I'll Have What She's Having1 Apr, 2008 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response
In an oversaturated market, beauty and personal care industry giants are turning to direct response platforms to create a buzz, build trust and solidify branding.
Selecting a beauty or personal care product in today's abundant market can feel like a daunting task, especially when it comes to cosmetics and skincare products. A woman can pass through an entire floor of makeup at a department store, a wall full of hair styling supplies at a salon, and an aisle of moisturizers at the drug store. So how does she choose the product that will best fit her beauty needs?
Most women will turn to a friend for advice or, these days, an online network or beauty blog. And even after a recommendation, the woman will research a product and find a trusted brand. So selling a beauty or personal care product is harder than ever. It requires marketers to create an environment of trust, continuity, uniqueness, availability and customization. Also, more and more, a product's whole-health and natural ingredients are important to the consumer.
Beauty was nearly a $9 billion industry in the United States in 2007. And in the past five years, products have shown strong growth in revenue, even while other industries dropped. Experts expect 2008 will be no different. While the products that fly off the shelves more quickly might vary from 2007, the size of the demographics for beauty and personal care products will only expand as more companies go beyond the women ages 18-34 audience and target pre-teens to baby boomers. In order to accomplish this, companies producing cosmetics and skincare items will have to delve into customization for different skin types, skin colors and ages.
Why is the beauty and personal care industry so successful? When it comes down to it, women and men are willing to spend money on products that make them look and feel better. While makeup always reins supreme in this category — two out of every five dollars spent on prestige beauty products go to makeup — skincare is a rising contender.
Ojon Tawaka "The Ball" — a body treatment and exfoliator — launches April 12 on QVC. Ojon already sells seasonal haircare products on DRTV.
For many people, the battle to look and feel younger starts in the face. Skincare's top sellers in 2007 were facial products, and no products sold faster than anti-aging creams, which made up about 30 percent of the $3 billion market in 2007 — up 10.9 percent from the previous year. It was the higher-priced products that saw a greater growth rate than the inexpensive ones, proving consumers are willing to pay more for quality, trusted products.
Face Time With Consumers
It's not easy to get recognition in an oversaturated beauty and personal care market. So how are companies helping products to stand out? For many marketers, it's about telling the product's story, highlighting multiple benefits, showcasing testimonials and promoting its luxury through direct response. Leigh Anne Rowinski, director of client solutions at Information Resources Inc. (IRI) — a provider of market information solutions and services — says. "As media formats have changed and consumers seek their own research before going to the store or making a purchase online, I think DR is a good way for manufacturers to take their messages to consumers," she says.
Ojon, an Estée Lauder haircare company, started promoting seasonal products to gain an edge in the market. The line, called Rare Harvest, is made with ingredients that can only be harvested certain times of the year and produced in limited quantity. "We have people sign up online to be notified of availability," says Allie Orr, a spokeswoman for Ojon. "We promote Rare Harvest through public relations initiatives, Web sites, E-blasts and on-air at QVC."
Well-known beauty brand Clinique is now bringing its products to customers' homes. When Clinique debuted in February on QVC, it marked the largest two-hour beauty launch in the channel's history, selling 41,000 units.