The beauty industry has hit some hurdles in the wake of the technological revolution, particularly with the continual rise in popularity of online shopping. Facing a “can’t try before buying” dilemma has made the transition to online retail exceptionally difficult for beauty brands. Moreover, they also faced a necessity to change marketing tactics that would reach millennial consumers who simply do not respond to traditional sales techniques. The trick to engaging with this younger audience is to meet them where they are in a way that is relevant to them, which many brands are figuring out is online and within social spheres.
Seeing the Social Side of Beauty
Attempting to market to millennials has been a leading factor motivating iconic beauty brands to harness social media platforms in order to bring their brands in a new direction and make a new kind of connection with their customer base. Knowing what are the most important social media platforms and understanding the differences between each one is a major component to getting the most out of online marketing. The result has been viral campaigns, interactive competitions, and technology helping to foster a personal engagement and relationship with a brand. Two particularly notable efforts can be seen through marketing efforts by Clinique, and Rimmel London.
Clinique #FaceForward Campaign
Clinique’s #FaceForward is an all-digital campaign that utilises Yahoo and Tumblr and promotes millennial influencers – such as bloggers and beauty writers like Margaret Zhang and Tavi Gevenson – as opposed to using models. This move helps millennials better identify with the brand, as these influential peers are a lot more relatable than models in magazines. The campaign is designed as a video series featuring each influential young woman, and will also publish user-generated content, which will be repurposed as GIFs and Tumblr art.
This is not the first campaign that Clinique went social with; they made the move with their #StartBetter campaign. They promoted #StartBetter across all of their social media channels and set up a Powder Room Control Center, where staff responded to fans and their personal commitments to #StartBetter that they decided to publically share. This campaign reached consumers on a special level through its positive, personal message, as well as the personal relationship that was built between consumers and brand with the ongoing conversation via social media. Currently, Clinique is running an #ImIn challenge via Snapchat, proving that the brand will not be diverting from their socially involved approaches anytime soon.
Rimmel London Get The Look App
The concept behind the rather complicated technology of the Rimmel London Get the Look app is actually quite simple. Being described as a Shazam for makeup, the user simply needs to point their mobile device with front-facing camera towards another person, a magazine picture, or an advertisement, and then through the try-on function via a webcam, the app will recreate the look as it would appear on the user’s own face. It outlines which Rimmel products would be required to complete this look, and then allows them to purchase these products in an app via Google shopping.
This approach engages millennials because it is interactive, it solves this “can’t try it before buying it” dilemma, and also contains a social element, as these makeup trial photos can be stored and shared across social media. The social element is actually the key to unlocking the millennial consumer, as there are many try-on makeup apps already out there, like Sally Hansen’s ManiMatch, L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app, or Covergirl’s BeautyU.
What Rimmel’s Get the Look offers, however, is both an interactive, try-on option with a unique social element. Since millennials actually tend to be influenced more by friends and social peers rather than brands themselves, this app allows them to “get the look” of friends and not just models in magazines and is certainly more on-point than other try-on makeup apps. As users capture makeup looks from friends, family, their favourite vloggers, or a fashionista on the street, it forges interaction and connections between these individuals. The Rimmel London Get the Look app stands out from the competition by enhancing the consumer experience through socialising it.