Should brand owners be visible/available to customers?

In an ideal world, I’d love to see founders and key people in a brand visible to consumers, e.g. social media or in brand-produced videos (like ColourPop does). However, not all people are equipped to handle the feedback from consumers and can take things personally to the point where we’ve seen so many founders find themselves in PR debacles of their own making. As a customer, I like the additional insight, but if the founder goes off the rails, then it can really ruin a brand’s image/appeal for me.

— Christine
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I like having brand owners visible and causing their own scandals. I vote with my money, and this helps me avoid supporting people I have a strong disagreement with – i.e. Kat Von D, Lime Crime, and so on.

I also really enjoy seeing the creative process as well – Colourpop’s fan voted palette makes me really happy, for example!

I’m somewhat interested in what people are behind a brand. Dramas are not a good sign — to my view, if a CEO, brand lead goes off the rails PR-wise and otherwise mishandles responsibility of business leadership, then they’re likely unable to correctly fulfill my order, might have problems or attitude about reporting product ingredients, could have effect on customer service attitudes, etc.

So I’m just off a brand when this happens; there’s always somewhere else to go if I’m looking for something.

LOL, maybe not… There are some brands I will never buy from due to the owners being nasty or controversial in a bad way, such as Jeffrey Star, Lime Crime, Z palettes, Kat Von D, and of course, the Ks.

For the most part I think this seems to go over fairly well! I love seeing behind the scenes peeks and photo shoots for new products, it makes me feel a bit more connected to a brand! However, I can think of a couple brand owners off the top of my head who have outright lashed out at their customer base, used fake accounts to target individuals in comment sections, or show inappropriate behavior on snapchat in their warehouses where the merchandise is stored. Honestly it saves me money when I see behavior like this!

The trend of brand visibility just made me wish for more secrecy. It just feeds into unprofessional behavior and creates a gossip sphere similar to that surrounding movies and music.

I guess I really don’t want to know.
I want great products.
If you can give them to me, I don’t want to know what you are doing in your spare time.
Are you mean? Are you sweet?
Don’t care.
Can you make a foundation that looks great, wears well & doesn’t break me out?
Can you sell me a mascara that makes my lashes look long & full without smudging or flaking?
Does your eye shadow go on smooth & pigmented & make my eyes look gorgeous?
I want an eyeliner that makes my eyes look like the windows to my soul that they are supposed to be.
I want a lip color that makes me look pretty!
Produce these things at a reasonable price & keep the rest of your business to your own self.

No, I’m not really interested in brand owners and it seems like there’s only a downside of owners being public. Over time I have developed negative views of pretty much every brand owner who’s very vocal. I can’t think of any brand where their public image has made me more likely to have a positive view of the company.

Yay!

I like the idea of it but I think in the end it ruins it for me, because people are human and have personal lives. Never meet your heroes, don’t sit too close to the ballet; it ruins the illusion blah blah blah. I still am put off by a few brands because of how they mishandled product issues or personal drama they let fly on social media. Basically although entirely unrealistic, if you make eyeshadow palettes that I love, I really need you to be a decent human being with good coping, intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. Don’t let me down, Pat McGrath! ?

The products need to speak for themselves. I have no interest in the owners or their pronouncements. But I am really down on the whole celebrity thing.

I totally agree on this point as well, I purposely avoid purchasing their products. Except, I really like some Fenty products and some of the Victoria Beckham products from Estee Lauder. Does that make me a hypocrite?

So long as a company is responsible and well run, is producing safe products of sound quality, and has good customer service, I see absolutely no reason whatsoever for an owner or founder to have a public presence. There are, of course, those owners or founders who put themselves out there especially when marketing their eponymous brand, but that is their choice. In the case of owners and founders who do not want anything to do with the public spotlight, that, too, is their choice. Unless there is a compelling need to know, privacy should be respected. Curiosity isn’t good enough.

Visible, yes, an open book concerning their own personal life, no. It’s very nice to see the face(s) behind the brand, learn their backstory as to what it was that inspired them to get into the beauty product development and creation of their line. BUT; I do not believe that beauty brand owners ought to put their entire personal life out there. There is such a thing as having a “need to know” stance without divulging details to those (the general public) that we don’t need to know about! This is due to the fact that no human being is perfect, and as a direct result, some opinions and personal choices will be judged by others. And there are certainly many times when this is absolutely warranted. Therefore, it is far wiser and more prudent to keep one’s personal life/opinions on very sensitive or controversial topics PERSONAL. Especially so if one has thin skin!

I think I have mixed feeling about this as I would love to say, yes, a brand owner should be visible to their customers but sometimes our need for information is not a good thing. I am finding it difficult to separate fact from fiction in media today. Back in the day, newspapers, magazines, etc. at least made an attempt to deliver accurate news but so many media outlets are printing really erroneous information and that can be the death of a brand. High media exposure can lead to all sorts of issues for the brand owner that aren’t even related to them being morally corrupt human beings. I know of a wonderful woman who has a live feed on YT for her cat rescue. A fan became obsessed and over the course of a year or so, started stalking her. She had to get a TRO against him. There are a lot of really sick individuals out there and I am not sure high media coverage is a good thing.
I just want good products. Keep personal issues, politics, racism, sexism, and all other isms out of it and just deliver what you say you will.

There are big brands like Chanel & co whose owners we will never get to see and frankly there’s no point in them being visible/available to the customers. For smaller brands, where the owner is also the creative director, the situation is a bit different but the info I want to see/read concerns the products and not them personally.

For me, a “good product” means more than a product that blends well/ nice packaging/smells good. It means, among other things, quality ingredients, ingredient sourcing and manufacturing.

I would like to know about the vision behind the collections/products, to see more detailed information about the ingredients (i.e. skincare: % of active ingredients, strength) and more transparency about the ingredient sourcing and manufacturing process. For example, I want to see more than just “eyeshadow palette made with domestic and imported ingredients”. Which is the source (country(ies)) for those imported ingredients? Are they free of heavy metals and contaminants or am I putting these ones on my eyes/skin every day? I prefer to buy products from brands that are transparent/self-conscious about all of the above.

I enjoy when You Tubers sit down with owners/founders/creative persons behind the brands (i.e. Caroline Hirons, Stephanie Nicole) or when they are doing in depth reviews of the brands. I love this informative content, which is very rare unfortunately, because it educates the consumer and goes behind the artificial level of “Omg I need this new shiny object because is new and shiny”.

Only if they can stay professional. An owner’s behavior and decisions can turn me off. I never have and never will support Lime Crime, JS, and Juvia’s Place because of the owners and now KVD’s recent decisions have turned me off from her brand as well. I find owners can very easily do more harm then good.

In a way, yes. Years ago I dropped Kat Von D from my vanity due to statements she had made that were…well, they were quite offensive. I did not want my money to support someone with views such as hers. And I want to know who is profiting on my purchases. I want their ethics and values to align with mine.

I try very hard to be a conscious consumer. When the brand owner is made publicly available, I can see if their ideals align with mine. I don’t want the secondhand embarrassment of having Jeffree Star on my vanity, for example, because it says I’m willing to look past how he conducts himself.

I totally agree with you Sarah. Exactly!
I’d like to have the option of knowing who the artist really is, cares for, whether products used are to be trusted especially in skin care but otherwise too it is important. A bit of knowledge on the individual would be great.
I will not drop a penny, purchase or display any item from JS on my dresser, I need to check out on these other ones I know nothing about.

I don’t care who makes products as long as they’re great quality, and I don’t have a need to see/hear them. I think that some of the recent “debacles” have been due less to owners’ errors than for people looking to be offended. There are exceptions, of course (Jeffree Star and Brandon Truaxe, I’m looking at you), but the huge blowups over a couple of MAC collections were just silly. Everyone has the right to their opinion and to spend their dollars as they wish, but I’d rather do ten minutes of research on a company than have the owner perpetually in my face on social media, store displays, etc.

Transparency can be helpful. The most important issue is the products, what they consist of, because that is what I am putting on my body, If I feel I do not agree with the values of the person at the helm of the company then I will choose not to purchase from that particular company.

No I don’t think they should be too visible or available to their customers because it could easily distract them from the main business at hand – producing excellent quality cosmetics at a reasonable price. A little bit about their history and philosphy is welcome, but other than that I prefer their brand to do the talking.

In general, I’m a very nosy person and I like to know the backstory and inspiration behind the things in my life whenever possible. I like to know what makes people and things tick and not in just in the beauty industry. That’s why I have degrees in psychology and sociology even though I don’t really use that knowledge in work. I feel like it adds a special element and almost a purposefulness to choosing products. And I do like to vote with my money. If I know a manufacturer is bankrolling something I have strong beliefs against I won’t spend my money on their products. If I know a company supports causes that are dear to my heart I will be much more likely to buy their products. I won’t buy perfume from Dolce & Gabbana even though I love Light Blue because of some pretty awful things that Gabbana has said over the years. I’ve purchased Kat Von D makeup in the past before I read about some of her more controversial statements and I won’t throw my things out, but I also won’t buy from her again.

This seems to be largely generational, and I know there are always people who will jump in, tell their age, and why they are the exception. Yes, there are exceptions. But it seems, reading here, that the younger consumer, the ones who have grown up in a sharing generation, seem overall to prefer it. It does tie a person to the brand, and some people like to buy from someone who they admire and/or support. Those from a generation that didn’t post pics of their meals and share their every thought tend to think that a CEO or creator shouldn’t have a public persona. Being in the middle, I don’t really care either way, but if the owner/CEO does have a twitter or insta, I’ll probably follow if I like the brand.

Lol! @ pictures of meals. Love to see a huge steak sticking out of the plate. Gosh! I cannot stand some friends in fb who love to show what they swallow no matter how fancy it may be. I have a thing with that. ??‍♀️
I fall under rather buy from someone I can trust and share similar views with. No drama, disputes, ugly media following a brand. Peace & harmony! Lol!

I’m uninterested in the daily lives, food photos, etc of brand owners. BUT…if a brand I like was created from one person’s vision and for whatever reason it moved under someone else’s direction, I’d appreciate knowing something about that new person’s POV. This would include Stila, Jo Malone now, a few others. As much as I loved the early Kevyn Aucoin products, the total lack of transparency by the brand’s current creative team has held me back from buying anything in the product line.

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