Only 1 in 10 consumers notice new product launches

…as a marketing professional, is all your hard work actually producing results?

I’ve come to rely on the in-cosmetics trends presentations to get me thinking about the issues that matter in beauty. This year’s show was no exception and provided some really exciting ideas on how beauty brands should be planning for the future. I’ve picked out a few key insights that I think you should be considering before working on that new launch or marketing campaign.

Most innovation goes unnoticed

Are you aware that despite all the time and effort you put into new launch ideas for the perfect product, it seems only 1 in 10 people notice the results of your hard work? {source: Datamonitor}

Why might that be? I believe it’s because of the sheer volume of new product launches. Consumers can no longer tell the new from the old, so stick with what they know. But we all know that product launches are important, so how can you ensure that consumers notice yours?

One of the most powerful ways is by empowering the consumer, making them feel they own the brand so they are more likely to buy it. Here’s two examples of brands that are achieving just that:

Challenge convention: Kimberley Clark enlisted the help of teenage girls to design what they think feminine hygiene products should look like and came up with the visually brilliant packaging for its U by Kotex brand {http://www.ubykotex.com/get_real/design}, The result was a leap in market share for U by Kotex to 70% just one month after launch.

Avoiding the predictable: Instead of launching the “same old, same old”, {as so many fragrance brands do}, Unilever also decided to listen to consumers when developing their new Lynx fragrance. They asked 25 men to describe what they thought “fragrance freshness” meant to them –this led to the massively successful new Twist variant, a scent that changes the way it smells during the day.

New experiences outweigh new products

Wellbeing is an important segment, but products alone won’t engage the consumer. Datamontor’s research shows that new experiences are more likely to create a sense of wellbeing, than new products. What this means is that you can’t rely on just sticking the product on the shelf and expecting consumers to go crazy for it- they’re far more likely to buy if the environment in which it’s sold makes them feel good.

One way is to bring the physical and digital store together, as Clinique did by launching its Smart Bar™, enabling consumers to really interact with the brand, by reading online reviews and watching “how to” videos.

Cosmetic mixology: mixing fragrances like cocktails

Fragrance is a difficult concept to get across to consumers, especially in retail where hundreds of brands compete for attention. Datamonitor suggested using the cocktail metaphor and applying it to fragrance: “Stand-alone cocktail bars offer the opportunity to smell unbranded scents based on emotion rather than branding.”

When branding, packaging and imagery are stripped away, you are left with the fragrance itself. This simple, but innovative retail idea could be the way to let future fragrance stars rise to the top.

Distribution channels for the future

Social media’s still in its infancy as far as beauty brands are concerned, but data is coming out showing that it’s going to be an essential part of marketing.

Amy Kean, head of consumer innovation, MPG Media Contacts, shared new research at in-cosmetics, showing that shopping for beauty in the future will be so much more than buying in retail or even from websites. The data showed that:

  • 21.8% of consumers would buy on a social network if the brands on offer were ones they know and trust

  • 25.3% would buy if a brand was exclusively available on Facebook

Have you got a Facebook strategy yet? And what about new channels you hadn’t even thought of? I learnt that Pinterest has now overtaken Twitter in terms of popularity.

Are you ready for the next big thing in social media?

I hope you found this research thought-provoking and usable.I’d love to know what you think: are these ideas just “pie-in-the-sky” or something you can see working in the beauty industry?