For any brand, figuring out ways to communicate and capture consumer interest is a tall order. For a beauty brand, figuring out how to communicate to the consumer who, on average, only gives you three seconds of her time before moving onto the next brand on the shelf is even more complicated. Constantly bombarded by data, these days consumers don’t have to go looking for information on their favorite brands, it practically comes to them, which is why if you want to make the kind of lasting impression that will convert to sales and long-term loyalty, you’ve got to get disruptive in your execution.
#1. Consumers know what you are saying – but what about what you aren’t saying.
Although we maybe don’t like to admit this out loud, the truth is most beauty brands rely on remarkably similar messages: skincare makes skin healthier, prettier or younger; color makes us feel sexier, prettier or younger; and body care makes our bodies softer, smoother and if we are lucky – smaller. In fact, the messages are often so similar, when queried consumers often admit to a healthy amount of product confusion over which really is the best for them (based upon messaging alone). So in addition to finding creative ways to share this basic information, it pays to also think about what you aren’t saying about your brand that might engage or pique a woman’s interest. Does one of your active ingredients offer a dual benefit – even one that might not point directly to beauty, such as essential oils, which can often be anti-oxidants as well as disinfectants and anti-fungals. Not sexy, but different and certainly interesting.
#2. Re-think your brand video.
A few years ago, the idea of beauty companies having their own Hollywood-esque videos was as foreign to most brands as Facebook was to teenagers, but today – videos are becoming a necessary branding tool. And it’s videos that think (and film) outside of the box which are creating a real splash. In particular, interjecting humor or dramatical elements into brand videos is a great way to communicate with consumers without coming across as sales-y or jargon-y (which is the kiss of death no matter how you are communicating). For instance, cellulite and acne are admittedly, not really all that funny to talk about, but a brand that can find the unexpected element in this everyday skin issue is a compelling breath of fresh air. Consumers don’t want their beauty brands to take themselves so seriously, all the time. Sure, there are places where communication needs to be more formalized and serious, but brand videos are the ideal way to lighten the tone and just have some fun!
#3. Micro-communication, or – little details make a big impression.
Even after she has spent her money and purchased your products (possibly several times over), there still exist communication opportunities that can pay off extremely well in terms of consumer awareness, happiness and satisfaction. Micro-communicating, whether through secret messages hidden somewhere on secondary packaging, or via inserts tucked inside boxes or bags are just two examples of close, interpersonal communication consumers crave now. It’s no longer good enough to primarily engage her at the front-end of the purchase funnel, smart brands are following this flow through to the very end and using every last opportunity available to them to keep the conversation going. And why not? Who doesn’t love reading a sweet or uplifting little blurb when they open their favorite perfume or anti-aging serum? Or how about an insert that flutters out of the box with an inspirational quote or saying? While not strictly personal, this small detail is nevertheless personalizing the consumer’s experience with your brand in a fun, communicative way that can translate to real loyalty.
#4. Open the kimono.
That’s right – extreme sharing and real-time interconnectedness isn’t just for your friends; more and more consumers want to know exactly who is the person behind the brand, and they want to know your brand team personally. So don’t just settle for generic updates on Facebook or Twitter, instead; open up and let consumers meet the real you! For example, how does your team interact with their brand in a regular way or on a daily basis? What else do they love and spend their own money on? What is their favorite ice cream flavor or football team? Real photos, authentic experiences and relatable stories help strengthen the bond between consumers and brand beyond the point-of-sale in a compelling way. But don’t overshare! There’s a big difference between posting a photo on Instagram of your Director of Branding enjoying a beach vacation with her family and this same director showing off in a skimpy bikini. As with ultra-bright blush – moderation is key. By all means give your consumers something, but don’t give them everything!
About the author:
A proven entrepreneur and visionary, Alisa Marie Beyer has built and sold three companies and is now the Founder and Creative Director of both The Beauty Company (TBC) and Coastal Salt & Soul.The Beauty Company (TBC) is a strategy firm that lives, works and dreams at the intersection of beauty, business and creativity. For TBC beauty isn’t just a project, it’s a passion and we use an award-winning approach to create beauty and personal care products that deliver beautiful yet functional solutions carefully attuned to the realities of your particular business. Whether a new indie-darling or established corporate visionary, TBC’s unique understanding of what consumers want, need and desire lets us secure both sell-in and sell-through at retail. TBC specializes in research, product and brand strategy. We have worked with start-ups to 13 of the top 15 beauty companies globally and have a proven and award-winning track record in cosmetics, skincare, beauty devices, body care, hair care, nail care, fragrance and wellness/personal care.