NYX Cosmetics: A Digital-First Brand in a Social World

May 2015

Headquartered in Los Angeles, NYX was created in 1999 as a line of high-quality, on-trend professional colour cosmetics at attractive prices. Rooted in professional makeup artistry and driven by a powerful social media and grassroots marketing strategy, NYX has become one of the fastest growing colour cosmetics brands in the US. On the brink of launching in the UK, NYX Trade and National Account Manager Sara Aziz reveals how digital has contributed to the brand's success.

Sara, can you tell us a bit about the NYX story?

Our founder Toni Ko was obsessed by makeup and spent all her money on makeup every month. She couldn't find a professional quality brand that she could afford, so she decided to start the brand herself. She sold it though her parents' beauty supply store in downtown LA, and then distributed it through professional channels 

When returning to the UK after a stint working in LA, did you personally notice differences in consumer attitudes to makeup in the two markets?

When I first went out there, there was a big difference. They were much heavier users of makeup than here. But I think coming back, I've seen that's changed. It's very much to do with social media. You know, the YouTube videos that girls are watching in the UK are the same videos the girls are watching in the US.

What do you think motivated L'Oréal to acquire NYX? 

We are completely different but complementary to their other brands. They do exceptionally well in skincare, foundation and mascara, and we're much stronger on colour. We have a much bigger portfolio — we have 2,500 different products, 1,200 of which we're planning to launch in the UK.

NYX fans are extremely passionate. How closely do you listen to your audience?

 For us, they're the first port of call. Before something is even a finished product or a finished idea in our minds, we'll share it via social media to see how they react. We know how powerful these girls are. You really have to listen and have them involved in every step from the very beginning.

How does that play into your content strategy?

A lot of the content that we use is generated by our consumers. We give them the tools that enable them to go out and do it themselves. You've really got to build a relationship and have them feel that they're invested in the brand. That's in our brand DNA, so we've cultivated relationships along the way.

Where are you focusing next?

We know there's already quite a big demand for NYX in the UK. It's not widely available at all, so what we're really focusing on is getting the brand out there more and letting girls touch and feel it. We'll work with online partners to start with — YouTubers, bloggers and vloggers. We really want to work with consumers to see where they see the brand fitting best.

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