The US is the largest market for cosmetics generating over $89 billion annually. This exponential growth of the industry has led to market saturation and brands now have to devise innovative ways to market their products. Based on data and stats, there are four main types of target consumers the cosmetic industry has to focus on.
Four types of consumers:
Based on analytical data these four types of consumers are:
The first category is the traditional consumer. This consumer buys traditional products i.e. lipsticks and foundations. One of the major driving factors for this segment is financial availability. This type of consumer can be influenced easily by media and doesn’t take enough time to look for the latest trends. They buy basic cosmetic products.
This consumer gets information about the beauty world from blogs, magazines, and social media. Such consumers avidly watch makeup tutorials and rush to buy any new products. this segment can be easily influenced by attractive packaging (we will discuss this later in the article).
This consumer is the adolescents entering the adult phase. This segment can be easily influenced by marketing as well as they don’t have a fixed choice and experiment with products for a while, till they enter into the traditional or beauty addict segment.
This segment comprises of that 10% that contributes to 80% of the revenue. This consumer buys multiple products and has vast information about multiple channels. This segment is probably the most crucial and difficult to influence. Brands send PR packages to beauty gurus as they contribute to a major part of marketing.
Challenges in targeting millennials:
Millennials and Gen Z are considered “woke” generations. For these two generations, the absence of undesirable products is more important than the presence of desirable ones. The boycott of Lily lashes by a major consumer segment is a recent example. Lily lashes kept on selling their real mink lashes by falsely branding them as cruelty-free. These lashes are THE best false lashes in the market, still, people stopped buying them because of unethical business practices.
Brands have to walk on eggshells when it comes to marketing their products. In this era of the world wide web, consumers can find out about any foul play or unethical practices easily. Transparency and honesty is the key when you’re targeting millennials and GEN Z.
Role of packaging:
Apart from social media and online marketing, a major tool used by cosmetic companies in the packaging.
Designing your packaging according to the preferences of the target audience is called personalization. You study your target market and then design your package. For example, you want to market a high-end lip-gloss that acts as a lip plump too. If you intend to retail your product at $70, you need to study the market segment willing to buy a lip plumping gloss for $70. You must know their likings and then design the package accordingly.
If you’re planning to launch a drug store product, targeted at medium to low-income segments, you can’t afford to assign a huge budget to package. cosmetic Companies use digital printing to market their drugstore products. It is an economical method that gets the job done.
Colors, designs, and gradients:
When using packaging to influence buying behaviors, companies have to research the preferences of their target audience for color combinations, designs, and color gradients (gradients is when light and dark shades are mixed). Gradients and light colors are preferred by teens and consumers in their early 20s while dark and bold shades are liked by consumers in their late 20s and older.
People who prefer organic and natural products like minimalistic packaging designs. They want ample information about the product on the packaging but like the design to be simple and clean. Bath and body works is a great example of minimalistic packaging design.
People who like to experiment with makeup or are beauty addicts are drawn towards contemporary packaging designs. Jeffree Star cosmetics is a good example of using contemporary packaging designs to influence the buying behavior of their target audience (which is the beauty addicts). If you have seen Custom Lip Gloss Boxes of this brand, you would know what I’m talking about. The whole vibe of the brand is alien, different, over-the-top, extra, and contemporary. The packaging matches exactly with the brand narrative.
The target audience that can be influenced by using sustainable packaging is GEN Z, the young consumer. They’re fighting for the environment and against climate change. Biodegradable and compostable packaging, which doesn’t have an enormous effect on the environment can help market your product to a more eco-conscious audience. To use this packaging, make sure that the whole branding of your product revolves around the environmentally friendly narrative.
With millions of products being added to the market every day, devising effective branding strategies is becoming more and more challenging. Bigger companies like Protector and Gamble, Loreal, Estee Lauder have invested huge capitals in R&D for innovative packaging to influence consumer-buying behaviors. For Indie brands and startups, it is another story though. They mostly rely on outsourcing packaging as an independent supply chain for packaging that requires bigger budgets.
The good news is, there are packaging companies i.e. Gator packaging working in a market that can help indie brands and smaller startups to establish branding through custom and personalized packaging.