The business of beauty is currently valued at $532 billion, and that number is only growing.
The industry has undergone a bit of metamorphosis in recent years. We’ve witnessed the explosion of direct-to-consumer brands, like Glossier and Kylie Cosmetics. Beauty influencers have become household names. And there’s been a huge push for inclusivity, sustainability, and transparency.
These trends have really shifted how shoppers (namely, millennial and Gen Z buyers) go through their purchase journeys. And brands that fail to keep up with consumers’ expectations will struggle to compete with brands that do.
We’ve compiled five ideas that beauty marketers should keep in mind when crafting campaigns. Here they are.
1. Give the people what they want: Transparency.
People are more conscious than ever before about things that may negatively affect their bodies and the environment. Beauty buyers want products that are ethically-sourced and that contain harmless or natural ingredients.
“Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to transparency-minded customers who want to know where our products come from and how they are made,” said analysts from EDITED in a report cited by Business Insider. “No longer can beauty giants get away with wheeling unsubstantiated claims as they once did, and brands are properly doing their research in respect for their wised-up customers.”
What does this mean for you?
Consumers are on the hunt for lists of ingredients, how products were tested, and companies’ sustainable practices. So, make that information as easily accessible as possible. If your products are cruelty-free, display that bunny icon proudly in your marketing materials. Do what you can to highlight the good in your products.
It’s going to pay off. Beauty consumers tend to be loyal to brands that they’ve tried in the past. But, a study from media platform Teads found that two-thirds of consumers said they would be interested in trying new products from other brands if they are natural. And, 59% agreed that they would try new products if the ingredients were clean.
2. Embrace people of all backgrounds.
There’s a reason why everyone went insane when Rihanna launched her Fenty Beauty line in 2017. Right off the bat, the brand offered 40 different shades of foundation and its marketing materials reflected that by featuring diverse models.
Teads uncovered that 37% of beauty buyers feel underrepresented in beauty ads. This is particularly the case among African-American millennials as more than half feel excluded from the beauty narrative.
On top of that, the rise of influencer culture has given rise to makeup artists who identify as male. We are seeing people like James Charles and Manny Gutierrez who have millions of Instagram followers influence the way we think about makeup.
It’s clear: People of all backgrounds and demographics are playing a role in driving this $500+ billion industry. So, in order to stay relevant, beauty marketers must be inclusive in their materials. Consumers absolutely notice when brands are embracing diversity and they welcome it.
3. Keep the “Try before you buy” mentality top of mind.
Every beauty buyer knows it’s a major risk to buy before you try.
This makes a great case for augmented reality. AR gives consumers a chance to try makeup on virtually and get an idea of what they could look like with their new products. An Ipsos study found that U.S. shoppers would be inclined to buy products like false eyelashes, nail polish, and artificial nails after testing virtually.
However, for products like foundation, hair dye, and concealer – consumers told Ipsos that AR is not likely to sway their purchase decisions. This is the perfect opportunity to encourage shoppers to go in-store and interact with these products in person. Omnichannel campaigns that include store locations, hours, and inventory levels will come in handy here.
4. Share your “why.”
The growth of direct-to-consumer brands in the beauty industry has really been led by female founders. Social media gives us behind-the-scenes looks of what inspires Emily Weiss of Glossier and what drives Kim Kardashian West of KKW Beauty. Consumers find this type of content relatable.
“Sharing your story and explaining why your brand is important — that’s big right now, especially in an industry that primarily targets women but is run by men,” said Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group, in a Yahoo article. “I think this movement — around more female-founded brands — is going to continue and hopefully, change things for the better.”
What’s the takeaway? People want to know the story. Campaigns that highlight the founder of the company or feature behind-the-scenes snapshots of team members innovating will go a long way.
5. Remind them that they get it from their mama.
There’s no doubt that beauty influencers are having a moment. A Rakuten Marketing study from this year found that 56% of women follow beauty influencers.
However, when it comes to trust – there’s one figure that pulls a bit more weight. Ipsos discovered that moms are the most influential in shaping people’s beauty routines.
So, don’t just save the mom marketing messages for Mother’s Day. There are many opportunities to feature mother-daughter user-generated content or have people submit the best beauty advice they got from a female relative. Get creative in encouraging people to share just how beautiful their mama is.