I thought I’d share an observation that came from IMATS. It was interesting to see in person, how we, meaning beauty bloggers, are perceived by the various companies represented at the show. Some didn’t seem to care, others were mindly interested, and some didn’t seem to take us seriously at all. While others, got it and were really encouraging and inclusive of us.
A representative from one company told us that everyone can call themselves a beauty blogger. As a small business, she admitted that she can’t afford to send every single blogger product for review. I thought that was a valid point and fair. I completely get that companies are increasingly being bombarded by requests from bloggers or feeling the pressure to engage in some kind of blogger activity. Given how new a media source we are, I can see how difficult it is for companies to determine what their blogger strategy should be, if they even want to have one.
But there was something this representative said that slightly irritated me. She said that when it comes to sending out products, ‘if it’s for a blogger, I tell my PR to send a sample but if it’s Vogue we’ll send them a full size.’ Of course we aren’t Vogue, nor do we claim to be. But to me, a statement like this seems dismissive. And it got under my skin.
I get that it is expensive to send out products for review and that you have to be selective about who you send to. I get that perhaps some bloggers are actually demanding freebies from companies. I get that. But don’t dismiss all bloggers and most of all, don’t think of us as being second rate. Maybe this isn’t what she meant but that is how it came across to me. Maybe I’m just sensitive.
On the other end of the spectrum, we had an amazing conversation with the co-founder of Cover FX, a Canadian makeup brand. This company is one that seems to really get how to work with bloggers. And it extends from their marketing team all the way to the top. The company’s co-creator Lee Graff, who we were fortunate enough to be introduced to at the booth, said some really encouraging words to us. She told us that beauty bloggers are important, that ‘editors in New York at the fashion magazines are afraid of you!’, and encouraged us to stay true to ourselves and what we write. She seemed to understood the impact that we have on our readers, their purchasing habits and that the majority of us are doing this, not for ‘freebies’, but because we are passionate about the beauty industry. It was so inspiring and all of us were a bit speechless after it.
So there you have it. Two very different conversations that gave me a lot of food for thought.
Enough serious stuff.
Like the photo that Farah took? Here, a Ben Nye rep decided to do some mega swatching on my hands at the show. Too bad you can’t see the gold sparkle on the one hand. It was pretty cool.