Brand Experience

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It’s a great time to be a lover of all things makeup. Makeup brands have exploded in growth in recent years, and inevitably, new brands are also coming out at a regular clip. A recent launch was that of Laura Lee Los Angeles, a brand by makeup YouTuber Laura Lee.

I am not a watcher of Laura Lee. I know about her but I don’t watch her channel. I started hearing some things about her initial launch and I went to check it out. Naturally, I can’t look at an e-commerce site without some kind of issue, but I haven’t run into a content issue like this before.

Let’s take a look.

I don’t understand this. This content is a mess of grammatical and spelling errors. (I heard after taking this screenshot that it was actually worse before I got to it. I do know that the original name was Cats Pajama’s, which is grammatically painful.)

Let’s go through this point by point.

  • I don’t like that the product name has a break. I would manually add a break to put “eyeshadow palette” on the second line.
  • Bullet 1 is pretty terrible. It’s like a run-on sentence, but not. Why they didn’t use additional bullets like those used below? It should look like this.
    • 10 highly pigmented, pressed-powder eyeshadows
    • 5 matte shadows
    • 4 shimmer shadows
    • 1 semi-matte/satin shadow
  • Bullet 2. “Smoky” doesn’t have an E, but the whole bullet is problematic. This bullet should read something like this:
    • This palette is extremely versatile; create everything from a light everyday look to a dark, smoky eye
  • Bullet 3. (Which is no longer here on the live site.) Cruelty-free should be hyphenated, and I’m curious now to know if that underlined text was a link to their practices in production and packaging and how exactly they are defining the product as cruelty-free and vegan.
  • Bullet 4, another one that doesn’t flow in any normal way. Update:
    • The luxe palette, featuring the eyeshadows and a mirror, is proudly produced in the United States
  • Bullet 5, more extremely questionable grammar. This could be as simple as:
    • Perfect for use by everyone at every level of experience, from makeup beginners to professional artists
  • Bullet 6. Even the intro to the color list is strange. Here’s where you add the palette name again to boost SEO. “The Cat’s Pajamas palette features the following colors:” would be perfect.
  • Bullet 7. Inconsistent capitalization, and a general lack of clarity. I’m guessing that “domestic” means in the United States, because the palette is produced there. However, is my shipping free if I am in Alaska or Hawaii, or is shipping only free in the contiguous United States?
    • Free ground shipping on orders over $100 shipping in the contiguous United States. Click here for complete information on shipping destinations, prices, and options. (In which the “click here” text would open a pop-up or a new tab or window to a complete shipping information page.

I have said at least a few times before that I believe in the power of editors and copywriters. The impression that a brand gives with terrible grammar and punctuation is very detrimental to my opinion, and I am certain that I’m not the only person who responds to this sort of thing.

This palette is sold out, so perhaps the power of Laura Lee is enough to overcome bad grammar, at least for her followers. I will not be buying anything to go near my eyes from a company that cannot get it together in the copywriting department. This lack of attention to detail is incredibly disappointing, particularly for a brand that is just launching.

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Fathom Events Email Issues | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on October 18, 2017

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Another week, another email to analyze. This one was really odd, so let’s get into it.

Subject Line

“Welcome to Fathom Events” is a strange choice, because I’ve been signed up for emails from them for ages.

Fathom Events Logo in Header

This logo isn’t a link! This irritates me every time. If you’re going to put a logo in the upper left corner of anything, make it a link.

Messaging re: Customizing Account

This is a great option, especially for Fathom Events, which is a company that schedules special broadcasts in movie theatres. I could certainly dial in my preferences for events that I want to know about, and so I appreciate the heads up.

Follow Us on Social Media Callout

That there aren’t links to said social channels built in to the email right where it suggests that we connect on social channels is a miss.

Coming Soon

This is where it goes really downhill. All 4 of those events took place in July. I was genuinely excited to see the Angels in America listing, only to find out that it happened months ago. I then clicked the others to find out that they are all from the past.

Design

It seems disjointed, to be honest. The “Fathom Events is original programming” in the center seems weirdly placed to me.

——

Overall, I am confused about the timing of when I’m receiving this email, unhappy about the content issues, and unimpressed by the design. I highly recommend that the folks at Fathom Events take a look at this, especially if it is automated, and create a better experience. I think the Fathom Events service is a wonderful idea and I am very much looking forward to attending more of their events in the future, so hopefully their communications improve in the future.

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Ulta Password Change Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on October 12, 2017

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Another email today, but I want to talk about both the email itself, and the action that Ulta has taken here. Take a look at the email and let’s discuss.

OK, here we go.

Design

I love this email’s design. I love a good combination of fonts and recognize the ability to do that is a skill that not everyone has. The color scheme is very on-brand for Ulta, and I find the email to have the perfect balance of images paired with what is approaching too much text. I’ll give them a pass because it is an important message.

Content

I have not received too many “we are forcing a password change on you” emails, and the feeling I have is a mixture of “thanks” and also “wait, is there a reason for this that you aren’t telling me?”

This is certainly a  good way for an e-commerce site that stores credit card data to proactively try and prevent themselves from being involved in any password scandals that can result from people using the same password for everything.

I am naturally suspicious though, so my first thought was that something already happened and they came up with a brilliant way to spin that they changed everyone’s passwords.

Have you received a forced password change from any other e-commerce sites you shop on? Tweet me about it.

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Sephora Play Box Packaging | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on October 4, 2017

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It’s been some time since I’ve reviewed order packaging, which was previously a symptom of not having ordered from new retailers. However, I recently signed up to receive the Sephora Play Box, and the packaging is so excellent that I felt compelled to share it.

Sephora packaging is mostly great to begin with, but they have taken advantage of the opportunity to create something that will be the same size every month, so it is highly customized. Let’s take a look.

Customized and striking!

OK, this is what REALLY sold me. The tape on the box is custom tape, so that you can barely see it. This wasn’t necessary but is AMAZING. I can’t tell you how happy this tape makes me as someone who is highly invested in commerce.

They are clearly committed to the black, white, and red color palette for the outer packaging. You receive this card to get 50 extra points if you go into the store, and the backing folds open to give you details on each product in the bag!

Not only is this super cute, but this is an item in the box that you can use again. (The premise of the box is that you receive a number of deluxe beauty product samples each month.)

Little touches like an extra mention of the Play URL are not necessary, but create a pop of color in the bottom of the box, and are informative. When this box is being reprinted, I would like to see something here prompting the customer to leave a review of the box online, including a URL of where to do that.

Here are the samples included in this month’s box. I was impressed by the size of the liquid lipstick and the brow gel. These will actually last a while, and I think that the box might be well worth the price.

However, for this inaugural box in my subscription, the packaging is what really made my day. Congratulations to Sephora for recognizing the value in impressive, customized packaging.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Tone-deafness in promotional emails isn’t new. I was reminded recently that it isn’t just about making tone considerations when you’re composing new emails, but to be mindful of previously created or scheduled content that may suddenly become either very strange or just not appropriate for a certain time frame.

Case in point, I got this email from Sonesta on Friday, September 8th. This was not a day after we were bombarded with news and images regarding absolute devastation on the island of St. Maarten.

I absolutely understand the concept of scheduled email content, as I create it myself, but whoever is in charge of said content also needs to be aware of major events in the world, particularly those that are impacting your business. Scheduling content is great, but the price you pay is having content go out at inappropriate times. There are many unfortunate news events in the world that take place, where brands sending out happy emails about sales and whatnot just feels wrong to me as a consumer, so I have a process in which I check my plan for scheduled content as soon as I think something relevant has happened.

It’s a question of appropriateness and tone once again, and seems to be especially ridiculous when this message is from the company that owns a property in a place that has been destroyed. I have been to St Maarten and it was so beautiful. I hope that the islanders are able to recover and flourish once again, as quickly as is possible.

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