Want to Win Consumers? Satisfy Specific Beauty Needs

The most compelling beauty advertisements appeal to consumers’ confidence rather than their insecurities—and offer free samples, according to About.com’s 2010 Beauty Study. The study also revealed that beauty products are considered a necessity, with more than two-thirds of respondents willing to purchase products even while watching their budgets.

The study, conducted online in August 2010, examined why consumers use beauty products; what influences purchasing decisions; what kind of beauty advertisements are most appealing; and what brands can do to attract new customers. It also looked at what emotions beauty products evoke in consumers.

"We see a significant number of intent-driven consumers willing to pay higher prices for quality, brand products that satisfy specific beauty needs," said Evan Minskoff, vice president, marketing, the About Group. "This presents brands with the opportunity to truly engage this audience by emphasizing the relevance of their products to consumers’ core beauty goals."

The study revealed that beauty products are non-negotiable, regardless of budget, because consumers view them as an important part of life and necessary to help maintain their look and skin/hair health. Eighty percent of respondents plan to spend more or the same in 2010 on skin, hair, male grooming, teeth-whitening and cosmetic products.

The study concluded that consumers prefer ads that appeal to their confidence, rather than to perceived insecurities. They also prefer ads that present brand and product benefits in an informative, intelligent way, and are receptive to ads that stress quality over price. The most compelling ads offer free samples or trials (cosmetics, 71%; skin care, 64%), printable coupons (cosmetics, 58%; skin care, 56%) and product information (cosmetics, 49%; skin care, 44%).

More than 50% of consumers prefer well-established brands because they are more reliable and are perceived to have higher value. Consumers prefer well-established brands over generic for cosmetics (73%), skin care products (72%) and hair care products (67%).

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