In the New World of Beauty, Community is the Core and Technology is the Enabler

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    Sasha Ruddick, Managing Director, Investment Banking jeffries We believe beauty is one of the most exciting and ‘special’ sectors in retail. two The big reason: a deep connection with it. fun moments And its incredible Resilience. Based on these attributes, beauty brands of all sizes can differentiate and grow, especially as more shoppers join online communities.

    “These brands are associated with positive experiences for consumers, and I think that makes them very resilient,” Ruddick said in an interview. retail touchpoints. “When things are going well, people want to have fun and participate. [those beauty moments]. And when things are feeling a little difficult, beauty and health are small luxuries that can create positivity in people’s lives. That’s what makes this category special. ”

    As consumers gravitate to digital channels and platforms for these moments of joy, brands are finding new ways to connect with consumers, foster passionate communities, and use technology to create innovative experiences. has a dynamic means. In fact, Ruddick believes: Beauty brands are some of today’s top innovators in consumer products and retail And while community is at the core of any valuable brand, technology can facilitate moments of community and enable deeper brand engagement.

    “This means that even if a brand is on the shelf with a visible presence that shows what kind of brand it is, it also has a strong presence online through social, including branded and user-generated content. But it’s a way for brands to amplify their message and really deliver it,” Ruddick explained. “At the most technology-driven end, you can have a personalized business model that: proseHere, we are really using technology at the product level to demonstrate a one-on-one connection with consumers, creating products tailored to their needs. ”

    Prose uses deep data and analytics capabilities to achieve this level of customization. This is helpful for any brand, but not required. A wide range of strategies exists, from dynamic storytelling to powerful personalization. The bottom line is that there is no single linear “path” beauty brands can take to prove they are building products and experiences that consumers will love.

    However, that do It helps brands understand how consumers are currently purchasing beauty products and what tools and features best support them online and in-store.

    How do beauty consumers shop?

    investigation of 1,250 Survey conducted by US beauty consumers harris williams I found that. 95% I plan to spend the same or more money on beauty in 2024 compared to 2023. Overall, respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 overrated these answers. The report found that product effectiveness and functional benefits were the main drivers of purchase, with TikTok being the primary channel (53%) Help consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 discover your products. For generations, shoppers have preferred to buy beauty products at mass retailers (87.1%), upon Amazon (79.6%), in-store beauty specialty stores (79.5%) and through online mass retailers (76.8%).

    In a larger study, 26,000 Conducted by Beauty Shoppers power reviewwe identified the content and channels that influence purchasing decisions.

    • Customer ratings and reviews (88%);
    • Customer photos and videos (67%);
    • Recommendations from friends/family (63%);
    • In-store recommended information by store experts (63%);
    • Instagram (34%); and
    • Tick-tock (33%).

    Social media provides a means of community and creativity

    When you consider all the different ways beauty brands can leverage digital, social media comes to the forefront as an obvious touch point. From Instagram to his TikTok, Threads, and more, every platform offers unique features and value drivers. But at its core are passionate users who are eager to share their feedback and experiences.

    “For the past few decades, social media has had a huge impact on how beauty and consumers connect and communicate,” Ruddick says.The obvious value is that these platforms Designed for discovery and education, and many users turn to social media to learn about new beauty brands and brands. That’s why social media “has become such an important place for brands to tell their stories, build communities around them in their products, and realize brand growth,” she said. Stated.

    While many beauty brands are leveraging social media to foster their communities, Ruddick pointed out that: elf beauty As a “darling of Gen Z,” according to Ruddick, she has mastered social, especially TikTok, which is “a big driver of the beauty transition.” “We can see the incredible growth and results we have seen from publicly traded companies like Elf Beauty. This brand is leveraging TikTok to drive communication and engagement with the next generation of consumers. We talked about abilities.”

    A big reason for the brand’s social success is its ability to “embrace the elf” and constantly reinvent itself.

    “If there was a playbook, it would be out there. But we don’t have a strategy because we’re always reinventing ourselves,” said CEO of Retail Influencer 2023 in New York City. At the forum, Elf Beauty Chief Brand Officer Laurie Lamb explained: “Every day I have to print out a page with all the comments I receive from the community.”

    Lam added that while Elf Beauty loves insight, it never waits for traffic lights, and its speed to market and passion for creativity are always an advantage.

    “Everything we’ve done so far has been built on insight, but then you have to use your intuition and put two things together and do it at full speed,” Lam explained. . “You’re grounded in insight, but then you stick your head up into the stars and start dreaming of what it could be like.”

    Many campaigns showcase Elf Beauty’s social media prowess, including augmented reality (AR) digital try-on and filter integration. via snap. But if any recent media efforts are indicative of the brand’s commitment to community-driven innovation, he is one. vanity table talk is an entertainment-driven digital series where celebrities like Jennifer Coolidge sit at the Elf vanity and chat about their daily lives, favorite items, and other topics. Kicker? They proceeded with the interview while applying the latest and greatest of his Elf products. This was a social-first initiative, meaning the show was expanded and repurposed across YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

    Metaverse platform becomes a hub for co-creation

    Many beauty and skincare brands are building e-commerce experiences to support their communities. for example, covey skin care will integrate social content and community feedback into its website and encourage “Flock” engagement through physical and virtual activations. These activities are part of a longer-term “club” strategy that helps brands expand and cultivate their communities.

    “The best brands, the ones that really understand and build their communities, are trying to be more than just a product on a shelf,” Ruddick said. “Having a great product is fundamental, but building a brand with meaning and a broader sense of purpose is critical to differentiating yourself in a relatively crowded landscape.”

    But Metaverse gaming platforms (think Roblox and Decentraland) are taking the concept of community to the next level by creating opportunities for users to not only communicate and collaborate with each other, but also with brands. I’m pulling up.

    rihanna’s fenty beauty is one of the brands that has built a great story, and in turn, a community, around a mission of inclusivity, and has successfully taken that mission and vision into the metaverse. For the special Roblox activation, Fenty Beauty created a series of games and interactive scavenger hunts that inspire users to learn about the brand’s products and ingredients.

    of Fenty Beauty + Skin Experience, which was only available from June 30 to July 30, 2023, is a virtual event where visitors can create a customized version of Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer by choosing ingredients, effects, bottle, lid, and applicator. There was also a beauty lab. After naming their shades, they were able to place their new creations in a virtual retail display called the “Sephora Experience,” where others could vote for their favorite user-generated items.

    Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin are leveraging many data levers behind the scenes to build a digital Gen Z community. Specifically, according to Sapna Parikh, chief digital officer at Kendo Brands, the company is leaning toward a microcommunity strategy that supports closer connections. LVMH, Parent company of Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin.

    “We can’t talk anymore [Gen Z] As one big group,” Parikh said at the 2023 Retail Influencer CEO Forum in New York City. “We need to really understand each group and what [Gen Z is also] What we are required to do is always stay on top of the channels that exist in the world. [in terms of] how we communicate [them]. Microcommunity strategies require smarter use of data and smarter use of insights. ”


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