Why Fenty Beauty Chose an Innovative Approach for its Fragrance Launch

In the highly competitive fashion and beauty industry, Fenty Beauty has made a name for itself as a disruptor, catering to the needs of people of color and male customers. With a track record of innovative products, Fenty Beauty decided to expand its offering by venturing into the fragrance market. This article explores the unique approach taken by Fenty Beauty for the launch of its first fragrance, Fenty Eau De Parfum.

The Challenge: Establishing a Direct Relationship with Fans

Fenty Beauty aimed to establish a direct relationship with its fans for the fragrance launch. To achieve this, the brand decided to launch the fragrance direct-to-consumer (DTC) through an exclusive online drop. However, launching a perfume that had never been smelled before posed a challenge in captivating the audience’s interest and driving sales.

Inspiration from ‘Ghost Kitchens’

To overcome this challenge, Fenty Beauty drew inspiration from the concept of ‘ghost kitchens’ – delivery-only services that don’t require physical addresses. Building on this idea, Fenty Beauty collaborated with Barbarian, a digital agency, to create five secret Fenty ghost stores. These online-only e-commerce platforms were strategically hidden in locations central to the scent’s creation on Google Maps.

Disrupting Traditional API Use

Barbarian leveraged the power of Google Maps’ API to make the ghost stores accessible globally. This disrupted the typical use of APIs by online retailers, who are usually forced to display physical store locations. By utilizing Google Maps’ API creatively, Fenty Beauty was able to generate anticipation and fervor online.

Teasing the Ghost Stores

Barbarian executed a five-day teaser campaign on Fenty Beauty’s social channels, revealing one ghost store every day. This approach generated excitement and curiosity among the brand’s followers. The multi-sensory diary of the scent’s creation, featured in each store, allowed fans to immerse themselves in the process and experience intimate memories from the creator, Rihanna.

Interactive and Immersive Experience

The ghost stores provided an interactive and immersive experience for potential customers. Through tap-and-hold candlelight audio moments, the story of the scent was whispered into the listeners’ ears. This attention to detail and authentic storytelling broke the need-for-trial barrier, enticing customers to make a purchase without physically smelling the fragrance.

Limited-Edition Stock and Hype of the Hunt

Each ghost store offered limited-edition stock of the Fenty Eau De Parfum. The combination of the limited availability and the hype generated by the teaser campaign resulted in all the stock selling out within hours. This created a sense of exclusivity and urgency among customers, further driving the success of the fragrance launch.

Impressive Results

The innovative approach taken by Fenty Beauty and Barbarian yielded impressive results. The Fenty Beauty website, fentybeauty.com, sold out within hours of the fragrance launch. Additionally, the brand saw a significant increase in signups for future communications. Email signups increased by 800%, while text opt-ins saw a lift of 40%. These valuable touchpoints will enable Fenty Beauty to establish long-term connections with its customers.

Recognition at The Drum Awards

This groundbreaking campaign by Barbarian for Fenty Beauty’s fragrance launch received recognition at The Drum Awards. Barbarian won the Fashion, Health, Beauty or Luxury category and the Best New Product or Launch category at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries and Content 2022. Additionally, Barbarian secured the Best Sell-Side Innovation award at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising in the same year.


Fenty Beauty’s decision to take an innovative approach for the launch of its first fragrance, Fenty Eau De Parfum, paid off tremendously. By creating secret ghost stores and leveraging Google Maps’ API, the brand successfully established a direct relationship with its fans and generated excitement worldwide. The immersive experience and authentic storytelling captivated customers, leading to record-breaking sales and increased signups for future communications. Through this campaign, Fenty Beauty has once again proven its ability to disrupt the industry and cater to the diverse needs of its customers.

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