Beauty Brands Winning Through Experiential Marketing

Beauty and skincare brands continue to shake up the industry with their direct-to-consumer approach.  

But new AI-generated research from Kantar identifies 15 brands that the company predicts will be the new disruptors -- even if they have been around for decades.

The report uses social data to track how views and conversations about brands are changing over time, mining Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs and tumblr, as well as comments, reviews and forums. Kantar says the methodology uncovers consumers’ intuitive feelings.

And while the list of 15 includes newcomer Youth to the People, most of the others are old enough to vote. They are:  Acure, Aztec Secret, Bliss, Bobbi Brown, Dove, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, Elemis, Mary Kay, Perricone, D2C trailblazer Proactiv, Ren, Sebamed, Sisley and Tarte.

What makes them stand out from others is both an experiential advantage and an emphasis on healthy, ethical sourcing.

“Our analysis found that skincare brands are becoming  a more holistic, inside-out phenomenon,” says Matt Washuta, a director at Kantar, via email. “Consumers are increasingly concerned about what they put not only in, but also on, their bodies. They want to know that the products they use are safe, natural or organic.”

Experience is another key theme, he says, with brands using tactics like tutorials, before-and-after experiences and consumer-driven conversations. Many also throw their weight behind social causes -- such as support for the LGBTQ+ community or animal rights -- that most resonate with consumers.

Not all  the brands are sold directly to consumers -- and certainly, wider retail distribution helps those companies. “But the digital ecosystem has neutralized some of the advantages of scale in creating brands,” says Bryan Gildenberg, Kantar’s chief knowledge officer, also via email. “Brands today can gain traction through trial and referral, as well as through influencer penetration.”

He says gender fluidity continues to shake up the way young brands market themselves -- and the way consumers see them. And while that sometimes is because of market opportunity, “it’s also a signal to younger consumers that a brand is aware of their societal norms.”

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