Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Beauty, Wits, and “Woke Marketing”: Find out how this businesswoman uses her beauty brands to usher in positive change! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]

July 11, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:


How was your weekend? We hope you had a great one.

Let’s start the week with a dose of motivation. Every Monday, we talk about “Marketing Marvels,” or outstanding people in the business and marketing industries. In these articles, we highlight their contributions, experiences, and insights as great business leaders, marketers, etc.

Today, we’ll talk about a Filipina CEO who’s using her platform to usher in positive change in the society.

Read on to know how this “Marvel” forged her way to success and how she’s using her business to empower thousands of consumers in the Philippines.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Marketing Marvels

Have you heard the term, “Woke Marketing?”

“Woke” is a word used to describe someone who is aware of social and political issues. When applied to advertising and marketing, this refers to strategies used by brands to tackle certain concerns, such as injustice or discrimination.

[Disclaimer: Some commentators consider “woke” as an offensive term with negative associations to those who tackle political or social issues in a disparaging context. While the term is inherently not an insult, it has been weaponized in recent years to criticize people—particularly those in authority.

However, in this article, we’ll be using “woke” positively to show how it helped a beauty brand stand out with a unique identity.]

Here’s one of the brands that unexpectedly used woke marketing due to its CEO’s viral tweet in 2020:

Colourette Cosmetics!

Photo from Rappler

Colourette Cosmetics is a Filipino beauty brand specializing in affordable, multi-use makeup products. The company believes its products are for everyone, regardless of their gender, age, occupation, ethnicity, etc.

Simply said, Colourette is all about embracing and expressing oneself. As its tagline states:

#BeautyInAllWays, always!

Redefining the Beauty Industry in the Philippines

Colourette is more than just a homegrown makeup brand. It is also known for creating a generation of “woke buyers,” or consumers who are well aware of various issues that are happening in the country.

In fact, the brand itself is heavily involved in fighting for several causes such as animal rights, gender equality, and more.

… and where did Colourette get that trait?

From its one and only Founder and CEO, Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera!

Photo from Ayala Malls

Cabrera is a 27-year-old entrepreneur who owns Colourette Cosmetics and its sister skincare brand, Fresh Formula. She is commonly recognized as a social media savvy businesswoman who established two of the politically and socially aware brands in the Philippines.

… but did you know that Cabrera had an unconventional path to forge her own business success?

Unlike other business owners who successfully set up their own brands with the help of their degree in business, marketing, or any other course related to those fields, Cabrera didn’t get a college degree.

She studied 3 different college courses—Nursing, Accountancy, and Marketing—but none of those truly piqued her interest. Despite that, her entrepreneurial mindset pushed her to keep hustling and eventually build her own empire.

From a Non-degree Holder to the Ultimate “Boss Babe”

After coming to a conclusion that college was “not for her,” Cabrera decided to set up her own business. At first, she was simply selling soap scraps in 2013. When she saw that her start-up business was gaining momentum, she began collaborating with some beauty product manufacturers and ventured out to sell her own formula with the name, Fairness and Flawless.

Soon enough, she started acquiring dealers and resellers of her soap products. She also took that opportunity to expand her offerings by selling lotions, facial sets, and more.

In 2015, Cabrera thought of adding cosmetics to her product line and so she founded Colourette by Fairness and Flawless. It was only supposed to be a sub-brand but because many consumers bought her beauty products due to their multi-use features, particularly the lip tints, she decided to branch out and create Colourette Cosmetics.

The skincare products she used to sell under Fairness and Flawless are now under Fresh Formula, Colourette’s sister brand.

Today, Cabrera has her own office with 70+ employees who help her out in her businesses’ daily operations.

Colourette Cosmetics and Woke Marketing

Aside from hiring endorsers to advertise her products, Cabrera uses her own social media platforms to expand Colourette’s reach.

Who would’ve thought that in November 2020, social media would become a turning point for her and her brand?

Here’s what happened then…

November 12, 2020 was supposed to be the day when lots of businesses were focused on fulfilling orders after the 11.11 sale. However, Typhoon Ulysses happened. With heavy rains and strong winds, plus the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of Filipinos in devastated areas were left crying out for help.

Being the opinionated, vocal, and socially aware person that she is, Cabrera went to Twitter and demanded accountability from government leaders.

Here’s the thing: Instead of receiving support, Cabrera received a lot of hate.

… and how was an ultimate boss babe supposed to respond at that time?

In the case of Cabrera, rather than taking back what she said and apologizing for her tweet, she chose to defy the goody two shoes image businesses have to maintain to prosper!

Using woke marketing, she engaged with her bashers online, continued promoting her products, and raised awareness about her donation drive.

The result?

In just 4 days, she earned PHP 1.6 million from her bestselling Colourtints! That amount was then donated to the victims of Typhoon Ulysses.

This event silenced Cabrera’s bashers and helped her gain additional “woke” customers.

Clearly, the lady boss knew how to turn things to her brand’s favor by unleashing her social media skills!

Wow, this was truly a game-changer in the definition of real beauty in the Philippines—beauty not only on the outside but also on the inside!

As Cabrera said:

“My brands (Colourette and Fresh Formula) are some of the few politically and socially aware brands in the country, and I’d like to nurture that even more. Not for the monetary gains but for the impact and the influence it can have on our audience.”

A round of applause for Cabrera, her Colourette Cosmetics, and her unplanned woke marketing strategy!

One of the things you can learn from Cabrera and her beauty brands is the importance of having a voice, and making sure your values and principles as a business owner or leader are reflected in your brand.

These characteristics will give your brand a unique identity and a sense of direction for all your business and marketing initiatives.

Think about this: As a business or marketing leader, your team and other subordinates will follow your lead. So, it’s important that you know the things and values that you stand for.

We hope you’re inspired by Cabrera’s journey as a young businesswoman!

Keep in mind that your character as a brand leader makes a HUGE impact on your entire company. It enables you to contribute to a positive change in society and empower others to live out their dreams too.

“One thing that we do to appeal to millennials and Gen Zs is to make sure that our brand voice is one that resonates with them. On top of that, we create content that goes along with current trends. We’d create all types of content, whether it’s a fashion trend or it’s a meme, we’ll do it! We’re also a brand that isn’t afraid to take a stance on societal issues, so that’s also something that resonates.”
– Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera, Founder and CEO of Colourette Cosmetics

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”

Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.

… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.

The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.

What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?

At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.

Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.

However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.

We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.

Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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