GlossiSHARE: How a Company Went from Selling Blush to Being the Cool-Girl’s Best Friend Open Access

Mazzocco, Abigayle (Spring 2023)

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In my research, I examine how storytelling, branding, and language create community identification within the digital brand Glossier and what online participation does for the brand’s culture. I do this by looking at three pivotal moments in the company’s lifetime: the creation of the business, the brand’s first brick-and-mortar store, and the brand’s most influential time on social media. In these three moments, Glossier has developed its own branded narrative and created a distinctly loyal community. By analyzing these three moments, I examine the constructed relationship between a consumer and a company. Shopping at Glossier is both about buying a tangible item and entering an immersive experience. 

My thesis combines studies in marketing, sociology, theology, and the digital humanities to better understand the distinct nature of the brand’s community in terms of marketing strategy. I use semiotics to (1) break down the visual/linguistic rhetoric and the symbols in Glossier’s Instagram posts and (2) focus on symbols utilized in Glossier stores. 

This research is needed for (1) the increase in use of social media and (2) desire among Millennials and Generation Z to belong to a community. Glossier has successfully developed and implemented a distinct narrative surrounding the brand that consumers have latched onto when developing their own personal brand. My thesis examines the strategies used to create community within Glossier and reveal the brand’s close ties to people’s personal identity. The results reveal the increasing desire for community among Millennials and Generation Z and analyze how this desire translates to an increase in brand loyalty. This analysis provides a deeper understanding of the narrative of a specific brand and how a consumer correlates their identity with this brand.

Table of Contents

Chapter I: Page 8

Chapter II: Page 23

Chapter III: Page 42

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