Imagine this…

You just got off a call with one of your best friends. 

She started medical school and was venting about her crazy schedule.

As a single mom going to school full-time and working part-time, she’s feeling super overwhelmed.

You’re so proud of her for toughing it out and want to get her a little gift to lift her spirits.

You think back to your call to see if there’s anything specific you could get that would really help her out right now.

“Oh yeah!” you think, “She complained about feeling frumpy and asked if I had any tips on a no-fuss morning routine.”

As you think about your potential options, you open up your phone and start scrolling through TikTok.

The perfect gift idea lands right in your digital lap.

You see an advertisement from a beauty brand that talks about how they’re on a mission to take the fuss out of getting ready. Their products are super unique: they have a pen that serves as eyeliner, lip liner, brow pencil, and highlighter.

You picture her throwing the pen in her bag in the morning without having to worry about grabbing 10 other things.

You put it in your cart and checkout.

How did this brand turn you from a cold lead to a customer within a few minutes?

In today’s special edition of Why We Buy, we’re analyzing an eCommerce company to see how they use buyer psychology principles to stand out in a crowded market.

This week, we’re diving into Alleyoop.

Let’s get into it.

“Top Marketing Newsletters You Need to Subscribe To”

A Look Inside Alleyoop 🤑

Alleyoop, an eCommerce makeup brand, lives in a crowded market.

In just the United States, there are 95,192 beauty, cosmetics, and fragrance businesses.

To come onto the beauty scene is a brave move that only the boldest entrepreneurs are willing to make.

But, if you can do it right: there’s a fortune to be found.

In 2021, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty made about $206 million dollars. Fenty Beauty, founded by pop singer Rihanna, is estimated to bring in $650 million in annual revenue. 

No wonder almost 100,000 brands (reminder: in just the U.S.!) are vying for a slice of that pie.

That’s why Alleyoop knew they had to differentiate themselves. So they started with a simple question: why should customers have to buy 3 different shades of lipstick or 4 separate brushes?

Alleyoop differentiated itself by putting three shades of lipstick in one product and putting four different brushes on one handle. They promised speed and efficiency above all else by saying, “It’s time to take your time back.”

They knew they had what a specific group of customers were looking for.

Next, they needed to focus on lead generation. Using Black Crow AI, Alleyoop created bigger and more targeted Facebook audiences that led to:

  • A 50% incremental increase in sales
  • 55% more revenue
  • 10% higher ROAS

If Alleyoop can succeed in the mega-competitive beauty market, they’re definitely doing some smart stuff.

Turns out… they’re doing A LOT of smart stuff.

How Alleyoop Uses Buyer Psychology 🧠

Alleyoop knew they couldn’t come to the beauty scene and wing it. It seems like every celebrity in the world is spinning off a beauty brand these days.

They’d need to stand out and create a brand presence that magnetized customers their way.

But, how do you ACTUALLY do that?

Whether or not you’re in the eCommerce space, you can take notes on how Alleyoop uses buyer psychology to stand out in a highly competitive industry.


The trend in beauty these days is to have a 20-step routine. If your makeup bag isn’t bursting at the seams, you must be doing something wrong.

Unlike these retailers pushing for more products, Alleyoop is taking a different approach.

Their USP (unique selling proposition) focuses on speed and efficiency. They think eyeshadow should double as eyeliner, 3 lip colors should come in one package, and your eyeliner, lip liner, brow pencil, AND highlighter should live in one travel-sized pen.

Instead of pushing more products onto their customers like the majority of their competition, Alleyoop pushes the idea of efficiency. They differentiate themselves from everybody else through their mission and product.

Color Psychology

When buyers search for makeup brands, they’re used to seeing something like this. This is Sephora’s website…

Embrace delegation

For those who aren’t familiar with makeup brands, Sephora is one of the largest beauty retailers in the world. They have their own products and they also sell products from other beauty brands. 

Sephora’s brand colors are black and white and they use plenty of bright colors that pop on the page.

It’s very different than Alleyoop’s website…

Embrace delegation

Alleyoop uses pastels that feel airy and stand out from what bigger retailers in the beauty space are doing. While these retailers favor bold colours (like black and Revlon red), Alleyoop taps into the positive association people have with lighter colors. 

As Shutterstock points out, “You can use pastels to evoke feelings of springtime, growth, childhood, playfulness, femininity, laughter, and games. Pastels are also associated with cleanliness and freshness…”

That description sounds exactly like the feeling Alleyoop wants buyers to feel when they’re interacting with Alleyoop’s brand.

Authority Bias

Alleyoop plays heavily into Authority Bias with the list of household names they share on their homepage. Notice how they share names like Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Allure right after their header section?

It’s clear that Alleyoop doesn’t want buyers to have to work to find these authoritative names in the beauty industry. They want these names to be one of the first experiences buyers have with Alleyoop driving the narrative that this is a recognized brand.

Embrace delegation


Not sure what product to buy first from Alleyoop? Just choose from their top sellers to feel confident that you’re choosing the right product.

Alleyoop knows they have a lot of SKUs and they don’t want to create a difficult choice architecture for their buyers.

To avoid confusing people and losing sales, Alleyoop shares top sellers as one of the first sections of their landing page to show what other people are loving from the brand. Instead of having to guess what other people buy from Alleyoop, they do the hard work for you.

Embrace delegation

Thinking About Your Business 🤔

Alleyoop wasn’t scared to go to bat in a competitive market.

Instead, they realized they’d have to play the game differently. They’d have to stand out and they’d need to connect with buyers on a deeper level.

They needed buyer psychology to get attention and make people feel confident choosing Alleyoop products.

How can you stand out in a competitive market? By answering these questions.

Q: What subtle cues are buyers getting from your branding?

Ask people completely unrelated to your business and products how your branding makes them feel. Don’t look for them to tell you what you do or who you do it for. Just focus on the emotions your brand evokes. Take the average answers and figure out if it’s time to update your branding to be sleeker, friendlier, bolder, etc.

Q: How can you differentiate your mission and products from everybody else’s?

A.k.a, how can you zag while everybody else zigs? If everyone in your industry is touting a specific belief, you’ll blend into the crowd. Choose a mission that aligns with a differing perspective and build your products around it to stand out in a crowded space.

Q: How can you make customers feel more confident in their purchase?

Your customers want to know they’re not the first (unless it’s your Mom, in which case she’s thrilled to be your first buyer). Show them that the herd loves your brand and products through top sellers, testimonials, and adding shout-outs of authorities who use your product to your marketing channels.

The Short of It 💥

You can succeed in competitive markets.

But, it won’t happen accidentally.

Tap into psychology to strategize how to make your brand stand out from the crowd. Then, reach only the buyers most likely to make a purchase through Black Crow AI.

Build predictive audiences for retargeting and prospecting that make your campaigns feel like less of a shot in the dark and more like a bullseye. 🎯

Until next time, happy selling.



Wanna really get inside your buyer’s head?

There are a few ways I can help:

  1. Get explosive clarity about what works with buyers by learning how to conduct 1:1 Clarity Calls (2000+ happy students)
  2. *NEW* Learn how to mine online reviews from real buyers to generate ideas and copy that converts (250+ happy students)
  3. Book a 1:1 strategy call with Katelyn and get the answers you need to get unstuck and move forward with confidence

Written By Katelyn

Katelyn Bourgoin is the CEO of Customer Camp, a 4X founder, and a cheese lover. She lives by a simple mantra: whoever gets closer to the customer wins.

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