Lush Anti-Social Attitude

Earlier this month, Lush UK made a somewhat ironic move as it called it quits on social media channels in order to have more direct one-on-one conversations with their consumers. In their refreshingly honest statement, they say, “Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed. So we’ve decided it’s time to bid farewell to some of our brand social channels – Lush UK, Lush Kitchen, Lush Times, Lush Life, Soapbox and Gorilla across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and open up the conversation between the Lush Community and us instead.”

This bold decision has brought into question the true value of social media for businesses, with advocates and agitators on both sides of the argument. Will this be social suicide for the British handmade cosmetics company? Or will this strategy help them re-focus on what really matters? Will other brands and retailers follow? Is the Social Media Age coming to a close?

Let’s admit it. Social media is exhausting and, as a brand, it often feels as if you’re sending messages into the ether, creating more noise than impact. The promise of organic reach has become nothing more snake oil. Ultimately, to be effective, it takes just as much time, energy and money as other, more traditional marketing strategies. Yes, social media does provide an opportunity to be responsive and stay relevant – but is it really worth it?

To be clear, Lush won’t be removing itself completely from the digital landscape. Rather, it’ll be placing an increased emphasis on influencer marketing, providing consumers the opportunity to “connect one-on-one with people within Lush based on various categories.”

We’ve can’t help to admire Lush for choosing to zig when everyone else is zagging. It’s not only audacious, but its also intuitively correct for their “hands-on” brand. As consumers become more and more digitally drained, they’ll be on the hunt for IRL brand experiences that are exciting, engaging and authentic. Lush’s physical stores are incredible at this, offering consumers a journey that feels personable and purposeful, whilst delightfully overwhelming the senses.

So if Lush choose to get off the congested, digital highway opting instead for some grassier routes (pun intended), they may achieve consumer connection that is, in the long run, more captivating, genuine, and effective.

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