Glowing Forward:

A Marketing Guide to the
Personal Care & Beauty

USA & Europe

Table of Contents

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    The personal care and beauty market has been on a transformative journey. From embracing more minimalistic beauty lifestyles to fostering a heightened awareness of hygiene and safe skincare & haircare practices, the ripple effects have been far-reaching. But amidst these shifts, the specter of inflation continues to loom large, reshaping consumption patterns like never before. This financial squeeze, set to continue its hold throughout 2023, is changing the game. As supply chain issues increase the costs of our favorite products, consumers are forced to be more discerning, prioritizing value for money, multi-functionality, and affordability. Despite financial hurdles, however, the personal care and beauty sector remains resilient -- particularly in Europe, where consumers still indulge in ‘lipstick luxuries’ amidst a cost-of-living crisis, and with thriving private-label products catering to the demand for a balance between cost-effectiveness and premium ingredients. So, what do brands need to consider in this evolving landscape? We've crafted a comprehensive guide outlining key trends and marketing strategies for the personal care and beauty industry to help navigate through 2024 and beyond. 

    The Personal Care and Beauty Industry Landscape - USA and Europe

    Personal Care Guide 1


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    Marketing Makeover: 8 Strategies for Personal Care And Beauty


    ‘Scrub Up’ Value with Strategic Discounts and Promotions

    Who doesn't love a great deal? A recent study by Numerator has shown that 27% of shoppers won't think twice about switching brands if it means they'll get a more attractive offer. The research indicates that sale prices and promotions play a crucial role in consumers' decisions to buy, with a third (34%) of shoppers actively seeking out store ads, and 32% frequently using coupons-- all in the name of savings. This is a clear sign for brands and retailers that they need to step up promotions for the rest of the year

    Offer Category-Based DiscountsFor retailers, and brands that have a range of products, category-based discounts are a tried-and-true method for boosting sales. Grouping products by skin types, like 'Sensitive', 'Dry', 'Oily', or even by expected results resonates with buyers, simplifying their shopping experience and addressing their unique needs.

    Create Seasonal Campaigns: Let's not forget about the changing seasons. Certain products are always in higher demand at certain times of the year. Offering special discounts on sun protection products during summer, and hydrating products during winter can effectively draw more customers.


    Off! and Banana Boat unleashed a cross-brand promotion to boost spring/summer sales, tying in the thrill of camping with the practicality of mosquito repellent and sunscreen. Snipp launched this dynamic 'Camp Playmore' program - customers buying eligible products could text, email, or upload their receipts to earn retailer-specific gift cards for Publix and Walgreens or download codes for other stores. Snipp! seamlessly managed this multi-brand collaboration, receipt validation, and livened up the microsite with fun summer activity suggestions.


    ‘Nail' Engagement and Personalization with AI

    Personalization isn't just a perk anymore – it's what consumers expect, and McKinsey reports that 76% are frustrated when brands don't deliver. In the beauty industry, the power of personalized interactions can send conversions soaring, with customers becoming 75% more likely to make a purchase when they feel a brand truly understands their needs. This is where AI comes into play. A report by Swifterm predicts that the AI market within the beauty industry will skyrocket to $13.34 billion by 2030. Many brands are turning to AI-powered analytics and Predictive Personalization Solutions (PPS) to create individualized product recommendations that resonate with beauty shoppers. By providing unique choices based exclusively on each consumer's past purchases, impressions, and browsing habits, brands can deliver a personalized shopping experience like no other, with an average ROI of 1500%! 


    British skincare brands Elemis and Perfect Corp have launched a mobile, AI-powered tool, which takes personalization to the next level. Users answer a questionnaire about their skin concerns and goals. Then, the Elemis AI Skin Experience conducts a comprehensive skin scan, giving an overall skin score, identifying key concerns, and customizing a skincare regimen for each user. 


    ‘Brush Up’ Consumer Education Efforts

    Navigating the personal care and beauty market can be a daunting task for consumers. With an abundance of products and information, it's easy for customers to feel overwhelmed and end up choosing the wrong products. A survey conducted by Simple, a skincare brand, found that 80% of women and 74% of men felt that the skincare industry was confusing and riddled with misinformation, and many struggled to find suitable products for their specific needs. To address this, brands can adopt a more educational approach to their marketing strategy, helping consumers make informed decisions and build trust in the process. By providing consumers with the knowledge they need to address specific pain points and common concerns, brands can build trust, foster loyalty, and ultimately, drive growth!


    American brand Glow Recipe proactively educates customers on skincare through their website, social media, and blogs. Their TikTok provides demonstrations and skincare tips, and they share their product development process on their blog for transparency and trust-building. Additionally, they utilize SMS marketing for personalized skincare advice and product recommendations, furthering their educational outreach. 


    ‘Contour’ a Path to Positive Change

    In today's personal care and beauty market, brands are no longer just about selling products. They are becoming agents of positive change, using their platforms to drive social progress and foster a sense of identity and belonging through shared rituals of self-care. Purpose-driven campaigns that align with societal issues can be effective ways of resonating with consumers on a deeper level and fostering loyal communities. Brands like Rare Beauty, launched by Selena Gomez, are setting a precedent for others. The brand has committed to raising $100 million for its Rare Impact foundation and has even collaborated with Sephora on an anti-bullying campaign called "Hearts, No Hate"


    Unilever's Degree created a "Change the Field" program that encourages more girls to take up soccer, offering mentorship and training opportunities. Timed with the FIFA Women’s World Cup, this initiative not only enhances Degree's reputation in women’s sports but also demonstrates its commitment to inclusivity.

    Cantu_OrangeLogo     WEN_Logo

    Hair care brand Cantu Beauty partnered with Women Empowering Nations (WEN) for their Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) initiative. This program immerses young women of color in executive leadership and coaching programs. Cantu Beauty's commitment to this cause extends beyond financial support, offering educational grants and unique fellowship opportunities within the beauty industry.


    Build a Social ‘Foundation’ for Success

    In today's digital-driven landscape, social media is a game-changer in the personal care and beauty market, blending the lines between marketing and direct customer engagement. It's where trends are born, products are launched, and brands are built

    Boost Engagement with Social Media Giveaways: Social media giveaways are not just fun; they're also an effective way to stir engagement and create memorable customer experiences. They pull users into a brand's orbit with the promise of rewards, and by rolling out regular comment-centric sweepstakes, brands can boost their social media followings and reach. Most important? Keep entry requirements simple: like, comment, or tag.

    Capitalize on Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing is surging, with 81% of consumers swayed by influencer, friend, or family posts to check out a product or service in the past year. Advertiser spend on influencers is predicted to skyrocket to over $6 billion in 2023. Yet, consumers crave relatable influencers, with 61% favoring those they can identify with. As this marketing sector evolves, tackling consumer skepticism and maintaining authenticity in brand collaborations will become increasingly critical.

    Encourage Diverse User-Generated Content: User-generated content is proving to be incredibly influential in purchasing decisions, with 42% of consumers citing it as the most influential factor when buying beauty and wellness products. This trend aligns perfectly with the industry's shift towards greater inclusivity and diversity in campaigns. Consumers appreciate seeing images of real people they can relate to, so encouraging customers to share their experiences can provide a more authentic view of a brand’s products. 

    Be_You__No_One_Else_Can Schick     

    Schick's rebranding campaign, "Be You. No One Else Can." ditched the typical celebrity endorsements. By engaging real men to share their facial hair stories on social platforms like Reddit and TikTok, the campaign resonated with a diverse audience. This approach was backed by a Schick survey revealing 85% of men prefer ads featuring 'real people', making it a true celebration of authenticity.


    Formulate The Perfect Omnichannel ‘Blend’

    The personal care and beauty sector, which was once largely driven by brick-and-mortar stores, is now thriving in the digital space. According to BigCommerce and Retail Dive, 39% of shoppers prefer online shopping, overtaking the 21% who favor in-store. In addition, 77% of online shoppers are spending the same or more than they did last year. But while consumers appreciate the benefits of e-commerce—convenience, discounts, shipping—they also crave the tactile experience of shopping in-store, which isn’t expected to lessen... As we move forward, brands must respond to this all-you-can-eat-buffet of shopping habits and embrace seamless, omnichannel approaches to attract and retain customers.

    Glossier download     

    Glossier, a direct-to-consumer beauty brand, effectively employs an omnichannel strategy. They've turned their online experience into a tangible one with seasonal pop-ups in cities like London and LA, which led to the launch of permanent global stores. These shops offer themed, experiential activities, fostering deeper customer engagement beyond digital platforms.


    ‘Nourish’ Loyalty with Rewards Programs

    Loyalty and rewards programs are a golden ticket for personal care and beauty brands to personalize their offerings and retain more long-term customers. Around the world, 56% of consumers said they’re more likely to buy from a brand with a loyalty program, citing rewards and personalization as some of the top reasons for using them. Brands can use these programs to ensure a consistent customer experience by syncing personalized communications and tracking recent purchases across all channels. For example, customers who regularly use certain products but haven’t purchased them in a while might receive personalized discount codes, encouraging them to restock and strengthening the brand-customer relationship. Redeemable loyalty points also help customers perceive personal care and beauty buys like new makeup, perfume, or skincare as ‘affordable indulgences’


    Beauty behemoth Sephora has a comprehensive loyalty program, seamlessly integrated across all its channels. All customer engagements, from quiz answers to purchasing patterns, are recorded and used to tailor experiences, providing the brand with valuable consumer data. Every interaction on Sephora's various platforms also showcases the member’s accumulated loyalty points.


    Create a ‘Compact’ For Sustainability

    Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors are becoming increasingly critical in the personal care and beauty market. Today's consumers are aligning their wallets with their values, with a whopping 97% placing environmental sustainability at the top of their priorities -- brands need to step up their game in this sphere to meet these expectations.

    Embrace Sustainable Production & Packaging: Nearly a third of UK adults are consciously minimizing their single-use plastics in beauty shopping, with almost half more inclined to buy online if recyclable packaging is involved. Brands are pivoting to sustainable, refillable, and reusable solutions. But with only 14% reaching recycling facilities and a mere 9% getting recycled, there's a vast scope for improvement. It's essential for brands to not only embrace greener practices but also showcase their eco-efforts to draw customers. 

    Enhance Supply Chain Transparency: According to a Deloitte survey, 90% of growth companies are investing in improving transparency for consumers and other stakeholders, focusing on data capabilities to improve coordination and logistics. This readiness to share increased data can lead to smart labels that equip consumers with the ability to trace the origins of their products and gauge their supply chain's carbon footprint and ethical working norms.


    Personal care retailer Boie is making a powerful environmental pledge. Annually, over 50 million pounds of landfill waste comes from discarded plastic personal care products. Boie's innovative recycling program takes in used items like toothbrushes and transforms them into new items such as bathroom hooks. This zero-waste approach eliminates the need for additional materials in the manufacturing process. 


    UK skincare brand Necessary Good is joining forces with On Repeat to launch refillable, eco-friendly packets of their skincare products. Their refill pouches are 100% compostable, food-safe certified, and can decompose in a home compost heap in just 32 weeks. Additionally, all outer packaging is crafted from 100% recycled materials.

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    The personal care and beauty industry is moving through an exciting period of reinvention. The days of unwavering brand loyalty are being replaced by a period of enthusiastic experimentation. Price consciousness, a trend that shows no signs of abating, is pushing brands to redefine 'value' in new and innovative ways. It's not just about competitive pricing anymore - it's about pushing the frontiers of green innovation and investing in meeting the shifting preferences of consumers. For both legacy brands and new contenders, adaptability and an in-depth grasp of evolving customer needs are core elements of the blueprint for ‘glowing forward’ in the coming years.



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