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Jones Road had its best Black Friday yet in its third year of business, without offering a single discount.
In a beauty market getting more crowded with discounts, the brand has stuck to the same game plan for the past three years. And yet, by 12:30 p.m. Eastern this year, it had already doubled its Black Friday sales numbers from 2022.
From November 23-27, Jones Road offered a set of four miniature sizes of its Miracle Balm hero product. Depending on the shade, the tinted balm can be used as a blush, a bronzer or a highlighter. Customers could customize their set, selecting four shades out of an available 10. The kit sold for $68.40, bringing each small pot to about $17. Mini Miracle Balms are not available for purchase year-round, and full-size versions retail for $38.
Over the four days, the brand sold 375,000 Miracle Balm kits, said Cody Plofker, Jones Road’s CMO. That brought sales of the kits to $25,650,000. Plofker declined to comment on overall sales for the period.
Jones Road has historically restricted the sales of these kits to Black Friday and Memorial Day weekend. It occasionally includes its Mini Miracle Balm in other kits, such as the $72 Pink Platinum Kit, which features a limited edition shade, Platinum Pink.
“We would rather not run a typical sale promotion. But there’s a lot of pent-up demand every year for the Miracle Balm,” Plofker said. In each of the last two years, the kits sold out over the holiday shopping weekend. “We ordered as much as we could and we actually had enough [this year], but we still saw record [sales] numbers,” he said. In fact, Shopify president Harley Finkelstein shouted it out on CBS News, calling it one of the highest-performing products across Shopify.
Plofker owed the fact that Jones Road surpassed prior years’ sales without changing much to the brand’s slow and steady approach to growth, as the brand works to further increase its awareness. He also credited the popularity of Miracle Balm among both current and potential customers. “New customers have told us that they didn’t feel confident investing in a full-size online, so they waited for the mini,” Plofker said. Jones Road is in touch with its most devoted fans via its extremely engaged Facebook community of “Roadies.” The group has more than doubled since this newsletter reported on it in March, growing from 13,000 to upward of 33,000. Many members have excitedly posted about receiving their “MMBs,” standing for Mini Miracle Balms, of course.
Of her bestselling product’s popular kit, Jones Road’s iconic founder, Bobbi Brown, said, “This is the ideal no-fuss, one-and-done kit; it’s the perfect gift. [Minis] give you that glow on the go and they’re ideal for traveling. Just throw a few in your makeup bag or purse.”
Sixty percent of the Facebook community is older women ages 45-65. Returning customers made up 60% of purchasers on the first day of Jones Road’s Black Friday promotion, Plofker said, but noted, “On Black Friday alone, we acquired about half as many customers as we might on a normal, good month.” On a related note, in October, when the brand’s “Bobbi Kit 3.0” went on sale, the Roadies were given 24 hours advance notice of the launch, and 500 of them purchased it. The Roadies did not, however, get early access to the Black Friday Mini Miracle Balm kits.
Plofker said Jones Road made its biggest-ever investment in advertising, “by far,” leading up to the Black Friday promotion. They primarily ran on Instagram and Facebook, but also on YouTube and TikTok. It also invested in ads centered on fueling brand awareness. “We [were] trying to reach as many people as possible, rather than trying to get them to purchase right away,” Plofker said. To execute the strategy, Jones Road began planning its holiday promotion in September.
While it usually more subtly teases its new launches and offerings, this year it clearly announced to its audience that the Mini Miracle Balm sets would be returning. “We told people on Monday, [November] 20, we started running ads linking to a sign-up page,” Plofker said. Around 20,000 people signed up to be notified when the set became available to purchase.
The brand’s biggest challenge, when it comes to its Miracle Balm kits, Plofker said, is predicting inventory needs, as the kit is only available for four designated days. “[If] we were doing a discount and we had too much, [that would be] fine, because we can just sell that inventory the next month,” Plofker said.
Plofker said summer is a slower period for the brand. “In November, on Black Friday is when consumers want to shop,” he said. “So that’s when we should have our best offerings and that’s when we should push, be more aggressive with what we’re spending and really try to maximize this period.”