An Emotional Connection: A Brand for Her
Published in Inside Cosmeceuticals, November 2011
by Alisa Marie Beyer
When it comes to what motivates beauty consumers, most could offer up dozens of theories, data points and facts; but the truth is simpler: You have to engage her emotionally. And now, science is telling why.
Advanced MRI science has proven humans are overwhelmingly emotion-based decision makers, and neurobiologists have found emotional reactions to brand-related stimuli are processed 80-percent faster than cognitive reactions.1 What does that mean to the beauty industry? If your brand doesn’t engage her on a deeply personal and emotional level, you risk losing not only her interest, but her loyalty long-term. In today’s volatile beauty marketplace, loyalty is the glue that propels brands from being one-time larks to lifelong must-haves.
Always looking for ways to gain even more insights into one of its favorite things—beauty consumers—The Beauty Company took an even deeper look with its 2012 Pink Report®: Let’s Get Emotional: Using ‘Emotional Science’ to Segment the U.S. Beauty Consumer. Using a sophisticated segmentation system, the Company probed women’s relationship with beauty via a comprehensive survey designed to distill critical demographic and psychographic information as it directly pertains to the industry, to beauty and to your brand.
The ‘E’ Factor
Emotions are something everyone can all relate to—be good, bad or indifferent. And although "beauty" may not bring to mind emotions, the truth is the two are actually very closely aligned. What bride doesn’t remember the perfume she wore on her wedding day? And who can forget the stab of excitement while opening their first tube of Great Lash? The 2012 Pink Report: Let’s Get Emotional discovered that no matter the beauty topic, the emotional ties women have to beauty are not only strikingly similar among certain consumers, there are five primary categories in which beauty buyers tend to fall—the Emotional Beauty Spectrum. This spectrum consists of Beauty Importance, Beauty Knowledge, Beauty Attachment, Beauty Control and Beauty Anxiety.
Further analysis proved that where women fell within these categories dictates how they interact with the beauty category overall; and these spectrums are an important part of why she chooses (or doesn’t) to use your brand.
• Beauty Importance tracks how important beauty is, or isn’t to consumers.
• Beauty Knowledge reveals how confident different consumers feel in their understanding of all the products available to them.
• Beauty Attachment shows that for certain consumers, beauty is extremely important and they’d rather skip breakfast than skip their morning routine; while for others, it’s simply a utility that meets a need, like a front door key.
• Beauty Control, perhaps the most interesting spectrum, reveals how confident women feel in the effectiveness of beauty products—can these products truly make a difference in how they look as the years pass, or is there little to be done? Age is age, and nothing will change our appearance that much?
• Beauty Anxiety, the final spectrum, was an unexpected discovery. This spectrum shows that regardless of her confidence or knowledge of the beauty category, a certain number of consumers still feel overwhelmed by the choices available to them. Simply put, some women see the aisles at Sephora and their head spins with anticipation; while others see these same aisles and become incredibly anxious.
By understanding the unique data points collected that informed the Emotional Beauty Spectrum, The Beauty Company was able to identify the five primary beauty consumers in the United States today, and she’s a consumer you will want to meet.
Her Emotional Connection
Once the unique significance of each spectrum among beauty consumers was statistically validated, the Company was able to use further analysis to identify key beauty consumer archetypes. These five profiles—The Diva, The All-American, The Classic, The Minimalist and The Bewildered—are not just top-line snapshots; they are living, breathing sketches of the five beauty consumers leading the U.S. market today that bring these consumers to life in an immediately applicable, exciting way. In addition to demographics—where she lives and how old she is—the Company explored a host of psychographical and emotional questions: Which brand of shoes does she prefer and what makeup item (or 10!) is always in her handbag? Which celebrity does she most admire, and what message does she want your brand to speak out and sing to her? The extreme competition in the beauty aisles these days has made tapping into her emotions even more vitally important because simply appealing to logic is no longer a strong enough trade-off between brands. Instead, she is yearning for an emotional connection—a reason to pick this over that, or yours over theirs.
With the 2012 Pink Report: Let’s Get Emotional, Using Emotional Science to Segment the U.S. Beauty Consumer, The Beauty Company was able to go even deeper, and reveal the emotional anchors that define her relationship with not just your brand, but all brands. By understanding these ties—why beauty is (or isn’t) important to her, her beauty savvy and what kind of attachments she forms with her favorite brands—companies can create not only a happy consumer, but a loyal consumer for life.
So go ahead and speak to her emotionally; it will be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Alisa Marie Beyer has built and sold three companies and is now the founder and creative director of The Beauty Company (TBC)—a strategy firm that helps clients build beauty brands that women want to buy. As the “McKinsey of the beauty industry," TBC offers brand strategy and intelligence, brand identity and package design, creative writing and brand marketing services, as well as product strategy and testing. Serving clients at every stage of development— from startups to 13 of the top 15 global beauty companies—TBC intimately understand the industry, the consumer and the market, and becomes an integral part of each client or project team. As the publisher of the Pink Report® and WomenTrends® , TBC keeps its finger on the pulse of the industry and offers consumer intelligence and proven methodologies.