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Is going ethnic a new trend for marketers in the beauty industry?

With such a huge plethora of beauty brands pushing their offerings consumers, cutting through the clutter can prove to be quite challenging, be it digitally or on ground.

While brands might  struggle to win over hearts of consumers, Richa Goswami, head of digital at Johnson & Johnson APAC highlights the simple fact that winning over Millennial beauty consumers lies in understanding who they are.

“The truth is if we don’t care about the Millennials and what happens to them, they have no reason to care about a brand that tries very hard to matter,” Goswami said. She added that what Millennials care about is a sense of community and a want to be part of something bigger than them. Millennials want to be around people who have the same passions and interests, she added.

With the widespread availability of user-generated content, be it through forums, YouTube beauty “gurus” and beauty blogs, it is not hard to see the impact beauty communities have on purchasing decisions.

“This is where it becomes important for brands to start engaging in these communities and their influencers,” Goswami added.

Embracing diversity is also an aspect which Millennial beauty consumers have shown an interest in due to globalisation. Globalisation has led to a growing trend of Millennials trying out products which are relatable on an ethnic front.

Giving an example of the Indian market, Goswami said J&J’s Clean & Clear started marketing natural skincare ingredients such as rose water and lemon for its face washing product. These ingredients are common to most Indian households when it comes to natural do-it-yourself skincare remedies.

“Having products which are relatable to ones culture is where you have to be in order to make embracing diversity as part of the brand ethos,” Goswami said. She added that along with a freedom of choice and a want to be entertained, Millennial beauty consumers are also discerning hence an honest conversation with consumers’ is vital.

Alexis Horowitz-Burdick, managing director at Sephora Digital, thinks Millennial shoppers should instead be viewed as individuals who exhibit traits which are typically “Millennial”. More often than not they are clumped and see an merely an age group.

“A 25-year-old consumer is not dramatically different from a 50-year-old consumer,” she added.

The only difference between the different age groups one should be considering is the different touch points; one might have more money than the other and also have a different path to purchase. One of these touch points is mobile.

“The role of mobile in a consumer’s lifestyle has become so pervasive to a point that a consumer’s mobile device is now an extension of the individual,” Horowitz-Burdick said. What this means for marketers is that the mobile phone is now one of the first touch points for the consumer. While being in-store, mobile allows consumers to search for online reviews of products and also price compare.

Agreeing with her is Goswami, who added that mobile devices coupled with social media platforms allow Millennials to be heard. This makes it important for brands to be authentic.

“Along with authenticity, Millennial beauty consumers crave intimacy and experience-based marketing that is one-on-one. Hence a one size fits all strategy is definitely out of the window,” Goswami added.

Additionally, the increasing role of mobile demands a smooth transition from online to offline, which needs to be seamless to ensure a more holistic customer experience. According to Horowitz-Burdick, successful businesses are able to harness omni-channel approach in their business model.

“What is driving amazing retail or consumer product businesses are those which smartly utilise an omni-channel or multi-channel approach,” she added.

 

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