How The Music World Flocked To Instagram In 2016

Many social media networks have tried and failed to become the go-to platform for musicians to engage with their fans. Remember Twitter #Music or Facebook Mentions? Are any musicians using Snapchat other than DJ Khaled?

But while others have fallen short in capturing the music world, Instagram has taken a series of small steps to turn its once photo-driven service into a creative haven where artists tease new music, reveal album artwork, announce tour dates, and offer intimate behind-the-scenes glimpses. To cite just a few of those steps, over the past year, the platform has extended the length of video posts to 60 seconds, introduced Instagram Stories (and later included the ability to add web links and tags, unlike its rival Snapchat Stories), and hired Lauren Wirtzer Seawood, Beyoncé’s former digital guru, as head of music partnerships.

Instagram shared with Fast Company a compilation of year-end data that highlights the company’s continued evolution and focus in the music space. Among the most significant: Five out of the 10 most-followed Instagram accounts are music accounts. Kanye West, the once prolific tweeter, joined Instagram in 2016, as did the Gorillaz, who used Instagram Stories to announce its first album in five years. And unsurprisingly, Beyoncé dominated the platform after using it to announce both the “Formation” video and the Lemonade visual album. See below for other highlights on the artists and songs most mentioned on Instagram throughout the year.

Top 10 Music Artists Who Gained The Most Followers On Instagram In 2016:

1.Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) – Gained more than 50 million followers
2.Ariana Grande (@ariangrande) – Gained more than 40 million followers
3.Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) – Gained more than 38.3 million followers
4.Beyoncé (@beyonce) – Gained more than 37 million followers
5.Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) – Gained more than 29 million followers
6.Katy Perry (@katyperry) – Gained more than 25.1 million followers
7.Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) – Gained more than 24.3 million followers
8.Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) – Gained more than 22 million followers
9.Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) – Gained more than 20 million followers
10.Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) – Gained more than 18 million followers

The year’s most-Instagrammed music festivals:

1.Lollapalooza
2.Ultra Music Festival
3.Glastonbury Festival
4.Fuji Rock Festival
5.SXSW Music
6.Coachella

Artists with the most Instagram mentions in 2016:

1.Selena Gomez
2.One Direction
3.Beyoncé
4.Rihanna
5.Ariana Grande
6.Twenty One Pilots
7.Taylor Swift
8.Drake
9.Coldplay
10.Sia
11.Ne-Yo
12.Jennifer Lopez
13.Kanye West
14.Wale
15.Madonna

Songs with the most mentions on Instagram in 2016:

1.”Formation” – Beyoncé
2.”Sorry” – Justin Bieber
3.”Work” – Rihanna ft. Drake
4.”Ride” – Twenty One Pilots
5.”Pillowtalk” – Zayn
6.”Perfect” – One Direction
7.”Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
8.”Hello” – Adele
9.”My Boo” – Ghost Town DJ’s
10.”Panda” – Desiigner
11.”Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
12.”Stitches” – Shawn Mendes
13.”Dangerous Woman” – Ariana Grande
14.”Sorry” – Beyoncé
15.”Purple Rain” – Prince
16.”Youth” – Troye Sivan
17.”WOW” – Beck
18.”Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots
19.”Starman” – David Bowie
20.”Confident” – Demi Lovato
21.”Hype” – Drake
22.”Into You” – Ariana Grande
23.”Controlla” – Drake
24.”Rise” – Katy Perry
25.”Company” – Justin Bieber

Music Fan Armies That Were The Most Active On Instagram In 2016:

1.Selenators (Selena Gomez)
2.Team Drake (Drake)
3.Beyhive (Beyoncé)
4.Arianators (Ariana Grande)
5.Harmonizers (Fifth Harmony)
6.Little Monsters (Lady Gaga)
7.Barbz (Nicki Minaj)
8.Swifties (Taylor Swift)
9.Directioners (One Direction)
10.Rihanna Navy (Rihanna)

Global Music Genres That Were The Most Popular Among Music Fans On Instagram In 2016:

1.K-Pop
2.Hip-hop / Rap
3.RB
4.Electronic / EDM
5.Rock
6.Samba Pagode
7.Country
8.Reggae

Article source: https://www.fastcompany.com/3066131/innovation-agents/how-the-music-world-flocked-to-instagram-in-2016

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Three Ways To Find Your Audience As A New Brand

At an intimate panel discussion inside Spring’s offices in downtown New York City, representatives for apparel labels Joie and Current/Elliott, Negative Underwear, and outerwear maker The Arrivals described their processes for both launching a new brand and maintaining an existing one inside the highly competitive retail industry. All of these brands market their wares on Spring, a mobile-first virtual mall stocked largely with high-end brands and a smattering of more affordable ones like Everlane and American Apparel (though even these may be out of reach for many shoppers).

One of the top reasons The Arrivals and Negative Underwear cited for getting on Spring was that the platform helped place them among similar brands reaching their target audiences. As any budding company knows, finding a loyal customer base is among the most difficult aspects of getting off the ground. The same goes for established brands that want to stay relevant.

“One of the things we always think about is, who else is playing? Are we sitting with the people we want to be a partner with?” asks Marla Toplitsky, SVP of direct to consumer for Joie and Current/Elliott.

Find Your Community

Though it may seem like many apparel and home-goods brands are fighting to be heard over the cacophony of major labels and small boutique styles, some are actually joining forces to cut through the noise. To find “their people,” so to speak, The Arrivals, Negative Underwear, and Joie and Current/Elliott parent Dutch LLC are examining new platforms to showcase their products. More than simply a sales opportunity, they see channels like Spring as marketing conduits leading them to customers with specific aesthetic values.

Of course Spring is not the only game in town. Polyvore, Shopstyle, Poshmark, Etsy, and Amazon represent other opportunities for channeling a brand to the right customers, not to mention social media feeds like Instagram or Pinterest. The key to parsing this deluge of digital outlets, says Jeff Johnson, creative director of The Arrivals, is to seek out the platforms that are hosting brands you want your brand to be associated with. “The company that they keep allows us to play in a league with brands that are much bigger than us, or other brands that have more exposure,” says Marissa Vosper, cofounder of Negative Underwear.

“Of course there are quick flash-in-the-pan marketing opportunities,” says Johnson. “But seeing a larger ecosystem of very like-minded brands with shared missions to do something that is meaningful beyond creating a product and selling it is something that is very important to us.”

Invest in Better Product Photos

When considering a brand story or a brand identity, Vosper cautions about getting too specific. “I think when we launched, we had a really strong point of view of who our ‘girl’ was,” she observes. “We put her forward, and I think some people it resonated with, and some people it didn’t. And so we realized that to communicate the value in the luxury of our product, we needed to remove that aspect of the photography and just focus on the materials,” says Vosper.

When she relaunched Negative Underwear’s website in April, she did so with a fresh spate of new visuals. This time, rather than structuring the photos around a particular woman, the website featured product shots on headless models representing different body types and cup sizes.”That was actually a really clear decision on our part,” says Vosper. The goal was to lead the customer to examine the product itself, the fit, the materials, without linking the brand with any particular person or lifestyle. Vosper says the change in approach improved Negative Underwear’s conversion rates from browsing to buying.

Create Real-World Interactions

A strong digital strategy needs to have a complementary offline strategy—even if a brand sells exclusively online. Johnson, who hosted The Arrivals’ first pop-up shop in October, says he’s thinking beyond store locations. He draws inspiration from events like Refinery 29’s New York Fashion Week installation 29 Rooms, which featured a warehouse full of artists’ work.

“That’s a place where people go to create content,” says Johnson, which in turn, “creates viral consumption of the brand.” Moments like this bring electricity to a label, he says, by letting customers interact with the brand in the real world. According to Johnson, that’s exactly what newer brands should be thinking about.

Article source: https://www.fastcompany.com/3065354/the-fast-company-innovation-festival/three-ways-to-find-your-audience-as-a-new-brand

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How To Test Products Like A Googler

To build great products, you need input from the people and organizations that are actually going to use them. Successful tech companies have long understood how important this is, and they’ve created processes to do it. But incorporating feedback can be tough, especially if you’re trying to fine-tune a product before it launches. Here’s an inside look at how we do it at Google.

Google’s Take On A Common Practice

In tech companies large and small, early-stage feedback is a key step in product development. Getting the right amount of feedback matters, since product teams are often racing at breakneck speed and trying to hit a moving target. Not all feedback is actionable, either; the last thing you want to do is try to please everyone. But on the flip side, when you do identify a problem, do enough users care about it to make it a top priority fix?

At Google, we get early-stage user feedback in a few different ways. We first conduct formative and evaluative user research, then we move to a “Trusted Tester” program, which helps us gather feedback at scale, and finally we launch an “Early Adopter” program to scale even further.

It’s at the Trusted Tester stage that some of the most interesting tweaks get made. That’s when our product teams invite users in partner organizations to try out unreleased products and features as we develop them. Over the course of a couple of months, we get to see how our designs hold up in the real world. And the feedback we get—sometimes from a handful of users, sometimes hundreds—helps us improve our products before they launch. This is how it’s shaped four products of ours as a result.

1. Hangouts

The Google Hangouts team wanted to make the tool more appealing to business users. Earlier this fall, they used the Trusted Tester program to validate key features, such as supporting larger meeting sizes and making it easier to join meetings by phone or video. These weren’t just UX issues—they were essential for us to know whether we had a product-market fit.

The Hangouts team also invited several particularly engaged, large customers to have a seat at the table during the design process. They even visited some of those testers to watch how the product was used in action, providing valuable insights to improve usability.

By observing social interactions during meetings, our team saw the need for attendees to be able to easily mute participants who might create noise during a meeting. As a result, they reworked the UI and made the button for muting a remote participant more easily accessible than before. It’s small tweaks like that that can sometimes add up to impact a user’s overall experience.

2. Contacts Preview

Last year, when the Google Contacts team was close to launching Contacts Preview for G Suite business users, which lets people manage all the contacts in their network, they used the Trusted Tester program to gather feedback. They found that while the new app provided a great experience overall, it didn’t quite cut it for business users. Many felt it was missing a key feature: browsable directories.

The team had been planning to add that feature in a future release, but this feedback helped them decide it was a must-have. So when Contacts Preview launched for G Suite last March, it included a sleek browsable directory. That experience was a good reminder for us that it’s important to balance the innovative and the essential. Shiny new features are great, but only if they complement what users consider necessary.

3. Mobile Management

In October, our Mobile Management team launched support for bulk enrollment of company-owned Android devices. Before that, they invited several customers to try out the new feature.

One of them, a restaurant chain, was instrumental in uncovering a major bug that would’ve prevented the feature from working on any devices made by a particular manufacturer. The team halted the public launch until the bug was resolved and invited the customer to retest and validate the fix. It took four weeks to sort out but proved crucial when the feature launched.

In addition to being an early customer for this new feature, that restaurant chain is now one of its strongest advocates out there in the market. It’s rolled out Android devices to all of its locations across the U.S and now manages them with our mobile management solution. We learned that Trusted Testers can actually check your engineers’ work and spot things you miss, all while turning happy customers into early evangelists.

4. Jamboard

Jamboard is a new product that we think is pretty unique. It’s Google’s take on the digital whiteboard, blending hardware and software for a team-oriented experience that can make collaboration faster, easier, and more fun.

To develop it, though, we took a different approach to our Trusted Tester program. The team decided to go deep and focus on partnering closely with a smaller number of engaged customers. We ended up inviting just four of them to test Jamboard over the course of six to eight weeks.

Working with a small group helped the Jamboard team validate the product design, and there was a bonus to being more selective: When we publicly announced Jamboard and launched its Early Adopter Program in October, Google already had customers lined up—including Instrument, Netflix, and Spotify—that were proud to be publicly referenced as early testers. When it comes to gathering feedback, we learned, more isn’t always better.

There’s no one-size-fits all solution to user feedback when it comes to designing (and ultimately launching) great products. Qualitative research in the lab and quantitative insights based on user behavior matter a lot, but there’s no substitute for actually getting the product in the hands of customers and seeing how it works. Good feedback complements and validates what you’re already doing. Sometimes, it even transforms it. In either case, everyone wins.


Lucas Pettinati is director of User Experience at Google.

Article source: https://www.fastcompany.com/3066218/innovation-agents/how-to-test-products-like-a-googler

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Milk Makeup Jumps Into The Crowded Market Of Edgy Cosmetics …

The creative agency Milk Studios is known for its fashion-savvy and buzzy events. And in February, it jumped into new territory when it launched its own retail product, Milk Makeup.

The 85-piece line covers pretty standard territory: concealer, foundation, blush, highlighter, eyeliner, brow pencils, and a variety of eye coatings. The colors are saturated, they shimmer, and much of the makeup has a glossy finish. Everything is cruelty-free. Standout products are riffs on classics, like its “Holographic Stick,” which is a purple-tinted highlighter spruced up with real meteorite dust and pearl powder. There are also opalescent eye pigments, sticky eyeshadows that feel like they could withstand a week at Burning Man—or in my experience, a rainy rooftop rave after which I fell asleep fully made up. (Even in the shower it took some scrubbing to remove the eyeshadows.)

Milk Makeup’s hook is a character: the Milk Girl. Company cofounder Mazdack Rassi says this “girl” is the kind of person who takes five minutes to put on her makeup in the back seat of a cab as she’s being ferried between chic events. She’s too cool to want a full makeup mask. Accordingly, Milk encourages swipes of colorful eyeliner and dabs of lip color. The vibe is experimental—a trial-and-error spirit that encourages consumers to buy a medley of simple-to-execute looks. Everything is meant to be practical: Blotting papers double as rolling papers; all products are designed to be rolled on or applied with a finger. No brushes or powder puffs necessary.

“The tagline, ‘Milk Girls do their makeup quick’ was a concept I internalized into tangible products and formulas,” says Milk Makeup COO Dianna Ruth, who’s worked for Hard Candy, Sugar, Hello Kitty, and Bliss. “One-handed easy application, no additional tools, good-for-you ingredients, and quick but expressive makeup.”

Milk is not the first production house to launch its own line of cosmetics. Smashbox Studios, a Los Angeles photo studio, debuted a makeup line in 1996. But Milk’s new venture is less an extension of its photo studio and more representative of niche brand power. Big brands like L’Oréal, Clinique, and Revlon no longer dominate the entire market. Small cosmetics companies are breaking through.

“People want to know that they have something special,” says Karen Grant, global beauty analyst at the NPD Group. Last year, the market analytics firm noted big growth for independent prestige beauty brands. Among the top five growth companies for 2015 were three independents: Anastasia, Too Faced Cosmetics, and IT Cosmetics, which sold to L’Oréal for $1.2 billion this year.

Grant says one of the big reasons freestanding makeup labels are getting so much love is because of a change in shopping attitudes. Consumers are trusting individual products rather than committing to one brand. Makeup companies no longer have to have everything, she says, they just have to have that one sought-after product: “It’s less about having a wide array than having something that they’re known for. Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty and Cosmetics, founded in 1998, has been successful because of its focus on eyebrow products, for instance. This phenomenon has paved the way for newbies like Kylie Jenner, whose line of neutral matte lipsticks sold out in 30 seconds last year.

But it’s not just consumer values that have changed. The rise of beauty vloggers, Twitter, Facebook, and Medium are also a contributing factor. In September, NPD reported that more people were turning to the internet for makeup advice than print or broadcast. Makeup users largely rely on trusted friends or word of mouth to source new products, but what defines a friend may depend on how old you are.

For millennials, friendly tips come from social media feeds and YouTube videos even despite complaints that these high-paid “influencers” are just part of the corporate machine. The report says the internet is one of the top five channels for buying makeup, ranking “just below department stores but ahead of direct sellers, national chains, and beauty supply stores.” Which means social media is now a key marker of success and relevance. According to a new report, Jenner’s cosmetics have appeared in social posts more than 1.3 million times since launching in October 2015. Compare that with Estee Lauder’s mere 373,000 mentions. Online is also where makeup buyers are increasingly going to shop, according to NPD. For the 12 months ending in October, online makeup sales were up 36% compared to 13% for retail sales.

“Like my 15-year-old niece, when I was with her in Minneapolis, she comes home and goes straight up to her room, does her homework, then goes on YouTube,” says Milk cofounder Rassi. In order to appeal to this generation, Rassi tells me, he’s trying to become part of it. He spends nights reading blogs and watching vloggers talk shop and monitors how these reviews affect sales. He says a vlogger reviewing Milk’s products out of Ohio can lead to the sale of hundreds of lipsticks in a given evening. “And then Vogue will talk about [us] and we’ll sell four,” he says.

Rassi knows the fashion world well. His wife, Zanna Roberts, a senior editor at Marie Claire, partnered with him on Milk’s nascent line. And Milk Studio’s connection to the New York fashion elite is well established. On any given day, you might see photographer Terry Richardson or Annie Leibowitz walking its hallways. The studios also host Vogue cover shoots as well as Fashion Week runway shows from the likes of Proenza Schouler and Chromat.

“People show up on our doorstep and they just want to make stuff,” Rassi says, hunched over a low coffee table stacked tall with thick art books. He is very tall and I am very short, and I imagine he’s trying to create more intimacy in the conversation by leaning in. We’re sitting in his white-walled former warehouse office space where sunlight streams in through skylights in a vaulted ceiling. The walls are covered with skateboard decks and giant photographs, most recognizably, a portrait of Kate Moss from her Calvin Klein days and Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl.

It’s this culture of art-chic cool that Rassi has tried to inject into his makeup brand. In an introduction video, Milk defines the brand as encompassing “punk fashion,” “art kids,” and “the next generation”—or Gen Milk for short. As for the “it” Milk Girl, she certainly doesn’t adhere to binary definitions of gender. The company’s website features a diverse set of women and men to represent the Milk Girl. There are three men among Milk’s lookbook of 47 “girls,” one of whom is transgender. So far, about 5% of Milk Makeup’s customer base is male.

Milk doesn’t yet have the reach of its similarly minded competitors like L’Oréal’s Urban Decay and LVMH’s Kat Von D Makeup. Last year, L’Oréal’s cosmetics brands generated $6.06 billion in annual revenue; Estee Lauder, $4.2 billion. Milk, a private company, hasn’t released revenue figures, but momentum seems to be strong. When it debuted, Milk sold out of its signature Holographic Stick in a month. Its Cooling Water stick followed, selling out in two months along with three other products, suggesting that Milk might be capable of creating the “it” products Grant mentioned earlier. Milk Makeup is now sold in 100 Sephoras and 50 Urban Outfitters around the country.

What does growth look like moving forward?

It could mean being scooped up by one of those massive brands. “The big guys are on an acquisition binge,” Grant says. “When you are hot and they feel you can add a unique dimension to their portfolio, they are going to acquire you.” Beauty-brand acquisitions are up 44% this year, according to CBInsights. Revlon, L’Oréal, Estee Lauder, Unilever, and Johnson Johnson are among the biggest acquirers. If Milk can prove its makeup brand can pump out must-have products to a devoted younger audience, it could win big in a sale.

Though Milk Studios is familiar with this process—last year, it sold its MADE Fashion Week incubator to WME IMG—Rassi says he’s not looking to break off the cosmetics branch just yet: “At this point, less than a year in, our No. 1 priority is to grow the company and scale.”

Article source: https://www.fastcompany.com/3063244/most-innovative-companies/milk-makeup-jumps-into-the-crowded-market-of-edgy-cosmetics-brands

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How To Defend Your Brain Against Fake News

The U.S. presidential election last month did more than just open the front door to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to Donald Trump. It’s also initiated a period of national soul searching about how we get our news. Facebook in particular has come under fire for failing to distinguish or deprecate “fake news” and downright propaganda from accurate reporting in users’ news feeds.

But while the social network undeniably plays a major role in unleashing the tide of misinformation we’re all now swimming against, it’s just one part of a larger problem. Chances are it won’t be resolved any time soon, so the question becomes simply how to limit its influence.

Misinformation Doesn’t Die Out

A number of partisan websites have emerged, on both the right and left, that either put a distinct political spin on news events or fabricate stories altogether. A recent BuzzFeed analysis concluded that between a quarter and a third of the stories on these sites are either completely false or contain significant amounts of falsities. And while BuzzFeed found a somewhat higher volume of right-leaning than left-leaning fake news, it’s clear there’s a significant amount of misinformation flowing on both sides.

That matters. Research on what psychologists call the “continued influence effect” suggests that it’s remarkably difficult to prevent information that you know to be false from affecting your judgment anyway. Unfortunately, the brain doesn’t have a mechanism for removing false information from your memory, so those ideas continue to be recalled.

As a result, we’re forced to think just as thoroughly about ideas we know to be false as those we know to be true. That makes it difficult to counteract the impact of these false statements that then stubbornly persist. That being the case, there are still a few things you can do.

Give Yourself A Baseline

First, it’s helpful to take a cue from another aspect of BuzzFeed’s analysis, which found that mainstream media sites generally publish truthful content. That means that despite widespread distrust of the media establishment (a suspicion that President-elect Trump continues to publicly encourage), the news reporting you’ll find in “traditional” outlets is statistically more likely to be the truth—even if you disagree with the opinions shared by columnists in those same publications.

If the onslaught of fake news worries you, one thing you can do is subscribe to a reputable newspaper or magazine. For all its shortcomings, the press remains an important source of verifiable information in an era when anyone can garner attention with a clickbait headline. Not only can it help ensure a continued flow of accurate reporting, but effectively forcing yourself onto a steady diet of “real news” can at least give you a consistent informational baseline against which to judge conflicting angles.

Break Out Of Your Social Feeds

Second, stop using your social media feeds as your primary source of news. Most people tend to live in echo chambers of their own creation, which are then compounded algorithmically. They follow people on Twitter whose views fit with their own. They make friends and correspond on Facebook with people who share similar ideas. As a result, most of the news stories they encounter on social media have a slant that mirror their own biases.

Part of the reason this echo chamber is so problematic is that we tend to be more skeptical of stories that diverge from our opinions. When we encounter ideas that are already consistent with what we believe, we’re more likely to latch onto them.

This bias means that we’re more likely to take the time to fact check something we read when we’re inclined to disagree with it than when we’re inclined to agree with it—even though the stories we agree with may be no more accurate than those we don’t. So leaning less heavily on social media for news may expose you to more content that you’ll actually want to bother to look into.

Take The Time To Go Deep

And indeed, that’s the other way to minimize the impact of fake news on your brain—just by carving out time to read more deeply about the topics you care about. Because ultimately, defending yourself against a steady tide of misinformation isn’t easy, and there are no shortcuts. It’s frankly easy to mislead people in 500 words on the internet, particularly if those people get most or all of their information in 500-word bursts online, as many of us do.

The antidote here is depth, and depth takes time. But picking up real expertise on important issues means committing to learning about them. That could mean reading long-form magazines that treat topics in-depth, watching documentaries by credible filmmakers, or buying nonfiction books by experienced journalists and authors.

It takes work. But the reason efforts like these stand the best shot at protecting you from false information is because the ideas that have the biggest impact on your attitudes, opinions, and actions are those that cohere with your total body of knowledge. The more you expand that, the better. It’s when you don’t know much to begin with that the impact of individual false statements gets magnified.

As you learn more, the interconnections among the many facts you already know will crowd out the falsehoods you encounter. These coherent networks of knowledge are self-reinforcing. Yes, there’s always confirmation bias inherent in a mental system like this, threatening to yank it in one direction or another. But the more developed that system is, the better it’ll be at flagging potential ideas that sound too good (or bad) to be true.

Related Video: What Is Facebook Doing To Combat Fake News?

Article source: https://www.fastcompany.com/3066216/pov/how-to-defend-your-brain-against-fake-news

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

This Global Startup Lets Employees Personalize Their Holiday Time Off

Some people might be surprised to hear that we didn’t used to get time off for Christmas at Buffer—or for Hanukkah, Canadian Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year, or any specific holiday at all. Instead, we had unlimited time off and the full trust of our teammates to make great decisions about how to use this privilege.

That all changed midway through 2016, however. We realized that our unlimited policy was perhaps too loose and we found many team members were only taking five to 10 days off a year. We have now switched to a minimum vacation policy of at least three weeks off per year.

As part of this (and not included in those recommended three weeks off), we’re strongly urging our team members to observe the public holidays of their region or country. (And we’re testing for the first time “closing” our company down for two days this holiday season, December 26 and January 2.)

Working on a remote international team with this policy creates some really unique challenges as well as some super-cool learning opportunities.

Our General Holiday “Policy”

Our general holiday guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Default to taking time off on the public holidays of the country in which you’re living, or the public holidays of your home country that are important to you.
  • Request other time off with team leads via the tool we use, Timetastic.
  • Share early (if possible) about time you’d like to take off or may be unavailable for.
  • Ask for advice or notify the people you work closely with about your plans.

Dan sums it up pretty well in this post about the U.S. holiday of Labor Day:

Here’s a peek at our Timetastic wall for the People (our human resources) team:

What Works, And What We’re Still Working On

Here are some things that are really awesome about this way of looking at holidays:

  • Our company trusts us to set our own schedules and make our own decisions.
  • We get to learn a ton about holidays and traditions around the world.
  • With all of us celebrating different holidays at different times, there’s pretty much always someone around to take care of Buffer’s awesome customers

And here’s one thing that we could probably do a better job of: Taking more holidays that matter to us and encouraging people to fully disconnect. We’ve struggled a bit with tracking the most essential public holidays around the world—there are thousands!

We’re working to integrate alerts to better convey to the team when there might be a holiday coming up. Our latest experiment connects Google’s holidays calendars for each country to our Slack account via Zapier:

Similar to what we’ve discovered about our unlimited vacation policy, sometimes a looser structure with no defined days off can lead to fewer holidays taken or a feeling of uncertainty about what’s appropriate and expected as far as time off. This is why we’re starting to be clearer and send teamwide announcements in advance that encourage time off and hopefully remind teammates that celebrating and disconnecting is a great choice:

A Few Holiday Messages From Employees

The main spot we share holiday plans and requests for advice is in Discourse, our discussion tool that cuts down on our need to send email.

I rooted through our Discourse to find some neat holiday messages to share. In this one, Steven, based in Taipei, tells us a little about the Dragon Boat Festival holiday:

Another team member, Dave, took some time off for a holiday that’s important to him—Manchester Pride. Here’s how he shared his plans and worked with other teammates to ensure customers would be well taken care of.

Wonder what Christmas is like in South Africa? Here’s the plan for Niel, one of our engineers based in Cape Town.

Eric shared this note and cool photo from his Chinese New Year celebrations:

Yesterday was the first day of the Chinese New Year. I went to the temple to make my wishes. One of the traditions is that we write the name of people we wish they’ll have health, luck (and money :D) on a kind of yellow book. We then throw this in the fire with some firecrackers (a lot actually :p) to fear of the “bad spirit.”

Seeing Teammates Take Family Time

Not all holidays have to be about observing a national moment or meaningful event. They can be as simple as taking time off to watch movies and eat Chinese food for “Jewish Christmas,” as Arielle explains below, or turning a holiday into a chance to spend some time with a loved one, as Ivana shows.

I think one of the coolest parts of our holiday policy is the ability for each teammate to reflect on their own beliefs, time, and energy and choose the holiday schedule that best represents those elements.


A version of this article originally appeared on Buffer. It is adapted and reprinted with permission.

Article source: https://www.fastcompany.com/3066214/startup-report/this-global-startup-lets-employees-personalize-their-holiday-time-off

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Milk Makeup Jumps Into The Crowded Market Of Edgy Cosmetics Brands

The creative agency Milk Studios is known for its fashion-savvy and buzzy events. And in February, it jumped into new territory when it launched its own retail product, Milk Makeup.

The 85-piece line covers pretty standard territory: concealer, foundation, blush, highlighter, eyeliner, brow pencils, and a variety of eye coatings. The colors are saturated, they shimmer, and much of the makeup has a glossy finish. Everything is cruelty-free. Standout products are riffs on classics, like its “Holographic Stick,” which is a purple-tinted highlighter spruced up with real meteorite dust and pearl powder. There are also opalescent eye pigments, sticky eyeshadows that feel like they could withstand a week at Burning Man—or in my experience, a rainy rooftop rave after which I fell asleep fully made up. (Even in the shower it took some scrubbing to remove the eyeshadows.)

Milk Makeup’s hook is a character: the Milk Girl. Company cofounder Mazdack Rassi says this “girl” is the kind of person who takes five minutes to put on her makeup in the back seat of a cab as she’s being ferried between chic events. She’s too cool to want a full makeup mask. Accordingly, Milk encourages swipes of colorful eyeliner and dabs of lip color. The vibe is experimental—a trial-and-error spirit that encourages consumers to buy a medley of simple-to-execute looks. Everything is meant to be practical: Blotting papers double as rolling papers; all products are designed to be rolled on or applied with a finger. No brushes or powder puffs necessary.

“The tagline, ‘Milk Girls do their makeup quick’ was a concept I internalized into tangible products and formulas,” says Milk Makeup COO Dianna Ruth, who’s worked for Hard Candy, Sugar, Hello Kitty, and Bliss. “One-handed easy application, no additional tools, good-for-you ingredients, and quick but expressive makeup.”

Milk is not the first production house to launch its own line of cosmetics. Smashbox Studios, a Los Angeles photo studio, debuted a makeup line in 1996. But Milk’s new venture is less an extension of its photo studio and more representative of niche brand power. Big brands like L’Oréal, Clinique, and Revlon no longer dominate the entire market. Small cosmetics companies are breaking through.

“People want to know that they have something special,” says Karen Grant, global beauty analyst at the NPD Group. Last year, the market analytics firm noted big growth for independent prestige beauty brands. Among the top five growth companies for 2015 were three independents: Anastasia, Too Faced Cosmetics, and IT Cosmetics, which sold to L’Oréal for $1.2 billion this year.

Grant says one of the big reasons freestanding makeup labels are getting so much love is because of a change in shopping attitudes. Consumers are trusting individual products rather than committing to one brand. Makeup companies no longer have to have everything, she says, they just have to have that one sought-after product: “It’s less about having a wide array than having something that they’re known for. Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty and Cosmetics, founded in 1998, has been successful because of its focus on eyebrow products, for instance. This phenomenon has paved the way for newbies like Kylie Jenner, whose line of neutral matte lipsticks sold out in 30 seconds last year.

But it’s not just consumer values that have changed. The rise of beauty vloggers, Twitter, Facebook, and Medium are also a contributing factor. In September, NPD reported that more people were turning to the internet for makeup advice than print or broadcast. Makeup users largely rely on trusted friends or word of mouth to source new products, but what defines a friend may depend on how old you are.

For millennials, friendly tips come from social media feeds and YouTube videos even despite complaints that these high-paid “influencers” are just part of the corporate machine. The report says the internet is one of the top five channels for buying makeup, ranking “just below department stores but ahead of direct sellers, national chains, and beauty supply stores.” Which means social media is now a key marker of success and relevance. According to a new report, Jenner’s cosmetics have appeared in social posts more than 1.3 million times since launching in October 2015. Compare that with Estee Lauder’s mere 373,000 mentions. Online is also where makeup buyers are increasingly going to shop, according to NPD. For the 12 months ending in October, online makeup sales were up 36% compared to 13% for retail sales.

“Like my 15-year-old niece, when I was with her in Minneapolis, she comes home and goes straight up to her room, does her homework, then goes on YouTube,” says Milk cofounder Rassi. In order to appeal to this generation, Rassi tells me, he’s trying to become part of it. He spends nights reading blogs and watching vloggers talk shop and monitors how these reviews affect sales. He says a vlogger reviewing Milk’s products out of Ohio can lead to the sale of hundreds of lipsticks in a given evening. “And then Vogue will talk about [us] and we’ll sell four,” he says.

Rassi knows the fashion world well. His wife, Zanna Roberts, a senior editor at Marie Claire, partnered with him on Milk’s nascent line. And Milk Studio’s connection to the New York fashion elite is well established. On any given day, you might see photographer Terry Richardson or Annie Leibowitz walking its hallways. The studios also host Vogue cover shoots as well as Fashion Week runway shows from the likes of Proenza Schouler and Chromat.

“People show up on our doorstep and they just want to make stuff,” Rassi says, hunched over a low coffee table stacked tall with thick art books. He is very tall and I am very short, and I imagine he’s trying to create more intimacy in the conversation by leaning in. We’re sitting in his white-walled former warehouse office space where sunlight streams in through skylights in a vaulted ceiling. The walls are covered with skateboard decks and giant photographs, most recognizably, a portrait of Kate Moss from her Calvin Klein days and Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl.

It’s this culture of art-chic cool that Rassi has tried to inject into his makeup brand. In an introduction video, Milk defines the brand as encompassing “punk fashion,” “art kids,” and “the next generation”—or Gen Milk for short. As for the “it” Milk Girl, she certainly doesn’t adhere to binary definitions of gender. The company’s website features a diverse set of women and men to represent the Milk Girl. There are three men among Milk’s lookbook of 47 “girls,” one of whom is transgender. So far, about 5% of Milk Makeup’s customer base is male.

Milk doesn’t yet have the reach of its similarly minded competitors like L’Oréal’s Urban Decay and LVMH’s Kat Von D Makeup. Last year, L’Oréal’s cosmetics brands generated $6.06 billion in annual revenue; Estee Lauder, $4.2 billion. Milk, a private company, hasn’t released revenue figures, but momentum seems to be strong. When it debuted, Milk sold out of its signature Holographic Stick in a month. Its Cooling Water stick followed, selling out in two months along with three other products, suggesting that Milk might be capable of creating the “it” products Grant mentioned earlier. Milk Makeup is now sold in 100 Sephoras and 50 Urban Outfitters around the country.

What does growth look like moving forward?

It could mean being scooped up by one of those massive brands. “The big guys are on an acquisition binge,” Grant says. “When you are hot and they feel you can add a unique dimension to their portfolio, they are going to acquire you.” Beauty-brand acquisitions are up 44% this year, according to CBInsights. Revlon, L’Oréal, Estee Lauder, Unilever, and Johnson Johnson are among the biggest acquirers. If Milk can prove its makeup brand can pump out must-have products to a devoted younger audience, it could win big in a sale.

Though Milk Studios is familiar with this process—last year, it sold its MADE Fashion Week incubator to WME IMG—Rassi says he’s not looking to break off the cosmetics branch just yet: “At this point, less than a year in, our No. 1 priority is to grow the company and scale.”

Article source: https://www.fastcompany.com/3063244/most-innovative-companies/milk-makeup-jumps-into-the-crowded-market-of-edgy-cosmetics-brands

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Estée Lauder Companies Appoints Barbara De Laere to Senior Vice President/General Manager, Aveda – North …

Back to previous page

Article source: http://www.worldpressonline.com/PressRelease/the-est%C3%A9e-lauder-companies-appoints-barbara-de-laere-to-senior-vice-presidentgeneral-manager-aveda-%E2%80%93-north-america-55644.html

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Global Plant Stem Cell Market for Cosmetics is Expected to Reach USD 4830.8 Mn by 2022

Plant Stem Cell Market For Cosmetics
Plant Stem Cell Market For Cosmetics

Plant Stem Cell Market for Cosmetics – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis, and Forecast, 2016 – 2022

Global Plant Stem Cell Market for Cosmetics is Expected to Reach USD 4,830.8 Mn by 2022

The latest market report published by Credence Research, Inc. “Global Plant Stem Cell Market for Cosmetics – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis, and Forecast, 2016 – 2022,” the plant stem cell market for cosmetics was valued at USD 1,668.8 Mn in 2015, and is expected to reach USD 4,830.8 Mn by 2022, expanding at a CAGR of 15.9% from 2016 to 2022.

Browse the full report Plant Stem Cell Market for Cosmetics – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis, and Forecast, 2016 – 2022 at http://www.credenceresearch.com/report/plant-stem-cell-market-for-cosmetics

Market Insights:

Plant extracts and plant parts such as fruits, glower, leaves, stems, roots, etc. are well known in cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications since ages. Application of plant and plant extracts in cosmetics is widespread and these products are used for purposes such as whitening, tanning, moisturizing, washings, etc. with recent research and introduction of plant and human stem cell products, their potential as a vital source of human tissue renewal. Normally, human skin renews itself constantly and protects the body against injury, infection and dehydration. Aging of stem cells results in decreased healing capacity and heightened degeneration of skin tissues. Hence, protection and support of stem cells is vital.


Companies are increasingly creating products with plant stem cells which when used topically help in protecting skin stem cells from aging. Preference for developing skin-care products based on plant-derived stem cells is on the rise, based on the potential of stem cells to develop into different cell types in the body. Currently several types of plant stem cell extracts are available for application in cosmetics; however, the research predominantly has been focused on three namely lilac, Swiss apple and grape. The components found in these plants have been demonstrated to be a significant source of phyto stem cells. Grape seed is the most widely and longest observed botanical in the field of plant stem cells. The key players observed in plant stem cell cosmetics market are intelligent nutrients, Mibelle Group, MyChelle Dermaceuticals, and Juice Beauty.

Market Competition Assessment:

The plant stem cell market for cosmetics is observed as the most diversified and competitive market comprising large number of players.  The market is dominated by several players, depending on their major competencies. The key players in this market are Mibelle Group, L’Oreal S.A., Estee Lauder, Inc., MyChelle Dermaceuticals, Juice Beauty, and Intelligent Nutrients.

Browse the full report at http://www.credenceresearch.com/report/plant-stem-cell-market-for-cosmetics

Key Market Movements:

Tropical regions are observing high demand for plant-stem cell based products as UV exposure is increasing a higher risk of ageing and related conditions

The desire for nutrients that can be absorbed through skin is driving the plant stem cell cosmetics market

Over the past several decades, aesthetics and anti-aging and other aesthetic procedures were women dominant but the upcoming commercial cosmetic products have also targeted the male customers. However, still male population can be considered as an untapped market for plant stem cell cosmetics

Latest Reports:

http://www.credenceresearch.com/report/alzeimers-therapeutic-market

http://www.credenceresearch.com/report/medical-waste-management-market

http://www.credenceresearch.com/report/hospital-acquired-disease-testing-market

 


Article source: http://surgar.net/english/business/plant-stem-cell-market-for-cosmetics/166728

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Estée Lauder Companies appoints new SVP/GM for Aveda …

De Leare joins the company from L’Oréal, where her most recent role was General Manager and Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific – Professional Products Division, based in Shanghai.

At Lauder, De Leare is charged with optimizing the Aveda’s growth potential in North America. She will lead the brand’s digital marketing and social media plans as well as strengthening its multi-channel retail strategy, reporting to Thia Breen, Group President, North America.

“Barbara is a strong analytical and strategic thinker with proven ability to lead luxury beauty brands and drive growth. Her deep expertise in skin care, hair care and the luxury salon channel position her well to take on this important role for the company and our North America business,” said Breen.

 

Article source: https://globalcosmeticsnews.com/north-america/3751/the-estee-lauder-companies-appoints-new-svp-gm-for-aveda-north-america

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment