When we first heard that Lush was abandoning its use of social, leaving behind its 1,200,000 followers, the world of social media was ultimately shocked. Lush was founded in 1995 by Mark Constantine and Liz Weir. Together, they decided to create a business that would create body and hair products that are fresh, green, verdant and 100% vegetarian. After 10 years of being active on social, the brand has decided to bid farewell to its UK social media accounts.
Lush UK Announced It Was ‘Switching Up Social’ By Stepping Away From Social Media
In April, Lush UK announced it was ‘switching up social’ by stepping away from social media and focusing more on its community in an organic and natural way, rather than ‘fighting with the algorithms’ of paid media and adverts. For many, the decision to depart, seems somewhat peculiar and unrevised. Lush’s UK Instagram page is full of colourful and authentic content, which has secured over 500,000 followers and 2% engagement (higher than The Body Shops 1%), making it a profitable platform. With social being recognised for its unparalleled richness in data and ability to increase consumer sales, Lush’s decision to exit the media game after its sales surged 26% to £723 million is also very alarming .
Marketeers Have Criticized The Company’s Lack Of Common Sense
The bold move raises many questions. Is this is a genuine decision or just a brilliant PR stunt? Laura Collins from MerkleInc, answered by saying that Lush’s decision is ‘‘utterly baffling’’, criticizing the company’s lack of common sense to continue leveraging social media to expand within the beauty industry. To some extent, we couldn’t agree more. Lush’s core UK audience is predominantly under 30 and, with users under 35 making up more than 70 percent of Instagram’s activity it looks like Lush have just made a crucial error in brand accessibility. Ultimately, leaving the door open for competitors to take over Lush’s dominant position in the social market.
An Opportunity For Lush To Explore Activities, Such As influencer Marketing
Nevertheless, despite the beneficial impact social media outlets have on high-ranking retail businesses, there is no doubt that recently, social has negatively distanced consumers from the real world. Lush’s decision to bid farewell to social media in the UK, is most certainly a brave decision. However, its reasoning behind it, one of them being; ‘social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly’, resonates with us. Social has become a distant and alone place and despite the positive effects it has on creating a social community, the bad news is, it limits the human experience with brands, like Lush. For Lush, it is only befitting that it has moved away from technology and algorithms, to a more common and traditional platform; emails and telephone, echoing the ethos of the brand. Essentially, Lush UK should not have to pay to push themselves further up the beauty ladder, on sites that seem to distance the brand from its core values. Perhaps, this is an opportunity for Lush to explore other options, such as influencer marketing or in-store activations, so consumers can still connect with its #LushCommunity in a more emotive and trustworthy way.
For now, though, Lush US has not yet followed the steps of Lush UK, meaning consumers can still follow the brand via Instagram and Twitter. But, the question is, will they conform as well?