Beauty trends are constantly changing. Skincare is booming and every other day there is a new hype around a certain brand, ingredient or look.
But it’s not only the trends which are changing – over the last decades we witnessed a fundamental shift in the way trends are born. Consumers are not just a passive target group anymore but play an integral and active part in successful marketing strategies.
The value of authenticity
With the enhancement of the internet as an interactive medium, non-professionals were not just able to quickly source information on developments in beauty but also to share their own opinions on trends with a growing audience. Beauty blogging soon became really popular in the early 2000s and its own content category on the internet.
When technology and Social Media further advanced YouTube and Instagram became the most important platforms for beauty content. Even though many brands and retailers joined the hype and utilized these channels for their marketing they generated only a fraction of the traffic compared to vloggers and influencer as, in the eyes of the viewer, they were lacking the essence of what had popularized user generated content in the first place: authenticity. Before purchasing a product, beauty consumers were now able to view product reviews by people that were just like them and had a similar skin tone, budget or lifestyle.
With audiences becoming more interested in skincare, they also became keen to look up background information on ingredients and formulations. And with this increase in interest in skincare, dermatologists and cosmetic formulators who dedicated their Social Media accounts to educating consumers on the scientific side of skincare gained more attention and followers.
In the last two years we also witnessed a huge shift at the core of Social Media. With TikTok entering the stage not only did the video reclaim its top spot among formats, the real revolution lies in TikTok’s algorithm which doesn’t distribute content based on followers but on the users’ interaction with content. And user interact more with content that corresponds with their actual lives. If someone e.g. shares their honest skin condition journey, showing what their skin actually looks like, trying different products, failing and standing up again, losing and regaining hope, the bad feelings that come with the condition and the good feelings that finally finding a solution brings, people can empathize and relate and get encouraged to share their own stories.
For a long time, followers were the most valuable currency for content creators while we can now see a tendency where it is the quality of the content that decides if a post goes viral or not. The users decide what ‘quality content’ means and authenticity is, again, something the audience values highly.top
Demanding responsible actions – practice what you preach
In the past the power of the consumer was limited to their decision of purchasing a product or not but today they are way more powerful and increasingly start to realize it. They are no longer a passive target of marketing campaigns. Before purchasing a product, many consumers will do their research on it, read information provided by the brand but also reviews by other consumers. Some will also share whether they liked a product or not on their Social Media channels, comment their opinions, ask questions and even suggest product improvements and innovations. It is important to communicate openly and authentically about ingredients, sourcing and what exactly a product is going to do. But brand strategies need to go beyond product marketing.
At the beginning of the millennium environmental activists were still considered quirky but a lot has changed in the last twenty years. How the actions of humanity had and have major impact on climate change is now considered a scientific fact by many people and not acknowledging those facts cannot longer be attributed to lack of access to information, so not acting environmentally responsible is considered ignorant and careless behavior.
Especially young consumers tend to choose sustainable products when making a purchase decision. It is our responsibility as an industry to provide these options. Brands who take sustainable actions in production and supply chains will not only contribute to fighting climate change but will also be rewarded by consumers. And it is a chance to not just provide your customer with the benefits of your product but also with the feeling of doing something good for themselves and for our planet.
But consumers want brands to act responsibly in other aspects of society, too. Our society is diverse and people want to see this diversity reflected in media and marketing. Representation and inclusion are very important to create a society in which everyone can thrive and be happy and we can only make the world a better place if we work together and take actions toward a better future. Watching from the sideline is no longer an option and so is not practicing what you preach as e.g. the recent criticism of the UEFA’s stance on LGBTQ+ support vividly illustrated.top
Being part of the solution - opportunities for brands
Globalization has entered people’s minds and we know very well that the purchasing decision we make at our local drugstore has an impact on our environment and on the people who produce the products in a different part of the world. Everything is connected and consumers begin to realize that they have the power to initiate significant changes. Brands who acknowledge the empowerment of the consumer have the chance to become part of positive transformations.
More and more brands refer to their customers as their community signaling that successful marketing and even product development is no longer one-sided but the result of a stimulating and coequal dialogue between brands and consumers.
This development is a great opportunity for brands. They no longer have to rely solely on market research, even though research is still important, but now they also have the chance to directly ask their communities what they expect from products and marketing. This may sound easy but it is certainly not as consumers are very demanding, especially in an industry that is so rapidly changing and innovative as the cosmetics industry. Accountability, authenticity and transparency are must-have core values for every brand that wants to build a strong connection with their customers, and brands need reliable partners who share these values and support them in important decisions like ingredient selection, product development, technical documentation, supply chain management and claim development.
For a cosmetic product to be successful it has to keep what it promises. At CLR, efficacy is at the center of every product development, proven by in vitro and in vivo studies. All our products are highly effective, safe and natural. Our corporate ethics as well as our actions for more sustainable practices are comprehensively documented and certified.
Trends will always come and go, but efficacy, accountability, reliability and authenticity will always be what consumers value most and ensure healthy and lasting consumer loyalty.top