ALL TIGERS is a Parisian brand that produces the perfect lipsticks. This, according to “Tiger in Chief” Alexis Robillard, means lipsticks that are both extremely stylish and trendy and which are also made from completely natural and organic formulas.

Although the brand was only created three years ago, ALL TIGERS’ products are now available in shops throughout Europe, and Robillard is very happy with the rate of business growth. Yet when he began working with lipstick, he knew very little about it. To find out more, he grew a community.

“I got the idea for the business from my daughter,” Robillard says. “She was looking for a lipstick for herself and I saw that there were not many brands that were trying to be both environmentally friendly and trendy. Some were environmentally friendly but not trendy and some were trendy but not environmentally friendly at all.

“So from that starting point, I opened an Instagram page and began building a community to actually create the product with me. So digital engagement was really at the core of the brand. The brand was created with the social network.”

Robillard’s first followers consisted of colleagues from his cosmetics’ industry background. “I was involved in skin care products. So I initially asked my colleagues and friends from that world to come onto my Instagram page and develop the product with me. We started with 300 people and built the community step by step from there. Now, three years later, we have 20,000 followers.

“I knew that people would want to contribute to the creation of a product that they would use every day,” he adds. “And there are a lot of people who like to contribute and co-create, so they were the engines that helped the community grow. We also did some communication through partners to let people know that they could come to the brand. But it really grew very organically. I think we benefitted as well from being pioneers in this field of organically produced lipstick and the fact that we were the first brand to follow this trend. That created a lot of attention and attraction to our Instagram page.”

Robillard used all the tools available to him on Instagram to engage his growing community and to ultimately ask them what they wanted him to produce.

“It was not only Instagram, we did some e-questionnaires as well, but Instagram was the big platform for us,” he says. “Most of the time we put up questions, asking things like do you like this shade or this packaging. And we learned from the consumers what they wanted. It is really valuable to know before we launch a product what people will like and want. And of course it is very important for a small brand to know that there is an audience waiting for the product - it validates the product.” 

Three years on, the ALL TIGERS brand still uses its Instagram community to validate new ideas. “We use this process on a daily basis,” says Robillard. “It is very important for the brand and validates why we exist. To create interaction we post ideas, photographs, videos, polls, open questions. Sometimes I ask an expert about something and see how the audience reacts. We have also made some big questionnaires for a more in depth approach. There are plenty of ways to do it. And it has been so much richer that what I was used to where I worked before, because we were not linked to the consumers. This process validates that what we are doing is in line with the expectations of the consumers and that we stay true to the customer.”

It is therefore almost unimaginable that ALL TIGERS could have grown so quickly without the use of digital channels. “I could have made a lot of mistakes by making stuff that nobody would have bought,” Robillard admits. “Engaging consumers through digital channels was completely crucial in creating the brand.”

Their digital channels have also helped engage ALL TIGERS’ customers throughout the difficult events of 2020 in new and innovative ways.

“During a very difficult and complicated period we have tried to consolidate the bonds we have with our community,” Robillard says. “We have been very active and provided lots of content and services, such as live sessions with experts and entrepreneurs. We even posted a colouring-in version of our Holmen Iggesund produced packaging, which features drawings, so that people could print it for their children. It was a way to play with our product and show that we were aware that people were looking for activities for their children during lockdowns.”  

These ideas have inspired Robillard to think about how he might use digital space differently in the future. “Digital sales used to be only about sales,” he says. “But tomorrow it might be more about live chats with advisers to help consumers. I think that the next frontier for digital will be to have more of a human presence. I also see a lot more interest from customers regarding sourcing and knowing where packaging and formulas come from. So tomorrow we will need to provide more transparency, and I think that digital will really elevate that.”