Tweens, the new eldorado for cosmetic brands
Pre-teens or tweens have been behind hits such as Hannah Montana and Harry Potter. They thus showed advertisers that they had a high purchasing power, considered to be worth nearly USD43 billion in annual expenditure. Cosmetic brands have also followed this trend and now offer products that address this target, as evidenced by the success of fragrances by idols of the young such as Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.
Wal-Mart, the U.S. retail giant, has replaced its collaboration with the Olsen twins by creating GeoGirl: a natural brand of skincare and make-up designed for 8 to 12 year olds.
Renewal of distribution channels
Beauty boxes: the new business model of e-commerce
In 2011, beauty boxes flooded the market, offering subscribers – for a fee of €13/month – a few samples or miniatures of beauty products delivered to their own home. These surprise packages allow subscribers to discover new brands and products, and also offer beauty tips in partnership with influential bloggers. The relationship with subscribers continues on the Net, via Facebook, YouTube and regularly updated forums. In return, brands obtain figures and opinions about their products, through surveys undertaken by users, but especially via their comments on blogs. Thus, less than a year after its launch, the pioneering GlossyBox already has more than 150,000 subscribers worldwide.
Digitization of points of sale
Digital technology also plays an increasing role in the cosmetics industry, to provide more services to brands and their consumers, and thus offer a more engaging and surprising shopping experience. After the well-known Realtime Make-Up Simulator by Shiseido, which is a virtual make-up tablet allowing consumers to try a product free and virtually by simply scanning its bar code, we can observe a clear emergence of virtual walls. Initiated by a large supermarket in Seoul, this technology is now used by the cosmetic industry: for example, Glamour magazine has created the Glamour Apothecary, a virtual pop-up store inviting passers-by to scan products from major manufacturers, make instant purchases and receive their shopping at home in the heart of the Meatpacking District in New York. In May 2012 in France, Carrefour launched a similar initiative by installing in its shops at La Madeleine and Gare de Lyon, a static panel presenting over 200 products from the new range Les Cosmétiques Design Paris, sold exclusively in Carrefour supermarkets. Passers-by are invited to scan the QR codes of the products of their choice to win one of 3,600 prizes in the form of vouchers for Les Cosmétiques Design Paris products.
All these initiatives are recent – less than a year for most – and it is clear that the cosmetic industry remains an innovative sector, even in times of financial crisis. The brands of the beauty industry have managed to renew what they offer by providing more engaging product or shopping experiences to consumers. All indications are that they will continue to surprise us in the coming years.