American Marketer


Saks taps social responsibility with annual Beauty Editor’s Day

July 23, 2014

Saks flagship store in New York Saks flagship store in New York


U.S. department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue is continuing its involvement with the Look Good Feel Better organization for the third annual Beauty Editor’s Day Aug. 7.

Hosted at the retailer’s flagship location in New York, the event features individual beauty consultations led by the beauty editors of leading national publications. Proceeds from the event go toward Look Good Feel Better, a nonprofit that works to restore the self-esteem and quality of life of cancer patients.

"I suspect that part of the reason for doing this isn’t necessarily to drive foot traffic but there is, within limits, an avenue of communication with consumers," said Dave Rodgerson, a retail business development executive at Microsoft Canada, Toronto.

"Saks can follow up with subsequent information about the charity and what was accomplished as another way to communicate," he said. "That’s a big element of the customer experience, relating to consumers and developing a relationship.

"It doesn’t have to do with products or fashions, communicate on a social level to build trust, have something in common. Directly paying out or not, it goes back to the moral obligation of doing the right thing, but also allows for communication beyond a transaction level."

Mr. Rodgerson is not affiliated with Saks Fifth Avenue or Look Good Feel Better, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Saks Fifth Avenue did not respond by press deadline.

You are beautiful
To mark Look Good Feel Better’s 25th anniversary, the nonprofit has invited 25 beauty editors from leading publications to participate in Beauty Editor’s Day at Saks’ Fifth Avenue store.

The third annual event will be held on Aug. 7 from noon until 7 p.m. EST. During the event consumers will have the opportunity to sit for a beauty consultation with their favorite beauty editor.

For a $30 donation to Look Good Feel Better, consumers will enjoy a 20-minute one-on-one session that will be held at the publication’s predetermined beauty band partner’s counter in Saks’ beauty department. Due to the event's reasonable donation, aspirational consumers may be more inclined to interact with brands that otherwise may be outside of their budget.

In addition to meeting their favorite beauty editor, consumers will receive a makeup application or a skincare consultation. Participating consumers will also receive a full-sized gift from the beauty editor’s partnered brand.

All proceeds raised from the private sessions will go directly to Look Good Feel Better with an additional 10 percent of sales from participating beauty brands also being donated. editors day coutner

Couner marker for Beauty Editor's Day

Publication and beauty brand partners include Alexandra Parnass of Harper’s Bazaar with Tom Ford, Jamie Rosen of Town & Country with La Prairie, Kathleen Hou of New York magazine’s The Cut with Shiseido, SunHee Grinnell of Vanity Fair with Chanel, Sarah Brown of Vogue with YSL and Jane Larkworthy of W magazine with Guerlain.

Similar to the exposure generated by the event for beauty brands, consumers who select to sign up based on the merits of the cosmetic or skincare maker will be introduced to the magazine’s editor in person. By giving a face to the publications, new readers will likely feel a bond has been established and be more inclined to order a subscription of said magazine.

The inaugural year’s consulting pairs included Condé Nast Traveler Word of Mouth editor Eimear Lynch with Clé de Peau Beauté, Harper’s Bazaar beauty director Ms. Parnass with Estée Lauder, Town & Country beauty director Ms. Rosen with La Mer, Vanity Fair beauty director Ms. Grinnell with Christian Dior and W beauty director Ms. Larkworthy with Bond No.9 New York (see story).

Although Aug. 7 is still a few weeks away, beauty marketers are using social media to generate awareness about the event. Since it is first-come first-serve on Look Good Feel Better’s registration page, brands should interact with their established consumers for the one-of-a-kind branded experience.

For instance, skincare brand La Prairie promoted its participation on social media with a post that briefly explains its involvement with the nonprofit and publisher partner, Town & Country’s Ms. Rosen.

la ediotrs day

La Prairie's Facebook announcement of its participation during Beauty Editor's Day

Look Good Feel Better's registration page can be found here.

Read all about it
Partnering with a publication for an event allows an established audience to interact with brands not directly involved with the magazine, but represented through advertorials.

Take for example, Condé Nast-owned British Vogue and London department store Harrods partnered for the third annual Vogue Festival March 29-30 to create a high-end, stylish experience for fashion-minded attendees.

For the festival’s inauguration in 2012 and the following year’s installment, British smartphone manufacturer Vertu joined British Vogue as a partner. This year, with Harrods at the helm, the Vogue Festival likely attracted a larger amount of fashion-forward guests due to the retailer’s status (see story).

The trusted voice of an magazine editor, or expert, may drive consumers toward the event more than a retailer could alone.

"As far as the publishers go, the affiliation is that Saks is very well recognized as a fashion brand in its own right and as a result, it is great for them to extend their reach by affiliating with the retailer," Mr. Rodgerson said.

"This plays into a multichannel strategy to communicate through as many different channels as possible," he said. "The collaboration with one another helps to extend the brands and it’s good for the magazines as well because Saks is well respected."

Final Take
Jen King, lead reporter on Luxury Daily, New York