Pre-pandemic, the next level in personalized beauty was artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented realty (AR) technology, as shown via countless displays at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Now, in this new era of social distancing, consumers are craving a human touch more than ever as shelter-in-place orders prohibit the physical shopping experience, and personalized beauty brands seem to be the perfect antidote to fill this void.
The big winners in the COVID-19 environment are custom hair coloring brands, such as Madison Reed, eSalon, and Color & Co., which are looking to ease concerns over the halting of coloring services due to salon closures. L’Oréal’s Color & Co., launched in mid-2019, offers a quiz as well as a virtual consultation with a licensed stylist. Madison Reed continues to employ its Color Bar stylists, shifting from a hands-on approach to offering virtual consultations. While 2019 reported a slowdown of at-home hair coloring product sales to 1.1% as mentioned in our Cosmetics & Toiletries USA report, 2020 is certain to re-energize the category as marketers work to offer panicked buyers the most personable service possible while social distancing.
Personalized beauty from other categories, such as facial skin care and hair care, has also been booming. Curology offers text updates to ensure customers continue to maintain their skin care routines and guarantee that they are using the most effective products. Known for its innovative hair cleansing products, Hairstory uses its affiliate program to continue supporting stylists who recommend the brand to clients. The program helps to maintain a relationship between all three parties involved in the transaction while offering a customized consultation experience.
Personalized beauty was one of the fastest-growing trends in 2019, advancing over 15%, according to our Personalized Beauty: U.S. Market Assessment and Opportunities report. However, as marketers continue to adapt to a digital strategy due to social distancing regulations, all players can tap into the segment. Content through Instagram Live and TikTok gives brands the opportunity to create a deeper connection with the consumer. Some brands, including Anastasia Beverly Hills and SkinCeuticals, are even taking this a step further, offering master classes through platforms such as Zoom. Personal selling brands, such as Beautycounter and Avon, are using consultants to curate a meaningful relationship with consumers.
Engagement and connection remain vital to brands during these trying times. Customer service and social media are becoming the new store associate, answering product questions and providing recommendations. As the world becomes more distanced, personalized beauty is a bright spot bringing consumers together. To learn how to make the best out of it, join Karen Doskow, Director of Kline’s Beauty & Personal Care Practice, on Thursday, May 14, 2020 for a live webinar on Personalized Beauty: The Right Antidote for the Sheltering-in-Place Consumer. Tune in to hear success stories in personalized beauty and how marketers can leverage these practices to make their brands more relevant in today’s environment.