6 Beauty Industry Consumer Trends Marketers Should Be Watching
By Michaela VoglOct 2
Published June 26th 2014
Have you ever wondered why fragrance brands all advertise in the same way? You haven’t? Oh. I have. Just me then.
I’ve always found it bizarrely amusing to watch the abstract montages that fragrance brands put together in order to purvey their goods.
I’ll give them some degree of credit, as there is a fundamental blockage to any brand seeking to sell their pungent smells via a medium that is not stink-enabled.
Until smell-o-vision is invented then, fragrance labels must attempt to convey what their products are all about through aesthetic metaphor, which is why the commercials are so silly.
Companies in the CPG sector (FMCG in the UK) spend more on marketing that any other industry. A hefty 25% of the $557bn spent on advertising last year was committed by CPG brands.
With so many voices screaming for attention, how can individual organisations ensure their products are noticed above the others? And how can household goods, personal care and other relatively mundane types of products remain exciting – and enticing to purchase – for consumers?
The answer is innovation.
Before you scream ‘BUZZWORD’ and click away, please allow me to explain why.
Observe the following graphs.
What do we see?
A rainbow of data quite clearly shows that CPG brands are only considered particularly innovative by around a third of people, whereas the deep burgundy tones of the other graph show that over 80% of people are interested in trying new products.
We’re seeing a major discordance between brands and consumers when it comes to the willingness to embrace innovation.
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Returning to the fragrance situation, it is evident that innovation is not a major factor in the production or advertising of scented products.
Consider the following three ads for three fragrance brands.
First up, we have Light Blue, by Dolce & Gabbana. If you can’t be bothered to watch the commercial, it features a bronzed male – amusingly an Essex lad named David Gandy – soaking up some rays in a delightful boat-themed setting, as we watch beads of water drip down his bod.
Stirring but calm classical music plays until the finale, in which the fragrance is seen and spoken aloud by an unseen voiceover.
Each features stirring but calm instrumental music, shows a wet, muscly male messing about near a body of water and closes the video with an unseen voiceover announcing the name of the product.
It’s a wonder that customers can distinguish between different fragrance brands at all.
As no-one famously said, too many brands be hatin’ on innovatin’.
Even if products themselves are innovative, novel or otherwise distinguishable from the competition, if the marketing activity is very similar to other brands, each will have a hard time standing out from the crowd.
Social media presents a big opportunity for CPG brands to do just this.
Listening to what resonates with different audiences and attempting to comprehend the impact of your latest identical advert are an important first step for this.
In fact, household goods and personal care brands are two of the most popular types of products that consumers like to talk about online, meaning listening to what they have to say can prove to be be a rich, rewarding and valuable undertaking.
Using those insights and developing new, exciting and relevant brand activity around your products is the key to successful innovation.
Creating the packaging, product size, pricing, available offers, social media strategy, TV commercials and other marketing activity based on insights gleaned from customer data will allow brands to differentiate their offering from the sea of products currently dripping from the torsos of scantily clad men.
So don’t rely on tried and tested techniques to market your brand’s products, but try to innovate and differentiate instead. And if you’re looking for how you can innovate most effectively, then consider the usefulness of social listening technology for researching and measuring your efforts.
You can find out much more about how you can do this in our latest report, focused squarely on the household goods and personal care sector.
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