The global cosmetic industry has grown exponentially over the years, with revenue amounting to $300+ billion, and an expectation of annual growth of 8.15%.
This means that there are limitless possibilities for your cosmetic business but it also means that it may be intimidating to try to stand out in such a saturated market. Hence why a well thought out cosmetic brand strategy is so important.
Prior to the pandemic, three-dimensional stores dominated beauty sales with 85% of beauty products being purchased in person. But with a shift in consumer shopping habits, namely an increase in online shopping, newer and smaller brands now have the opportunity to grow their businesses and compete with more established brands through digital marketing.
In 2021, 87% of cosmetic shoppers spent the same or even more online than they did in person. And 57% of customers claimed that over one in four of their beauty product purchases in 2020 were brands they had never bought before.
This is excellent news for your cosmetic business. The potential is definitely there but first you must build the best possible cosmetic brand strategy in order to give your company a fighting chance in this massive market.
What are the most effective ways to build a great cosmetic brand strategy?
• Define your brand identity.
Who are you as a brand?
What’s your mission?
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
What are your values and goals?
And what’s your mission?
Once you’ve figured all that out, you can construct your unique cosmetic brand strategy. With a personalised brand strategy for your cosmetic business, you will be able to target your intended audience and create content that will attract and engage them.
An example of a strong brand identity is Dove. Their mission, vision and values are an integral part of their brand strategy. In 2004, they launched a marketing campaign called ‘Real Beauty’, with the aim of boosting women’s confidence in her natural looks.
This increased sales by $1.5 billion in the first 10 years, making Dove’s soap the most popular soap brand in the U.S. In addition, their 2013 ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ became the most watched video advertisement of all time.
• Research your target audience.
Decide whom your ideal client is then find out what brands they’re already buying.
What do they want?
And more importantly, what do they need?
Is there a gap in the market?
Your cosmetic brand strategy should place your customers at the forefront of everything you do.
• Narrow down your product niche.
Don’t be vague with what you’re offering. Be specific. Perhaps your product helps with rosacea or acne. This is how your brand will stand out from the rest. Chanel doesn’t try to appeal to everyone.
Part of their brand strategy is to present a luxurious and exclusive brand identity, enabling them to sell their products at premium prices. Even after 100 years, Chanel No. 5 is still the world’s most popular perfume.
• Solve your customers’ problems.
Create a cosmetic brand strategy around the problems your product solves. Your customers are not really looking for moisturiser. They want to glow with effortlessly beautiful skin. Sell the aspiration rather than the product.
Fenty Beauty offers 50 unique foundation shades in their attempt to address the needs of people with different skin colours.
They want to eliminate the need of mixing different shades to come up with the exact skin tone colour of each and every one of their customers. This shows their clientele that the brand really cares about them.
• Research your competitors.
Who are your competitors?
What are they doing?
Then do it better.
• Set your brand apart.
What makes you special?
What are your strengths?
Utilise these to your advantage. For example, if you only use natural, organic ingredients or sustainable materials, highlight that.
• Build a relatable brand.
Can you make your cosmetic brand personal?
This will allow you to quicker and more easily connect with your target audience, forging a deeper, more trusting relationship with your customers.
Putting out regular content via newsletters and social media, where you give your customers genuine skincare advice for example, will make your brand seem more authentic and personal.
And customers will feel like their purchases are less transactional and more person-to-person.
• Get social.
Ninety-six per cent of beauty brands have a social media account. And 63% of consumers trust a brand with an Instagram account more than one without. You don’t have to be on every single social media platform.
Analyse which channels have the highest conversion rate and which drive the most qualitative traffic to your business.
Visually based social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Pinterest are very effective for cosmetic branding and marketing. Instagram is also excellent for the cosmetic industry because it focuses on aesthetically pleasing content.
Showcase your cosmetic products with beautiful images and videos. But don’t just try to sell. Customers engage more with entertaining and educational content.
• Create a community
The cosmetic industry is vast. This means that there is a very large demographic interested in this market. Building a community amongst your clientele will grow your brand and increase customer loyalty. This is where your social media brand strategy comes in.
How can you connect with and engage your customers in a fun and informative way?
Rather than constantly promoting your products, how can you help your customers?
How can you add value?
For instance, you could become a beauty guide for your customers by conducting frequent Q&A sessions via Instagram stories or by recording YouTube skincare or makeup tutorials on how to use your products in different ways. And don’t forget to interact with your customers online. Respond to comments and questions. And ask for their opinions and requests.
• Promotions and competitions
To get potential customers who are on the fence about buying your products to actually purchase them, certain incentives can encourage them to cross that line.
Offer a discount or sample to customers who sign up for your newsletter, where you can further strengthen your relationship.
Run a giveaway on your business social media page. Increase exposure by setting up specific rules. For example, customers must like and share your post, follow the brand, and tag a friend in the comments.
An alternative is to create a points system or a loyalty scheme for your current clientele where customers will receive a free product or money off their next purchase once they reach a certain number of points. Health and beauty company Boots do this with their advantage card.
• UGC Are you making use of UGC (User Generated Content)?
Encourage your customers to post online about their experiences with your products then share these testimonials on your social media and website. Word of mouth marketing will always be one of the most important methods to increase brand awareness and lead to sales (and it’s free).
Also, potential customers will trust this more than your own sales’ tactics. Cosmetics brand Lush does this really well by having their clients at the front of their branding on Instagram.
• Collaborate with influencers.
Influencer marketing is booming. And beauty influencers, in particular, have a huge impact on what’s trendy. As the name suggests, they really do influence the purchasing decisions consumers make.
Having the right influencers represent your cosmetic brand will help you increase brand awareness and reach audiences that are much more likely to purchase your products.
Ninety-three per cent of online experiences begin with a search engine. This is why SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is vital for the success of your cosmetics business. Every day, people use Google to conduct over 3.5 billion searches.
And 75% of people will never scroll past the first page. In order not to lose hundreds or even thousands of potential customers, how can your cosmetic business appear on that invaluable first page? It requires time, resourcefulness and persistence.
This is especially true as Google is constantly changing the algorithm. You can of course pay for advertising to drive traffic to your cosmetic business website. This is quick and direct and will increase the visibility of your site.
However, organic traffic should be the main source of traffic (through the use of email marketing, newsletters, articles and blogs). The first three organic search results get 60% of the traffic so it pays to gain attention in an organic way.
• Support a good cause.
Collaborate with organisations for good causes then target your cosmetic brand strategy at people with similar values. You could donate a portion of your proceeds to a non-profit. Or if you don’t test on animals, partner up with an organisation for animal rights or environmental conservation.
This will help a really good cause and establish your values as a business. Rimmel incorporated one such cause into their 2018 marketing campaign #IWillNotBeDeleted, aimed at addressing cyberbullying (which often led to people deleting photos from their social media).
Rimmel got brand ambassadors like Cara Delevigne and Rita Ora to share their experiences of cyberbullying. Working with a cause as part of your cosmetic brand strategy will highlight an important issue as well as help you to connect with your customers on a personal level.
• Don’t forget ‘real life’ branding
With so much of our lives now online, we may forget about the value in taking the time to sell our products in real life establishments. Get creative with your packaging to make your product unique and appealing and ensure that it represents your brand identity. Then collaborate with spas, salons and hotels.
Get your products into trustworthy venues where great beauty products are expected. This will help to monetise your business and spread brand awareness.
All in all, this is an exciting time for your cosmetic brand, as social media and the web have transformed the whole world into your potential market. Don’t lose out. Develop the best cosmetic brand strategy for your business to ensure that you will be counted.
At Acor Design we look into your market, industry tendencies and target audience. We help you build a long lasting brand strategy. Get in touch with us today!