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In the May 2006 “Marketing Matters” column, I wrote about understanding the power of G2G, focusing on women-to-women recommendations and how they’re gaining in importance for beauty marketers worldwide. The Benchmarking Company’s research showed that 64% of women recommended beauty brands to girlfriends on a regular basis, and 17% received beauty advice from their girlfriends. Thus far, 2007 research indicates that those numbers remain stable and reveals more about the reasons why women value G2G beauty brand recommendations and which avenues they’re using most to get the word out.
Recommendations that women give to one another are a key component of their individual definitions of brand loyalty. According to The Benchmarking Company’s 2007 Pink Report, Survival of the Prettiest: Face and Body Skin Care, “recommending a beauty brand to others” ranks in the top five definitions of what it means to be brand loyal. (See Figure 1) A woman’s passion for sharing her life experiences is emerging as a powerful force in shaping beauty product opinions and buying habits, and the global forum of the Internet is one means of broadcasting their strong voices.
A decade ago, if you were to tell a beauty brand marketer that blogs, social networks, message boards, and Internet retailing and beauty specialty sites were going to become important channels for women to gather, discuss and heed advice from one another on beauty purchases, you would have been met with a great deal of skepticism.
Today, findings from the 2007 Pink Report: Beauty and the Blog report:
Video sharing Web sites are proving to be an important G2G medium as well. On any given day, YouTube or Google Video will air everyday women in roles as “beauty mavens,” with videos showing their fellow females tips and tricks for applying makeup for certain looks or special occasions. While many of these online divas create these homemade videos themselves, they are no less effective in passing on beauty tips (and brands they love) as a means to help other women.