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NPD Analyst Points to the Importance of Making a Statement with a Brand

Posted: June 19, 2013

In a blog post titled "And Your Point Is…?" Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst for The NPD Group, discussed how beauty brands have to say something in today's crowded marketplace in order to get attention.

She writes, "TWith so many different products, brands and retailers out there bidding for our attention and through the ever-increasing array of media—we’re all experiencing a bit of sensory overload. Perhaps that is why we all seem to need more to grab and hold our attention. The same is true in beauty.

"What catches my eye in a sea of brands is a statement. In essence, the brands that stand out remember that, ‘If you are going to open your mouth, have something to say.’ Some speak through packaging, some through positioning, some through a novel twist. Like the still unforgettable RuPaul campaign for MAC, or the stunningly gorgeous J’Adore fantasy commercial with Charlize Theron, brands today are finding ways to be seen, heard and remembered. In makeup, two headliners were Nars, who spoke through nostalgia in [its] Andy Warhol collection, and MAC who drew us in with the sultry essence of Marilyn Monroe, as well as the playful battle for Archie with Betty and Veronica. In skin care, Clarisonic tempted us with their jellybean array of colored devices—who can have just one? In fragrance, we were blown away by the campaign for Chanel No.5.

"Do you remember that unconventional endorsement by Brad Pitt that had us all talking, tweeting and texting? Was it just pointless chatter? According to NPD BeautyTrends, after the release of that ad, this 90-year-old fragrance experienced a steady lift in rank from the #4 best-selling women’s fragrance brand in 2011, to #2 in 2012—right behind sister brand Coco Mademoiselle. After almost a century on the market, Chanel No. 5’s relevance has stood the test of time by making us talk, question and debate the conveyance of its point, and its statement.

"And, isn’t that the point of it all? Saying something that awakens our senses, and makes us want to lean in and listen," Grant concludes.