Rihanna - Business and Activism Through Her Media Platform

The world’s richest musician (with a $600M fortune) Robyn Rihanna Fenty, has evolved into a style icon and makeup entrepreneur—and soon she’ll be the first black woman in charge of a major luxury fashion house. Fenty Beauty has differentiated itself by being inclusive of all ethnicities, releasing 40 shades of foundation, far more than the handful of hues sold by other brands. “It challenged the standard convention that you only needed a very defined set of shades to satisfy a market,” says Stephanie Wissink, a research analyst at Jefferies. “Not only did Fenty Beauty achieve meaningful sales, but it potentially changed the industry permanently.”. The entire personal care industry in America has grown huge in recent years. According to Grand View Research, it could swell to more than $200 billion in sales by 2025, up from closer to $130 billion in 2016. The market saw a record 134 M&A deals last year, including P&G’s $250 million purchase of 10-year-old First Aid Beauty. Perhaps the most telling data point: 11 of the 80 women on Forbes‘ list of the Richest Self-Made Women made their money in beauty or skin care products. Many did what Rihanna did, turn to the low-cost marketing opportunity presented by social media. That works best for existing celebrities, as Kylie Jenner and her Kylie Cosmetics proved out, who can push their new products at their existing followers. Fenty Beauty reported $100 million in sales in its first few weeks, generating an est. $570 million in revenue in 2018, after only 15 months in business. The entire operation is worth, conservatively, more than $3 billion. Now, Rihanna calls her audience for unity while accepting the president's award at the 51st NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 22 in Pasadena, California. Her speech tells her audience to rise up and discuss social justice with their friends, because it’s their problem too. Using her platform for activism, philanthropy and business, Rihanna is increasing her following and making an impact, while benefiting her bottom line. She deserves it. 📸: Getty Images