Consumer Trends: How to Dazzle Beauty Enthusiasts with your Brand

October 10, 2018 - 18 minute read

Brands operating in the beauty industry are experts in adding glitz and glamour to their products. And so they must, to stay popular through shifting beauty trends.

Don’t believe beauty trends change that much? Just look at the evolution of the ‘perfect ‘brow’ for women: from the pencil-line-thin eyebrows of the early 00s to the boy-brows of icons such as Cara Delevingne in more recent years.

Then there’s the widening acceptance of makeup as a perfectly normal part of the beauty regime for men. As such, the beauty market is also growing, with more and more men taking the time to indulge in pampering processes.

Unlike the trusty concealer you call upon day in, day out, the beauty industry shows very little sign of running out, with the UK’s beauty and personal care industry growing from a total value of €14.5bn in 2017 to €15.3bn this year.

In fact, the growing appeal of beauty products, across innumerable demographics, is reflected in the prediction that by 2022 the average Brit will spend £487 annually on health and beauty products. The same report by GlobalData predicts that this sector will be the fastest growing in the UK over this time period.

In an industry that shifts and grows so significantly each season, let alone every year, beauty brands need to stay abreast of the key changes and constantly on the hunt for the next niche that might just have us all dousing our hair in glitter, using our morning coffee as a body scrub or moisturising with kale in the coming months.

With the variety of demographics increasingly invested in the industry, it’s important to understand the behaviours and attitudes that unite them, as well as the main purchase drivers for your most important consumer segments.

To help, we surveyed 1000 beauty enthusiasts (those consistently spending over £30 per month within the beauty market), to dive into their similarities as a group and the differences within each subset of consumer.

Read on to learn how to successfully market to this unique segment, by better understanding their wider interests and behaviours, as well as their buying habits and brand awareness in the market.

 

Interests and Behaviours

 

Media habits

What personality traits and behaviours set beauty enthusiasts apart from the wider population, and how can brands tailor their messaging for this unique opportunity?

Beauty enthusiasts are flicking straight through newspapers and websites to the Showbiz & Lifestyle sections. 38.4% of consumers voted these as the news stories they’re most interested in. You’d be least likely to find them spending time in the Opinion (5.6%) or Politics (6%) sections of the daily papers.

For males, the second most popular news stories are Sports, with 21.6% of the vote, after Showbiz & Lifestyle (25.9%). Meanwhile for females, once they’re done with the Showbiz section (45.2%) they might move on to the Family & Education section (15.2%). Age as a demographic filter has very little impact on the preferred news stories.


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Similar to the other consumer segments we’ve indexed, Facebook reigns supreme over all other social media platforms, with 40.8% of consumers voting this as their most used social channel. The most popular beauty account operating on Facebook, Eisenberg Paris, has almost 20 million followers on the social platform. Clearly Facebook provides a sizeable marketing opportunity for beauty brands, especially those targeting older generations (such as Eisenberg Paris do), as 69.3% of those aged 40 or over voted Facebook as their most used social platform.

Instagram comes in in 2nd place with 26.9% of the vote. A whole sub-industry of Instagram beauty influencers has sprung up in recent years, with Zoella at the helm as one of the most-followed and highest paid influencers. With over 10 million followers, the British influencer reportedly earns £12,000 from each post she adds to the picture sharing platform.

Male beauty bloggers, vloggers and influencers are helping to break down the stigma around male makeup use, providing the male representation in beauty advertising that some of the big brands lack or are just starting to adopt. Rivalling Zoella’s figures, James Charles racks up 8.2m Instagram followers, proving that the male makeup industry is a popular sector amongst the public.

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Beauty-Specific Habits and Interests

When it comes to beauty brands and products, where is it that the most market-aware consumers are looking? There’s an added sense, with this segment of the population, that they will be hyper aware of how things look, since they’re so invested in an industry based largely on image, so it’s doubly important to make sure your branding is catching their eyes. After all, if your products aren’t beautiful enough to engage their attention, it’s unlikely consumers will have much faith that they’re going to beautify their appearance.

There are many ways to stand out now as a makeup brand, with a wide variety of themes or looks appearing on our shelves. Whether your brand aims at minimal like Glossier, sleek and professional like Mac, punky like Urban Decay, or glamorously overblown like Charlotte Tilbury, it needs to be aesthetically appealing. And while there’s plenty of choice in how you achieve that attention-grabbing effect, there’s a unanimous verdict about where you’re most likely to snag people’s glances.


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Social media is the clear winner, with 43% of the overall vote. Social media is by far the youngest of these advertising platforms, and the high proportion of people listing it as their favourite place to engage with adverts, shows just how important social media is to a beauty brand’s strategy.

The only other consumer group surveyed so far to choose social media as their advert location of choice, was Health Conscious consumers. With both health and beauty products being so personal (your fitness needs are as specific as your foundation colour), social media is a great platform to tailor advertising to the specifics of someone’s interests.

In addition, social media lends itself to a particularly short consumer journey (most adverts are shoppable, so it’s only ever a matter of clicks from first seeing an item, to having bought it). It’s encouraging for beauty brands: consumers are excited to be given adverts that they can immediately act upon.

TV came in second place with 16.8% of the vote, followed by Magazines in 3rd place with 12.3%. To an extent, this relatively low score for glossy print advertising is also a testament to the prominence of social media in the beauty industry. Only a matter of decades ago, magazines ruled the roost when it came to showing off beauty brands. But the market has been blown wide open by direct-to-consumer brands like Glossier, and accessible brands like Rimmel encroaching on territory long held by the upmarket stalwarts like Channel.

Beauty enthusiasts are least interested in the black-and-white pages of newspapers, and adverts on public transport, perhaps because they are less tailored, and less instantly shoppable.

When we narrow the results down to just women, the preference for social media rises even further, to 49.7%. Meanwhile men are more engaged with adverts on TV, billboards, radio, public transport, and newspapers. Perhaps, since the male beauty industry is growing rather than booming, there’s still a need for male beauty adverts on these more traditional platforms.

When we asked people specifically about what sort of look they prefer when it comes to a beauty brand, indulgent won out.

 

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69.1% of people say they prefer glossy, overblown packaging and branding. This is perhaps in part due to the prominence of this type of packaging amongst beauty giants (YSL, Estée Lauder, and Dior, for example). It’s mostly breakthrough brands trying out newer, fresher packaging.

Despite not winning out, 30.9% of people opted for the minimalist look, which is still a healthy figure. There are plenty of beauty enthusiasts willing to be bowled over by a slick, or understated product that promises no-nonsense professional quality.


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When it comes to decision making, all that social advertising is paying off. 21.3% of people use social media as their primary port-of-call to deliberate on which beauty product to purchase.

Review and comparison sites is the next most popular option (15.3%), with a shop coming in close behind (15.1%). In other consumer indexes, Google and Amazon have typically fared much better than these more traditional methods of gathering advice. It’s a sign that, amongst beauty consumers, it’s important to get a human opinion.

They rely on other, real people—whether it be through social media or review sites—who have already used the product, or they go into a shop to physically try it out, and talk to an expert. These are highly personal purchases, and the human interaction element is crucial to clinching the deal. 

Again, magazines have severely fallen from grace. Only 5.6% of beauty enthusiasts would turn to the likes of Vogue or Elle for their beauty advice: a damning statistic for the future of beauty in print, but exciting for those brands with a more digitally-focused strategy.


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Quality reigns supreme here, with innovation following behind (30.6 and 13.7% respectively). Beauty brands should be looking primarily to produce premium feeling products, but ensure that they’re agile enough to move with the times.

Lower prices and popularity come in at 3rd and 4th place as reason consumers would be motivated to move to a new brand. It’s clearly somewhat important to attract the masses, and offer a price tag that they can all afford, however these are significantly less important than quality when it comes to alluring beauty enthusiasts. It’s obviously a consumer segment who are happy to spend money if what they’re getting is of a high standard.


What precisely are beauty enthusiasts looking for in beauty brands?


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It follows that quality is the most important aspect of beauty products for consumers (36%). The fact that a product came recommended came in second place (20.8%), and having actually tried the product before came in third (9.2%).

This is an industry that’s all about how something feels, and works for individuals. Quality is crucial, and verifying this quality through having used it before, or getting a testimony from someone who has are also very important.

Having a wide range to choose from was the least important factor (5.9%) followed closely by low price tags (6.1%). These consumers are very happy to splash the cash, and don’t need a million products to pick from. They’d prefer brands’ offerings to be tailored, streamlined, and premium. After all, you can only wear one mascara at a time!



Beauty-Specific Brand Awareness

The beauty market is by no means narrow. From vitamin supplements to mascara, body scrubs to nail art, there’s a beauty product to suit all skin types and beauty goals.

So which beauty brands are successfully making a dent in this market?

We asked beauty enthusiasts to name their favourite health brand, and the winners were as follows:


MAC 10.90%

L'Oréal 4.70%

Nivea 4.20%

Chanel 4.10%

Dior 3.40%

Clinique 3.10%

No7 2.80%

Estée Lauder 2.80%

Maybelline 2.70%

Benefit 2.70%


A sizeable 121 brands were named, so there are clearly numerous brands securing loyalty in the sector. However, it’s also apparent that makeup dominates the share of mind, with all bar one of the top 10 brands specialising in cosmetic products.

MAC, who won 10.9% of Unprompted Brand Recall, have utilised social media and the prevalence of their key consumers on these platforms directly in campaigns for years now. They’re well known for their celebrity connections including links with Selena Gomez and Caitlyn Jenner, but also the 2017 collaboration with 10 global beauty influencers, who directly contributed to developing a series of brand new shades of their much-loved lipstick.

In a market heavily dominated by cosmetics brands, what impact are adverts from the last 12 months having on this sector? We asked consumers to name the beauty brand whose adverts have impressed them the most within the last year. The winners were:


L'Oréal 10.20%

MAC 6.90%

Nivea 4.50%

Maybelline 3.50%

Rimmel 3.00%

No7 2.80%

Dior 2.70%

Clinique 2.70%

Benefit 2.50%

Fenty Beauty 2.40%


Once again, makeup brands have the top spots.

Here, though, L’Oréal break through to take the biggest share of mind. Including in their adverts some of the biggest celebrities not just in beauty, but in the world, L’Oréal appeal to a wide market outside of just the hardcore beauty fans. Their use of football star David Beckham and Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau also sees them voted highly by men.

Despite launching just one year ago, Fenty Beauty also makes the top 10, fronted by the singer and social media icon, Rihanna. This is another brand that prides itself on inclusivity, less so of ages such as L’Oréal, but more so of skin colours.

Perhaps it can be concluded that share of mind stems from a broad appeal to multiple demographic segments, or previously under-catered-for segments, to help your brand stand out in the busy beauty market.

We also asked beauty enthusiasts to name the well-known person they’d most like to see endorse their favourite beauty brand:



 

Overall winners

 

Popular influencers amongst men

Women

Under 40s

40 and over

1

Rihanna

3.20%

David Beckham

Rihanna

Rihanna

Victoria Beckham

2

Kim Kardashian

3.20%

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

Holly Willoughby

3

Cheryl Cole

2.20%

Beyoncé

Cheryl Cole

Beyoncé

Julia Roberts

4

Beyoncé

2.20%

Rihanna

Beyoncé

Cheryl Cole

David Beckham

5

David Beckham

1.90%

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ariana grande

David Beckham

Cheryl Cole

6

Kylie Jenner

1.60%

Cheryl Cole

Kylie Jenner

Angelina Jolie

Rihanna

7

Angelina jolie

1.60%

Victoria Beckham

Angelina Jolie

Kylie Jenner

Madonna

8

Ariana grande

1.40%

Madonna

Holly Willoughby

Ariana Grande

Kim Kardashian

9

Victoria beckham

1.20%

Kylie Jenner

Victoria Beckham

Selena Gomez

Taylor Swift

10

Holly Willoughby

1.00%

Angelina Jolie

Selena Gomez

Jeffree Star

Sharon Osborne


The average age of the influencers preferred by those aged 39 and under is 32.9, while for those aged over 40 the average age of the influencers is 42.9. It’s clear that, should your market include older generations, it’s important that these older ages are represented in the celebrities chosen to appear in adverts and endorse your products.

Interestingly, though, the same doesn’t seem to apply for the male market, as only 2 men were named within this demographic’s top preferred beauty influencers. We also asked beauty enthusiasts whether they feel men are well catered-for by the beauty industry.


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Slightly more than half of the segment believe that men are indeed well catered for by the beauty industry (53.3%). When we break this down demographically, the results are very interesting: men themselves believe more strongly that they are well catered for (63.2%), while more than half of women are of the opinion that the male market is underserved (51.6%).

Older men seem to be less pleased with the beauty product offerings currently on the market, with the belief that they’re well catered for dropping to 51.1% amongst over 40s. Meanwhile 65% of younger men (under 40), believe they have access to the beauty products they like.



Key Takeaways

This is a dynamic industry to be involved in at the moment. Social media has democratised the beauty world and, as people turn away from huge celebrities and labels and towards micro-influencers and vloggers, there’s an optimism that small brands could win big in this area. What’s more, men’s makeup is on the rise, with Chanel set to release their first ever makeup range aimed at men (Boy by Chanel).

In addition, this is an exciting consumer segment to be aiming at from a brand perspective, since they’re very willing to spend money. These are people who pride quality over quantity or wide range. Their favourite advertising is the tailored offering of social media, and they would be most motivated to buy (or to switch brand) because of quality.

Beauty enthusiasts stay educated about the industry, in the pages of showbiz and lifestyle. And, like most of the population, they use Facebook as their go-to social media platform. It could, therefore, be worthwhile maintaining a presence in print, and on the older social media sites, as well as setting out to dominate the beauty-heavy feeds of Instagram.

Makeup brands are, predominantly, ruling over this sector when it comes to brand awareness, and the big labels are still prevailing. That said, 121 brands were named overall, demonstrating that there’s a sea of smaller brands lying beneath these titans, all succeeding in securing business and awareness.

The inclusion of Fenty Beauty in recent adverts remembered is particularly notable, since they are only a year old. This is a brand that majors on diversity (their debut foundation collection broke records with its 40 different colour shades, and their first advert starred the male entertainer Blame It On Kway as its starring face). Making a splash with consumers, by making sure you’re authentic and inclusive is, happily, a route to success.

This is a huge segment, full of enthusiasts willing to spend a lot, and pay a lot of attention to your ads. Ensure you tailor your offering as much as possible to individuals, and you’re more likely to catch their aesthetically-trained eyes.

 

The Next Steps...

There is an trend amongst beauty enthusiasts towards quality. What’s more, they’re socially oriented and reliant on reviews and reports from other people who’ve already tried brands.

Your offering needs to look great on their social feeds, but more importantly, needs to feel high quality to create real buzz.

This is also a segment who are more inclined to go into brick-and-mortar shops than other groups we’ve surveyed. Think about your in-store experience, because the first-hand expertise of shop assistants could make all the difference.

With an audience that is savvy and hyper-aware of the market, it’s a good idea to granularly inspect the traits they share, and quiz them on their associations with your particular niche or brand. Get to know what their go-to brand is for moisturiser, or for mascara. Because, with so much choice available on social media, and such an insistence on quality, it’s unlikely this is a demographic that’s not willing to shop around.

Attest can help you reach any consumer segment, or identify your key consumer segments if you’re yet to take that first step. Identify the channels in which your own key consumers are paying attention to adverts, their main purchase drivers and the priorities when shopping for your product category.  

 

Get in contact with Attest today to take the next step to scale up your understanding of your market and consumers.

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