How Fohr x Sephora Built the Biggest and Most Diverse Beauty Ambassador Program in the World

How it Began

The brief was simple: Create a best in class influencer management program with experiences that create Sephora love, reinforce the role Sephora plays in beauty, and make participants feel special for being chosen. With this goal in mind, the team set out to use both custom technology built by Fohr and strategy to build a one-of-a-kind-industry-changing ambassador program.

From its inception, Sephora has partnered with Fohr to support their community, program, and tech management, utilizing Fohr’s SaaS product and a custom-built application vetting tool to find influencers with real brand love for Sephora. Ultimately, the partnership helps Sephora find influencers who have been traditionally underrepresented in the beauty space, and who also represent their their brand values of inclusivity, individuality, positivity, and belonging.

First launched in 2019, the Sephora Squad became immediately synonymous with best-in-class influencer marketing — a program befitting the global prestige retailer. Armed with Sephora’s global purpose to create a welcoming beauty shopping experience and inspire fearlessness in their community, the Fohr team embarked on a mission to discover talent with an unmatched authentic passion for Sephora.

The last five years, Sephora and Fohr’s partnership set the standard with a best-in-class ambassador and influencer marketing program, known by anyone with an interest in prestige beauty, fearless creatives, or wildly curious experimenters as Sephora Squad.

"We all want to be a part of the Sephora Squad for as long as we can. We want to know what we can do to grow and improve as a beauty professional for Sephora and a creator. It's such an amazing opportunity and there is fear and nerves around losing momentum and how to become a part of Alumni. Some of us talk about this because we're so ride or die for Sephora."

- Sephora Squad Member

Sephora Squad

The Sephora Squad is a year-long paid partnership designed to work with influencers with varied reach, identities, and backgrounds across emerging and established platforms. The program is unique in its approach to talent, relying on proprietary technology that both verifies influencer reach and easily allows Sephora to vet thousands of applications at scale.

Program Architecture

1.

Unearth, empower, celebrate and uplift the most authentic and inspiring voices in beauty

2.

Implement the values of diversity, representation, authenticity, education, and community

3.

Build a program with education-based programming, a frequent feedback loop, detail and due diligence, & operational rigor

Three Focus Areas

Strategic Awareness

  • Of direct Sephora initiatives
  • Of Sephora brands and promotions
  • Of boundary pushing initiatives and marketing efforts

Community Building

  • Expanded from "traditional" influencer
  • Amplifying diverse storytellers
  • Inclusive of nano to macro influencers + content creators

Premium Quality

  • Content for organic usage
  • Content for paid media campaigns and sales initatives
  • 360 Content Approach (Twitch, YT, Events, Newsletters, IG, TT, Pinterest, etc)
51,308*

Applicants

1,170,633*

Testimonials

80,400*

Instagram posts

464.6M*

TikTok hashtag views

Single Brand Campaigns

Tapping Sephora Squad members for brand campaigns outside of direct Sephora programming has developed the members into experts, spread content across multiple beauty verticals, grown community and brand fans for those products stocked at Sephora.

High Quality Assets

In turn, these brands have developed: high quality asset bank of content that can diversify their social platforms, built their own brand ambassadors, and reached new audiences outside of the influencer groups they’ve historically tapped into.

5 Years and Counting...

The Fohr team was tasked with continuing to innovate the program to entice a large variety of beauty lovers to apply, within constraints set by a standard of excellence. Ultimately, the Sephora team needed bespoke technology to evaluate, vet, authenticate and approve thousands of applicants quickly. They aimed to reach people who genuinely were passionate about and wanted to work with Sephora while honing in on individuals who would drive meaningful relationships for the full year.

The team at Fohr not only designed and executed a North American campaign to support the 3rd year launch but also introduced proprietary technology solutions to easily identify elements of authenticity such as verified reach. Applicants were also asked to gather testimonials from their followers to validate their influence, brand loyalty, and genuine capacity to handle a coveted role in the Sephora Squad.

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