The Master Report: The beauty of loyalty

 This was a sponsored post by AIMIA under the Master Report series. 

Standing out in the beauty space is not easy given the competition out there. But many major brands have seen success crafting out a rewards programme given the short purchase cycle the products in this space has, allowing for many repeat purchases. Moreover, given that beauty lovers are passionate about their brands, many have become advocates for the brand they have purchased.

Speaking to us about a relationship that goes beyond transaction to loyalty, is influencer Jemimah James Wei.

“Between me and say, Laneige, which is one of my favourite longterm beauty clients, I’m pretty upfront with them about products which did and didn’t work for me. That’s why I don’t advertise for every single new product launch they have,” she said.

She added the relationship has now gone way beyond one of a client and influencer one. In fact, there are some hero products from Laneige that she has discovered by just going into the store and buying things that look interesting.

“I’m always giving them feedback on those products as well – which they may not have put a marketing emphasis on. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about their brush pact, for example, because it is one of my favourite products from Laneige. I’ve bought five already,” she said.

Despite having an open and sincere relationship with the brand, she says she continues to try products from other brands because she wants to be able to confidently promote the brands that she chooses to work with.

“My long-term clients such as Laneige know that I’m always going to try products from other brands, and we both think that’s a good thing,” she says.

“Then we both know concrete reasons why we are collaboratively promoting one product over the other, and neither of us see this as disloyalty, just pragmatic market research."

“I’m pretty sure most brands test out competitor products internally on a regular basis just to get a feel of the market too – be it beauty brands or otherwise.”

However, the truth is, staying loyal is hard given the average customer is inundated by options from the beauty industry. So they are always seeking the best quality service or a product that offers the best value.

The evolving nature of the industry makes for a competitive landscape whereby today, the beauty buyer is savvy, sophisticated and willing to take risks by purchasing new beauty products.

This forces beauty brand owners to consistently work on improving formulations to keep things fresh, and bridge distances with customers to truly listen and understand their needs.

In a conversation with Marketing, a spokesperson from medical aesthetic brand NOVU said that in a cluttered market, it has found its niche as it offers “fast, safe and accessible medical aesthetics treatments” in an industry that has traditionally catered to only the affluent.

This model, which it calls the “Fasthetics” system, “resonates well with patients and as such they not only stay loyal to the NOVU brand, but they are also happy to refer their friends and family to I”, said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, keeping up with the changing times, it has also launched the NOVU mobile app, which for example, rewards its package members with exclusive privileges and enables them to easily track their packages and services available.

“As such, patient retention and loyalty has not been an issue for the brand as its patients are able to find a unique mix of value and quality in our offerings,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, for another skin care brand, The Moisturizers Co, the strong connection it has with customers allows it to launch new viable products that are specifically curated to fit their needs.

Apart from that, it is also consistently improving social content and its brand presence as it believes both product and brand initiatives allow it to form authentic connections with current and potential customers.

"We believe personalisation is key when communicating with our customers. Despite being an e-commerce-focused brand and business, we’ve taken initiatives such as personalised handwritten thank you notes for each purchase made by our customer."

This not only allows the brand to connect with its beauty consumers, but also allows it to understand and remember each customer and track repeat purchases.

“This will allow us to incentivise them with a loyalty reward to show our appreciation for their consistent trust in our moisturisers,” said a spokesperson from the brand. Post-purchase, the company also sends personalised emails to follow-up with each customer on their purchase so as to further build a connection with its beauty consumers and allow them to provide feedback easily.

The brand also encourages consumers to chat with it directly through text messages or through email.

When it comes to garnering loyalty, the brand said: “We believe that each beauty buyer is unique and adopting a generic cookie-cutter loyalty programme will not truly reward our tribe of loyal beauty enthusiasts.”

Currently, it hopes to give loyal consumers a few choices on how they would like to be rewarded, be it discount codes, exclusive previews to product launches or shopping vouchers.

“We believe that customer feedback is incredibly important and we reward our beauty consumers when they provide us with a product review or feedback. We appreciate any form of feedback so we’ll even reward for negative constructive feedback! This is strictly an in-house process, we’re not working with any partners for our rewards,” said the company

On more insights from consultants and analysts from Aimia:

Synchronizing Loyalty, CX and Branding: The beauty in loyalty and the customer journey

With so many new entrants into the beauty domain, beauty shoppers today have a plethora of choice compared with 15 years ago. As a result, today’s beauty shoppers are more sophisticated in how they curate their make-up bag; venturing to trying new brands that are at the right price-point for them and becoming multifaceted in how they identify with various brands from brand value and environmental impact to celebrity endorsements. So how can beauty brands reignite their relationship with their customer base?