Tech is the common denominator here according to Kline and the firm’s new Cosmetics & Toiletries USA report. “Technological advancements…allow personalized beauty solutions on various levels,” notes the researcher in a press release about the report. “High double- to triple-digit growth is seen among those brands that manage to capitalize on personalized approaches in 2015.”
Customized products, regimens, and fragrances are the first echelon, but personalized recommendations and targeted marketing also resonated with shoppers. “Both large and niche brands utilize the power of social media to connect with target consumers,” states Kline. “Large brands like Neutrogena, Clinique, or Estée Lauder have become key social influencers as they turned to beauty social media celebrities to appeal to millennials.”
Selling with social
Comparatively speaking though, it’s the small companies and indie brands that are making the most of social media when it comes to beauty sales. “Smaller brands have a distinct advantage as they are very nimble and can listen more closely and adapt to consumers’ demands quicker,” observes Naira Aslanian, research project manager at Kline.
“The fact that smaller brands, particularly in the makeup products class, grow the strongest confirms the power of social media leveling the playing field among large players with hefty advertising budgets, and small, niche brands that do not have the larger marketing budgets,” she says. “It also demonstrates the power these companies have in terms of sales.”
Today’s image forward, social media culture is impacting product sales in other ways, too. Kline points to product launches meant to meet the demand for selfie-ready makeup looks, such as Covergirl’s Outlast Stay Luminous foundation and any number of new bold lip colors.
This and the demand for multifunction beauty products made lip color an outstanding growth category last year. “Resonating with the selfie generation desiring bold lips and driven by innovative products, lipsticks and lip glosses is the fastest-growing product category, recording over 8% growth in 2015,” says Kline. “The key drivers are multi-functional/hybrid products like liquid lipsticks, which provide skin care benefits, as well as bold, long-lasting lip color.”
But it was the men’s category that saw the most growth: “With more men paying more attention to their personal appearance, skin care products for men record the highest growth of 9.5% in 2015.”