5 Marketing Trends in the Beauty Industry Talkwalker

If you’d rather deep dive into a case study, check out how this international beauty brand successfully put together these marketing trends in launching their presence in a competitive market in Asia.

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Brand acquisitions and market expansions. If you’re in the beauty industry, or perhaps marketing or advertising in general, this is a topic you’ve heard time and again. International brands like Bobbi Brown Cosmetics expand Southeast Asia reach through eCommerce, Etude House enters fast-growing beauty market in India, and Rimmel taking the ‘London look’ into the Malaysian market. While a myriad of K-beauty products continue to mark their territory in the US.

Retailers — both offline and online, are also making movements to tap into this growth. There’s US-based Ulta Beauty going international with its planned launch in Canada. Hong Kong’s Watsons competing within Vietnam’s beauty market. Even Amazon is making its move into this market through their Amazon storefront and advertising.

There’s no doubt the beauty sector has been leading innovation when it comes to retail. In 2018, Japanese beauty brand SK-II launched the first Smart Store in Singapore transforming the shopping experience for consumers. Giving them a way to learn more about their skin and discover the right product for their needs.

The SK-II Future X Smart Store is located in Orchard, Singapore

The SK-II Future X Smart Store pop-up in Orchard, Singapore


While brands like Clinique and Neutrogena have been using artificial intelligence to attract younger consumers with a more personalized customer experience.

The innovation, however, extends beyond retail to marketing as well. And in this article, we’ll be focusing on the marketing trends that are shaping the beauty industry.

1. Digital disruption

Buying habits are changing. Digital technologies paved the way for eCommerce and social media, enabling new business models and communication channels for brands to tap into. For consumers, it is no longer just about the product. Instead, they have become experience-focused and the role of social media continues to grow.

Social media is more than just about fueling engagement or spotting trends, it’s now driving brand loyalty and product focus. Truth is, marketers are no longer in control. Consumers have taken over a bigger chunk of the conversations about your brand online. And consumers within their networks trust their opinions and reviews more than your ads.

The beauty sector has long understood this new reality. From Facebook to YouTube, to Instagram, they are ahead of the curve when it comes to social media marketing adoption. According to Statista, 96% of beauty brands already have an Instagram profile.

Statista stats on Instagram

In Facebook’s official survey, 80% use Instagram to decide whether to buy a product or service. It makes sense — Instagram is like a consolidated review platform and it’s now a crucial part of the buyer’s journey.

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2. Influencer marketing

The beauty industry is one of the first to understand the potential of influencer marketing. Brands understand that consumers are no longer shopping for beauty products as they once were and traditional advertisements no longer have the same clout.

With consumers today craving for authenticity and inclusivity, beauty brands are collaborating with influencers to better reach and interact with their target audience. Influencers typically have a well-curated network of followers that trust their opinions and relate to their stories. Just like how you trust a friend’s advice.

Pyramid of influence

Source: www.socialmediatoday.com

One of the main drivers of this shift is the growing number of ‘digital-born’ consumers, also referred to as Generation Z.

With 65% of this group relying on social media to discover and select beauty products, these expectations have in turn impacted the type of content (and influencers) that brands use. (Source: Econsultancy)

Australis Cosmetics instagram

Influencer posts from Australis Cosmetics' official Instagram accounts, insights from Talkwalker analytics


Revlon influencer marketing-2 (1)

Influencer posts from Revlon Cosmetics' official Instagram accounts, insights from Talkwalker analytics


3. User-generated content

Every marketer understands that the struggle to win our audience’s attention is real. Everyone’s creating content but it takes a great story to truly capture the audience. Bombarded by so much branded content, consumers have grown apathetic towards ads. However, if the content is created by a fellow consumer, an average person if you will, then they are more likely to interact with it.

The average person wants to feel a real human connection to your brand before agreeing to buy from you. Consumers browse through social and digital news feeds on their mobile devices to research new and interesting content. If the content is rich enough to capture their attention, they’re more likely to click on offers or promotions. (Source: AdWeek)

User-generated content is all about actual consumers providing their authentic views or feelings about a specific brand, which is far more valuable to a prospective buyer. Beauty brands have again understood the power of user-generated content.

In the beauty space, makeup reviews and tutorial videos are probably the most popular type of user-generated content. Here’s an example of the type of engagement user-generated content has created for Benefit Cosmetics — over 16k in engagement and 190k in potential reach.

Benefit Cosmetics sample UGC

Insights for these user-generated video content from Talkwalker Analytics


4. Localization

Clearly defined brand values coupled with an in-depth understanding of your target customer make up for a great foundation for your local digital strategy. From there you can localize your campaigns & content, collaborate with local influencers, and prioritize social channels where you can best reach your audience.

Take, for example, British cosmetics brand Rimmel London, it’s all about being bold, young and edgy — a “rebel” in the sense that it promotes self-definition of beauty. Armed with data about their product category and consumer insights, they were able to capitalize on these insights to create a hyperlocal digital strategy in Malaysia.

Get the full story and see how Lion & Lion agency helped in launching Rimmel - changing the face of Malaysian makeup. Driving 130k+ in engagement within the first month and ranking 3rd in category share-of-voice (SOV) within a year in the market.

5. Experiential marketing

Consumers today are looking for dynamic and engaging experiences with brands. Just as with any other trend, beauty brands are quick to capitalize on experiential marketing. Creating new touch points as they marry retail and digital into an omnichannel approach. We’re talking pop-ups, immersive events, direct SMS text services, and installations that are extremely social-media-worthy.

Earlier in the article, we talked about SK-II’s Smart Store. Last year, we also saw brands like Glossier, Benefit, and L’Occitane open their beauty-themed pop-up cafes. The idea here is for a beauty brand like L’Occitane to showcase their brand story and take their audience through that French-style sensory, from within Singapore.

L’Occitane Store Featured a Provence-Inspired Cafe Activation in Singapore

L’Occitane Store Featured a Provence-Inspired Cafe Activation in Singapore 





As marketers, it’s part of our job to spot trends and catch the next big thing. However, let us remember that the winning marketing strategy starts with a deep understanding of your market and consumers. Make sure to participate in ongoing dialogue with your audience, and listen to what they are saying. Take inspiration from the trends and examples we’ve covered above, and start creating more memorable experiences for your brand.

APAC fashion and beauty report


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