Over the past year, Lush has moved away from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat globally due to the business practices of these platforms which are basically the antithesis of everything Lush stands for.
In the 48 markets where Lush operates, customers have been encouraged to meet again “In a better place,” which is exactly what Lush did this year following its announcement.
The priority was to devise creative ways to connect with audiences, new and existing, and go beyond ‘likes’ to create meaningful experiences that promote well-being.
Where did Lush connect with customers?
Through collaborations: from One Piece to Netflix’s Stranger Things and Lazy Oaf, the British slow fashion brand.
After the launch of LUSH X ONE PIECE, Lush Japan increased its new digital users by 71%, selling out all online stock before 2pm. There was also a 165% increase in online sessions on launch day compared to the previous week.
Collaborations are not new to Lush, as Annabelle Baker, Global Director of Brand and Marketing at Lush explains:
“Lush has handpicked partnerships with charities and celebrities: mental health charity I Am Whole in 2020 to create a digital detox movement from social media; a 7-year relationship with ARTHOUSE Unlimited for Christmas gift design; with Vivienne Westwood’s Climate Revolution in 2013, where 100% of profits went to support this cause, and a B2B collaboration with ASOS in 2021.
As a global brand that does everything in-house, sourcing the best ethical ingredients, inventing, manufacturing and selling, we are able to innovate unique products and experiences for each partnership.
We continue to look forward to connecting with audiences around the world in new and unexpected ways. “- Annabelle Baker, Lush Director of Brand and Marketing
Create a product for every need
Bathtub Adventures: “You don’t have to go far to be anywhere else.” On Nov. 30, just days after the announcement, Lush launched six new bath bombs, each with curated playlists on Spotify.
The collection was launched with the slogan “You don’t have to go far to be anywhere else”, in line with Lush’s anti-social political message. Since its launch, Lush has sold nearly 3 million bath bombs worldwide from the Bathtub Adventures collection.
Deliver the product worldwide
Lush kicked off World Bath Bomb Day on April 27 and gave away 100,000 bath bombs to the public.
The day marked the anniversary of the bath bomb patent, which was granted on April 27, 1990, after being invented by Lush co-founder and product inventor Mo Constantine in his garden shed in 1989.
It was also a great opportunity to promote wellness within her community and get many people to try a Lush bath bomb for the first time.
On the anniversary day alone, traffic was up 60% from the previous weeks, with digital traffic up 108% and in-store traffic up 18%, remaining above the average for the other weeks, 2 weeks after the ‘event. Instagram has never had that effect on Lush.
Investments in retail trade
Lush is engaged in retail and will invest £7.6 million (€8.9 million) to boost its growth in the UK, Ireland and European market during the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Among Lush’s plans are to open new stores, relocate stores and refurbish some of its current outlets. Until June 2023, more than 30 projects have already been confirmed, including at the local level the last opening in September in Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and the inauguration of a new
shop at CC Gran Plaza 2 (Alcobendas) during the month of December.
Lush is not a brand that keeps quiet about the things it cares about. Sometimes it’s anger at the mistreatment of animals, or frustration at the treatment of humans, or panic at the onset of climate change. When campaigning on these issues, it’s always in partnership with activists, grassroots charities, and campaign groups who spend their lives working on the issue at hand. Taking a step back on some social networks has not prevented this.
Lush has supported a variety of campaigns over the past 12 months, including:
• Post Exploitation: Call on the UK Government to remove aid cuts to modern slavery under the Nationality and Borders Act.
• Human Society International: maintain the ban on storing cruelty-free cosmetics in the EU.
• Marriage for All Japan: On Activating Marriage Equality.
• Animal rights organization Bont voor Dieren in the Netherlands campaigns for a fur ban in the EU.
• Black & Irish and Black Inclusive Curriculum: To raise awareness and funds to increase the availability of anti-racism education for school staff across Ireland.
• Supported young animal rights activist Olivia Mandle in Spain to collect signatures for the NoesPaísparaDolfines petition at Change dot org calling for the planned closure of dolphinariums across the country.
• SOS (Sumatra Orangutan Society): to raise awareness around the world of a little-known wildlife refuge, West Toba, and support the communities of that area in protecting their incredible rainforests.
So what has been the financial impact of Lush leaving Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat?
Determining the business impact has been difficult thus far, as the announcement coincided with an unexpected and turbulent time globally, with the rise of Covid cases, followed by the invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 and, more recently, by a cost-of-living crisis.
However, after ditching major social media platforms, Lush reported its highest holiday sales numbers in two years. The Lush Group reported a pre-tax profit of £29 million in its audited accounts for the 2022 financial year (01.07.21 to 30.06.22), compared with a loss of £45 million the previous year.