty and diversity of all kinds. TikTok is an absolute phenomenon for driving business results in the industry, so we're excited to have an impact on the #BeautyTok community," concludes Mitchell.
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