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8 Takeaways from the 2017 Beauty Marketing Trends Report

Women’s Marketing, the leading independent marketing services agency for high-growth brands, has released its 2017 Beauty Marketing Trends report. Offering deep insights into the latest consumer trends and analytics for the cosmetic industry, here’s what we learned:

  1. One signature product + stellar branding = success: Gone are the days of unwavering brand loyalty. Today’s consumers tend to trust individual products rather than fully committing to one brand. So, beauty companies no longer need to offer a complete line. Instead, they just need one standout product that becomes their signature item like Pat McGrath’s Lust 004 Lipkit or Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky eyeshadow palette. But, as the beauty market becomes more crowded, marketers in 2017 will need to find new and compelling ways to tell their brand’s story and differentiate themselves.
  2. Dazzle-me displays are key: Shopping is no longer transactional, it’s experiential. Female consumers (we’re looking at you, Millennials) demand an immersive, personalized experience that integrates the latest technology and in-store beauty advisory. In 2017, we’ll see technology that enhances this retail experience, but also acts as a sales tool. We’ll see augmented reality mirrors that allow customers to “try on” makeup virtually—then 3D print the product in her perfect shade! We’ll also see apps for crowdsourced makeup photos, allowing shoppers to serve as real-time models.
  3. Web-based research reigns supreme:The number of women searching online for beauty advice and info is up 11 percent since 2014. In the US, and globally, the web is now the primary source for learning about new cosmetic products as well as the latest beauty trends and techniques.
  4. Online shopping may increase: While 50 percent of women still buy most of their beauty products in stores, Women’s Marketing research points to an upward trend of online beauty product buying online in 2017. The report drove home the point that as many women shop for beauty on Amazon as specialty retailers like Sephora and Ulta. While buying beauty is experiential in nature with a need to “try before you buy,” new technology and apps are offering an enhanced beauty shopping experience, ease of online replenishment, and the perception that better prices can be found online—all tough things for brick-and-mortar retailers to combat.
  5. It pays to be social: Social media has been integral in launching indie beauty brands as well as supporting household brand names. In 2017, it will remain key in continuing to build brand awareness, transparency, and consumer trust. The challenge: the changing algorithms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are driving brands to invest more in paid social media content to get eyes on their news and products. Demographic targeting, community management, and social listening will also remain critical for brands in the social space.  
  6. Influencer Marketing: Beauty bloggers and vloggers are essential ingredients in a brand’s marketing mix, but partnering with the right ones is the secret sauce. This year, marketers will become more tuned in to selecting influencers that will meet their marketing KPIs and align with their brand. They will also key in on leveraging the best platforms for their target audience as well as the latest, most reliable technology to track campaign success.
  7. Inclusivity is important: Hispanic, black, and asian consumers are highly invested in beauty and report above-average spending on haircare and skincare products. In 2017 and beyond, smart marketers will continue to consider this wide range of consumers when developing products and creative.  
  8. Indie Brands Rock: Indie beauty brands are taking the cosmetic industry by storm, continuing to gain momentum in 2017. This is due to product innovation and the major shift in the way consumers discover and buy beauty. Indie brands offer fresh and authentic brand stories and a unique point of view perfect for the younger consumers who crave products that feel special and one of a kind.

In 2017, it will be critical for brands to establish themselves with unique, individual products. It will be equally important for these companies to support these products—and its overall brand—with a strong online and social media presence, further supported by influencer marketing and visual merchandising like open-sell cosmetic displays. Combining the top eight takeaways listed above, your cosmetic company will be sure to turn heads and drive sales.