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.
More Than Skin Deep
Today's busy woman is looking to lead a fuller and healthier life. So products on the market are trying to help women look and feel younger on the outside and inside. Grange says Murad likes to think of skin as "part of a whole person. We're taking an internal and external approach to health."
Grange does not see any slowing to the anti-aging trend. She predicts more cosmetic procedures, ingestibles, fillers, pumpers and Botox. But Murad does not believe in cosmetic surgery, rather offering easy regimens to preserve healthy skin. "That's where we believe customer loyalty comes from and why they're willing to pay for it and come back for more," says Grange.
Bringing The Store to The Customer
Today's customer is so busy, the easier a company can make a purchase, the more likely they are to retain a consumer. Women want one-stop shopping, whether virtual or in brick-and-mortar stores. It's up to marketers to target consumers in many channels, while still establishing a familiar relationship. For many companies, moving toward penetration in major drugstore chains is a smart move. Rowinski says consumers have reduced their total shopping trips per month to 12 across all types of stores — except for drugstore trips, which have grown a bit. According to IRI, 50 percent of all households purchase facial skincare in a total mass channel. But Rowinski says not to focus too much on one retail channel: infomercials, drugstores, spas and online are all-important because women cross purchase across formats.
One company that sells a majority of its products online is Ouidad. The company believes in easy interaction when it comes to purchasing. There are multiple purchasing channels on Ouidad.com: women can click on such choices as "shop from history," "shop from favorites" or "shop from your curl profile."
The idea behind this brand, and so many like it in the beauty industry, is to be anywhere and everywhere the customer may be. For Ouidad to accomplish this, its DR campaigns are in cable TV, print, out-of-home, direct mail, E-mail, paid searches, radio and Internet advertising. "But our most powerful marketing happens one-on-one, in E-mail and telephone consultations and on our message boards at Ouidad.com," he says.
A Beautiful Future
According to Rowinski, while skincare and cosmetics continue to grow sales through skin benefit, anti-aging additives and mascara launches, these categories are starting to run their course. What's up and coming? Natural products and packaging, interactive shopping and skin-type specific solutions for women and men, from pre-teen to seniors. Rowinski says brands like Olay, Dove and L'Oreal already do a good job of customizing and knowing their target audience. According to IRI, 50 percent of all foundation makeup sold in 2007 was based on one of the following formats: healthy skin, minerals, color matching or age defying.
Grange says that DR marketing is important to moving toward customization. Demonstration, in a long-form ad, "enables a woman to sit down and listen to the message and understand the scope of the product and be educated on what she's buying," according to Grange.
As with other industries, there is also a push toward more all-natural products. "People are starting to lean toward greener lifestyles," says Orr. "They want it from recycling and composting to haircare products that don't contain chemicals and are produced in recyclable materials."
Finally, experts agree that there will be more customer interaction through electronics, from digital video recorders (DVR) to cell phones. "Those who haven't developed the capability to interact one-on-one with their customers have some catching up to do," says Wise. "One day, the beauty answers you seek will all be in the palm of your hand."