Social Smarts Driving Beauty Brands

Big brands like Clinique and Neutrogena may be acing social media, but a new research report from Kline & Co. reveals that smaller players have an edge, and pack greater appeal for Millennial women.

The report finds that brands that are most adept at using social media, as well as those finding ways to personalize product offerings, are registering double and sometimes triple-digit sales gains, compared to the overall 3.8% growth achieved by the category in 2015.

“Consumers are leaning towards the more innovative brands that address specific concerns,” says Naira Aslanian, the research project manager. And Gen Y, which more or less powers the beauty biz these days, are “experimenters who tend to identify themselves with these niche brands, more so than the traditional heritage brands. It appears as though the smaller brands connect with their consumers on a deeper level through social media. These brands also advertise their products on social media through use of real-live people.”



Companies like Tarte, Too Faced, E.L.F. Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and IT Cosmetics rely on these girl-next-door influencers, and that allows consumers to have “a more intimate relationship with the brand,” she tells Marketing Daily.

Of course, some large brands also have a strong social presence, too, she says, including Neutrogena, Estee Lauder, especially in hooking up with Kendall Jenner for Estee edit, and L’Oreal, which recently announced the L’Oreal League, linking 15 bloggers. 

Women’s Wear Daily reports that Clinique is about to break a new social media effort themed “The Difference Makers,” focusing on both its famed three-step skincare regime and six women making a difference.

The trend away from big names is especially pronounced in fragrance sales, as is the trend toward personalization.

“Experimental consumers choose artisanal, niche scents to differentiate themselves, fragrance layering to express their uniqueness and individuality, and collection of small fragrances to match their mood and  activity of the day,” she says. “Fragrance is no longer about identifying with the major blockbuster and associating with it, but rather, finding a unique scent that best describes the individual.”

So collections of fragrances are also generating more buzz. “For the price of purchasing one bottle, consumers can buy a whole collection, which they can layer and customize, or simply wear a different scent for various activities, days or mood.”

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