Earlier this month, Rihanna launched her new makeup line, Fenty Beauty. Fans around the world went crazy, as they quickly bought the product and provided their reviews. One of the most noteworthy things about the brand is that the line includes 40 shades of foundation to accommodate women of different complexions all over the world.
There were even reports that some of the darker shades, which have been historically harder to find, were sold out soon after the launch.
The dark Fenty Beauty foundation shades are sold out everywhere! This is for all the makeup brands who think the dark shades won't sell well pic.twitter.com/JDKddaMa5r-- Affinity Magazine (@TheAffinityMag) September 10, 2017
During a recent interview about the fanatic response to the new makeup line, Rihanna shared her philosophy behind creating products. That helps explain why she has such a global appeal:
And with this one sentence, Rihanna revealed how businesses should think about their customers:
I have this perception that my friends are the consumer, and if it doesn't work on them, then I'm not doing it.
It is a win for all when you treat your customers like friends. Here's why.
1. It gives you a greater degree of intimacy
You have a deep, emotional relationship with your friends. You know what makes them laugh, what drives them mad, and what their deepest dreams, desires, fears, and frustrations are.
And because of this level of intimacy, you create a space that makes your friends feel like they belong when they are with you. It is a big part of what keeps the relationship thriving.
When you know your customers this well, you're able to create products, services, and experiences that fit them perfectly. You're able to seamlessly integrate yourself into their lives in a way that the thought of not having you in their world makes them squeamish.
2. It helps you be inclusive of more people
I follow a gluten-free diet. It's no problemo for me when I'm cooking at home, but it can be a challenge when hanging out socially.
But whenever I go out to eat with one of my great girlfriends, she makes a point to ensure we go somewhere that will have ample options for me to choose from. When I go to her house, she's got gluten-free goodies I can snack on. Because of our relationship, she makes it her business to provide options during our time together that include me, despite my diet restriction.
Rihanna makes it a point to do that with her products as well:
I'll try makeup on me, I'll turn to the girl next to me, the Latin girl next to me, the darker girl next to me, the White girl in front of me, I will go around the table, and if it doesn't work on one of us, we need to adjust it a little bit. Because I feel horrible excluding people from things I created for them.
When you are serving your friends, you care enough to make it your business to produce options that include them. Even if it requires making a few adjustments here and there along the way.
3. It helps you perform at a higher level
We want our friends to succeed. And because we want to support the people who are closest to us in their efforts to live well, we give them the best of us.
So when you are producing something for someone you have a deep connection with, it often induces you to go the extra mile to give them something they will love. You create things that make them proud to call you friend.
Rihanna, whose career spans a number of different ventures, feels the same:
Everything I design or create, whether it's music, whether it's makeup, or fashion, I want my friends to be involved, to feel like they can be a part of it and represent.
As an added bonus, when your customers feel the level of intimacy with you, they will often provide suggestions and new ideas to make what you already have even better.
Creating products and services your customers love and are excited to share isn't limited to superstars like Rihanna who have massive followings. You can do the same, especially when you follow the philosophy that enabled them to reach so many people in the first place.
So follow Rihanna's lead, and start treating your customers like friends. You'll gain a whole lot more friends and customers as a result.