THE HEAT IS ON: RISING ABOVE INFLATION.
Much to our relief, the cosmetic industry has been making a strong comeback since Covid-19 crashed into our lives with consumer spending in the UK increasing by 6% in 2021. Now with inflation threatening to put us back into an economic ‘lockdown lifestyle’ of sorts, there’s concern that this recovery could be cut short.
"Makeup and product usage has fallen by 50% in the UK over the past five years."
Consumers are facing rapidly escalating bills and are adapting their spending patterns accordingly and reassessing budgets. Coupled with this economic shift we are also seeing a general decline in cosmetic usage generally, with ‘no make-up makeup’ and ‘clean girl’ looks dominating the social media space. Makeup and product use has fallen by 50% in the UK over the past five years. You’d be forgiven for thinking that amongst all this apparent doom and gloom the sensible thing for brands to do would be to cut costs and sit tight.
Well, the evidence suggests the opposite.
Brands might be tempted to absorb heightened manufacturing and other business costs to avoid increasing prices and to maintain market share however, this risks devaluing your products and impacting sales. Inevitably when purse strings eventually begin to loosen it will, unfortunately, be even harder to win back those lost customers.
So what to do instead?!
Businesses should focus on the power of their brand as a way of highlighting why that product should hold space in their consumer's newly edited beauty routine.
"your PRODUCT needs to do what it promises and your BRAND needs to communicate that no other alternative offers what it can."
1. FOCUS ON WHAT SETS YOU APART.
If you’ve previously tuned into my Beauty By Numbers segment you’d know that all the data points to the fact that consumers are still happy to spend money but only on products (and brands) that they perceive to be worth it. Consumers want to know that their money is being well spent so it comes down to a perception of value. This doesn’t mean having the cheapest value or a premium price tag it simply boils down to really understanding what your customers expect from you and accentuating that. In short, your PRODUCT needs to do what it promises and your BRAND needs to communicate that no other alternative offers what it can.
2. INNOVATE, AUTHENTICALLY.
Quite simply, you need to have your finger on the pulse. Being agile to your consumer’s ever-evolving wants and needs is vital but no mean feet. Reaching out to your audience consistently can help to reassure customers during times of instability. Keeping your marketing campaigns fresh and exciting can be a critical help to support growth during tough financial times. There’s a big ‘but’ however. Any innovation in your marketing strategy or product offering needs to be kept in line with what your audience already expects from your brand. It needs to be elevated but authentic to the brand’s tone of voice. Straying too far for the sake of trying something different risks weakening what you’ve tried to build by being viewed as being inauthentic. For example, if you’re a science-based, ‘pharma’ skincare brand, suddenly talking about clean beauty because it’s different will make no sense and your consumers will tell you so.
"businesses should avoid cutting costs and devaluing their products and instead focus on building strong, clear content messaging in order to reinforce the unique reward their products offer."
THE BOTTOM LINE?
There is still a strong demand for cosmetics and personal care along with the luxury and comfort they can provide in people’s daily routines. However, as consumers continue to make difficult budget decisions over the coming months and into 2023, they will inevitably become more discerning with how and who they choose to spend their money with.
Cosmetic and personal care businesses should avoid cutting costs and devaluing their products and instead focus on building strong, clear content messaging in order to reinforce the unique reward their products offer. This will be the key to making them indispensable items in the shopping cart.
Now, I wonder where you could find someone who can create this type of content might be….?
Looking forward to hearing from you.