Welcome to the Fast Beauty era.
Last year I published a story here about how the social economy was disrupting the beauty industry. While this has never been more true, a step further has now been taken, and we have entered the fast beauty era.
The Social Disruption
As a recent study from McKinsey pointed out, 26% of purchases are induced by social media influence. The firm also says that marketing-inspired word of mouth generates twice as much sales as paid advertising.
And let’s face it, for the biggest advertising-buying industry, that’s kind of a big deal. So to get this straight, let’s take a step back for a minute.
The first question is: why is the beauty industry the biggest advertiser out there?
Well my guess is, the reason lies within the product itself. Cosmetics are basically chemicals that are supposed to make you beautiful and glamourous. Isn’t that kind of a contradiction? So obviously for centuries no one wanted to focus on the chemical part of it because that doesn’t make any one want to buy the product, and the industry chose to focus on the glamour part of it.
That’s when brands started to hire muses and told the consumer “Hey, let me do the science part and just focus on looking like Kate Moss.”
But now the social web comes along, and the consumer is not alone anymore.
She starts sharing thoughts about the products, how it works, what’s inside, how it does not make her look like Kate Moss at all. Worse, the consumer doesn’t even want to look like Kate Moss anymore, she wants to look like that awesome Youtuber that’s giving her beauty tips and teaching her techniques that the brand never bothered sharing (if she was not willing to hear a 20-minute speach from their sales agent).
And that’s how the power shifted from the brand to the social media influencer.
That’s social disruption.
From Fast Fashion to Fast Beauty
So here’s the deal: that awesome Youtuber now talks to a multi-million audience. And she’s not the only one. Every month there are more 1.6B views on beauty content on Youtube only, says a Pixabily report. Beauty is also one of the top subjects on Pinterest and Instagram.
Well you’ve got it, once you start posting selfies everyday, you better have a perfect make-up style to show off. And if you are posting selfies every day, you also better have a new look to show off in each picture!
As a consequence, the selfie phenomenon has a huge effect on the beauty market. After years of having fast fashion trends induced by bloggers and magazines, social media is now bringing a shift in the beauty market.
Can you see what shoes or handbag Kylie Jenner is wearing in this picture? No, you can only see her perfect matte nude lip and bold eyeliner. And this is why beauty is the new big thing for the social-connected consumer.
But thanks to 15 years of fast fashion growth, that consumer is now used to over-consuming high quality product at affordable prices.
And she expects the same from the beauty industry. She applies the same pattern to her beauty shopping habits: she buys beauty products very often, changes her routine every time a new trend comes along, and wants quality for her money.
The equation is that simple:
Fast Fashion + Social Media + Selfie Generation = Fast Beauty
Viral Trends & Fast Beauty Brands
So that’s where you have it: make-up market super boost!
Make-up trends are evolving as fast as hashtags are written: brow make-up, nude eyes, contouring, strobbing, matte lips, bubble masks…do I have to name them all?
In 2015, make-up has grown 34% online in 2015 (source: NPD Group).
Yes, leading brands (I mean the big groups, you know who) are not the first to pull the strings anymore. Trends are so fast to spread worlwide that traditional leaders, brands and retailers both, are not suited to keep up the pace.
Instead, a new type of brands has emerged. Those who use social media, and social media only, to spot upcoming trends and spread word about their products. Brands like NYX Cosmetics that was the biggest acquisition L’Oréal ever made for that very reason. Brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills who had the market’s biggest growth in 2015.
As for retailers, the same pattern applies: how can they keep up with the enormous and super fast changing amount of upcoming brands? How can they promote their products if editorial marketing is dead?
Fast beauty retail needs a new model. A digital, fast-beauty-ready one.
Welcome to The Beautyst: the social marketplace for fast beauty.
Welcome to the Fast Beauty era.