21 May 2021 --- Achieving joyful, fun and playful beauty is not only limited to the use and selection of colors, formats and packaging. How beauty and personal care (BPC) brands engage with consumers also presents an opportunity to create sparks of enthusiasm that also provide a strong opportunity for brand loyalty.
In recent years, the omnichannel experience has taken on more of a creative, innovative, adventurous and playful approach. Digital channels, quizzes and tools capture the consumer spirit of personalization and active engagement.
Generate an engaging buzz
Click to EnlargeQuizzes and online tools guide consumers towards buying decisions.Online, quizzes and virtual try-on tools play a relevant role in guiding consumer’s buying decisions, the Innova Beauty and Personal Care report 2020 reveals. When it comes to e-commerce engagement, 21% of global consumers state that an online quiz that helps them to decide which products are best for them is important. In addition, 19% of global consumers agree that a tool to compare products and prices is effective in supporting their personal care shopping choices, while 16% say that virtual try-on tools for hair color and makeup, for example, to show them what they would look like, contributes to their buying habits.
Offline, pop-up shops, subscription boxes and beauty clubs are helping to build the relationship between brands and consumers by creating surprising moments of engagement. Glossybox, Boxycharm and Birchbox have unveiled subscription box offerings, boosting the playfulness of beauty and appealing to consumer curiosity and the desire to receive a package of beauty products delivered to their door. Special offers, tailored product selections and limited editions are adding to the sense of joy through the subscription box format engagement method.
It is not just the inquisitive nature of beauty that appeals to BPC consumers. Luxury and exclusivity are also delivering pockets of joy for BPC shoppers. BeautyPie has entered into the beauty club space, encouraging memberships. The business model gives the brand the opportunity to engage with their target consumers regularly and achieve a regular and retained income.
Looking at beauty purchases, the Innova Beauty and Personal Care report 2020 found that 11% of global consumers reported they had bought a subscription box, 10% had opted for a beauty advent calendar, and 6% had purchased from a beauty club. While these marketing efforts appear to be in their nascent stages with minimal uptake from consumers to date, the joyful, playful and fun aspect so often built into the anticipation and surprise of their contents is expected to take off this year as consumers look to put the fun into their beauty engagement experiences.
Use success stories
Leveraging the mass engagement with online and as an extension of social media, the entertainment sphere provides ample opportunity for brands to utilize the popularity with social media and gaming, and unite the worlds of entertainment and BPC.
“The worlds of gaming and avatars allow for personal expression and add emotion and sparks of joy, impulse, surprise and adrenaline to the way brands can connect,” Howard Sullivan, founder and executive creative director of YourStudio notes in the Innova Beauty and Personal Care Report 2020. “Reward and fulfilment become more participatory and engaging,” adds Sullivan.
Huge name beauty brands including the likes of luxury houses Gucci and Givenchy have got in on the engagement action. As have multinational cosmetics companies, NARS, Benefit and Kiehls. These big-name brands have created their own games or teamed up with equally big-name gaming providers to showcase their product ranges and unveil new launches through the much-loved platforms. They know their audiences hang out on games. And with retail brick-and-mortar stores closed due to the pandemic, beauty brands need to reach out to their audiences in exciting, innovative and relevant ways. Gaming has proved a formidable answer.
● Social media
Click to EnlargeSocial media has also been a strong direct channel to reach and engage with BPC shoppers. The communication methods brands adopt and make use of are vital. Social media, for example, enables brands to extend beyond their corporate profiles, inject personality and make authentic and tangible connections with their communities. And rather than one-way communication, they can have a conversation.
BPC brands have been doing it for years, but with lockdowns creating crazes on platforms like TikTok, and aspirational longing ramping up a gear on Instagram, BPC brands are able to get in front of beauty aficionados even more than before.
However, while digital platforms are gaining more experiential credentials, we can expect in-store engagement to stay. The way we create it though needs to be re-examined and injected with innovation to reflect changing consumer demands. Sullivan states: “We’re going to have to be really novel in inventing new ways to entertain, bring joy, be these conjurers of magic in the store experience and give people that human experience back.”
By Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe, BPC Insights Senior Journalist