Clinique is taking a new approach to its TikTok strategy, starting with an ongoing campaign called #CSuite.
C-Suite, which began in October, is the first time the brand is partnering with influencers on an ongoing basis in support of a wide variety of Clinique hero and trending products. In the past, Clinique had only tapped influencers for one-time programs or isolated product support efforts. C-Suite, shorthand for “Clinique Suite,” is meant to represent credibility and authority for the brand and its partners. Additionally, the #CSuite campaign reaches beyond North America. Clinique has a group of eight individuals based in North America plus created influencer teams in key regions, including the Middle East and Europe.
As TikTok’s role in consumer engagement grows, the #CSuite campaign provides an opportunity for Clinique to further engage with Gen-Z consumers in several ways, from product discovery and trend-spotting to entertainment and personal connection, said Sameer Agarwal, vp of marketing for Clinique North America. Clinique has had key moments on TikTok, including its first campaign in 2020 called #ZitHappens and the unpaid viral moment with its Black Honey lipstick which caused the brand to sell out.
“The C-Suite campaign is, in many ways, an evolution of all of those [experiences]. We’re trying to create something native to TikTok but also represent the brand in a way that actually allows us to bring the brand point of view to life,” said Agarwal.
To that end, Clinique tapped makeup artists, dermatologists and influencers to be part of the campaign. They included makeup artist Kensington Tillo (@Kensnation, 1.2 million followers), dermatologist Dr. Charles Puza (@DrCharlesMD1, 1.1 million followers) and skinfluencer Shayne Marie (@ShaayneMarie, 173,000 followers) in the U.S. The C-Suite will produce hundreds of videos over the next nine months, spotlighting Clinique products like Moisture Surge, and offering makeup tutorials, skin-care education and advice. Clinique declined to share investment figures for the campaign.
“Through this C-suite program, we have the opportunity to expand the community around our brand by tapping into existing communities and building strong partnerships versus tapping in and out [with one-off campaigns],” said Carolyn Dawkins, svp of global marketing, analytics and online at Clinique.
Furthermore, Clinique aims to demonstrate to younger consumers what the brand values are. Agarwal said that many customers don’t know the level of “effort and energy” that Clinique put into its product development, safety testing and clinical formulas. According to discount website Unidays, 70% of Gen Z feels it’s important that brands align with their personal beliefs. Additionally, 66% of Gen Zers say that once they find a brand they like, they will continue to buy from it for a long time.
Clinique will monitor the campaign’s success through video engagements measured through comments, views, likes and duet-style reposts. Agarwal said that one of the “fascinating” aspects of TikTok is how it has flattened the traditional marketing funnel. Brands can more easily correlate a lift in brand sales to a TikTok campaign or a viral product boost. As such, he also expects short-term sales lifts if and when a product goes viral. Dawkins added that the balance between video topics is meant to boost brand equity and sales equally.
“TikTok can shift equity attributes for consumers and shift [purchase] consideration all the way to conversion, so TikTok is this unique passive yet super active brand driver,” said Dawkins.