The beauty industry has evolved at such a tremendous pace that it can become overwhelming and expensive to keep up with. It is important to know who is in control of the industry to understand how this will affect the future of the beauty industry. Are consumers in charge of the beauty products that are released? Is social media? How about influencers? Or more interestingly, are the brands the ones with all the control?
The importance of social media for the beauty and cosmetics industry is undoubtedly crucial for a beauty brand. One negative review can cause rippling effects throughout the entire beauty community and influence the purchasing decisions consumers make. I know I have been thoroughly influenced by many influencers and their choices but the marketing of a product, from the campaigns, photoshoots and even the packaging of a product, has had an impact on my consumer purchasing decisions.
Is it cute enough? Does the brand align with the collective consumer wants and needs? Will everyone have a perfect match with the shade range options? These are all questions that influence my unique purchasing decisions.
Global sales of health and beauty products are expected to soar 73% from 2016 to 2024, from $432 billion to $750 billion, according to Inkwood Research, a Boston-based research firm (A HEALTH AND BEAUTY COMPANY’S GUIDE, 2020). Currently, the industry is worth $287.94 billion dollars, and with each year to come, an additional $100 billion is to be brought into the industry (Howarth 2022). But really, who controls the industry? And why is this important to know?
Let’s get into the specifics. There are 9 megacompanies that own the majority of the beauty brands we know and love.
Estee Lauder Companies
Procter & Gamble
Johnson & Johnson
These mega-companies are the ones with the ultimate control. They fight for sales and of course, each brand under their company is set to compete with each other but also with the brands from other mega-companies.
Ever wonder why all of a sudden every brand has a similar product? For example, from January- to the current day of April we have seen multiple versions of serum or lightweight, natural coverage/ skinlike foundations and in general a large influx of complexion products? Most likely because these megacompanies have acquired or developed a formula and have made changes to the formula to ensure that their brands can keep up to date and compete for market share.
Consistent launches of the same product have been consistent since these megacompanies acquired these beauty brands. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have variety and options, but when is enough?
Beauty launches happen almost every day and with these consistent launches of new products, new reviews of a product from influencers are released to the public to decide if a product is worth purchasing. Not to mention, the continued desire to discover and test new products to up your beauty game is unbelievably expensive to keep up with.
It is in my opinion that the consumer has no control over what beauty brands launch because the power of marketing from beauty brands has created the wants and needs the consumer is looking for. Now I’m in full understanding that this is the point of marketing but shouldn’t we, the public who spends their hard-earned money be the ones whose voices are heard when we request a particular type of product?
On the other hand, social media influencers are the ones who hold the most power with purchasing decisions because of the impact they leave their audiences. Social media influencers drive brand engagement and brand loyalty (Lim et al. 2017). The trust a consumer places on an influencer directly affects if they trust the beauty product in question. This trust can consequently increase product sales of the product (Cooley & Parks-Yancy 2019). Studies have found that social media and influencers drive almost an equal amount of online and in-store sales (Barnes 2015).
Myself, I’m most influenced by social media beauty influencers. There are a particular few who I trust so wholeheartedly and have not yet let me down or made me regret purchasing a product. Why do I leave my trust in these people? The simple answer is that have yet to recommend a product I’ve not loved and therefore a solid foundation of trust has been built. If Jaclyn Hill, Kathleen Lights, Shaaanxo, Mikayla Nogueira, or Allie Glines has not mentioned the product, would I purchase it? Honestly, it would depend on my personal interest in the product if I will seek out reviews. If I find enough positive feedback from other influencers, then I may or may not be inclined to purchase the product, but if any of the women I trust mention the product is incredible, you can pretty much count on me to purchase the product at some point. It’s truly their personality and if I feel they’re genuine in their reviews that allows me to trust their opinion.
Loyalty and trust are always qualities we look out for in our daily life why wouldn’t you look out for them when it comes to your beauty products?
Below are a series of videos posted to my Tik Tok account showcasing the products influencers have influenced me into purchasing as well as the marketing of a product that influenced me to purchase.
The future of the beauty industry is truly heading towards influencers and beauty brands collaborating further. This collaboration whether it is paid or not does and will continue to influence purchasing decisions. In turn, this will affect the popularity of a beauty brand and in my opinion will continue to showcase us who in the beauty industry truly has the ultimate control.
Cooley, D & Parks-Yancy, R 2019, The Effect of Social Media on Perceived Information Credibility and Decision Making, Journal of Internet Commerce, viewed 28 April 2022, <https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/15332861.2019.1595362>.
A HEALTH AND BEAUTY COMPANY’S GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS 2 Finding a Solution With True Unified Commerce n.d., Oracle Netsuite, viewed 27 April 2022, <https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/4259277/Resources/Optimized/wp-staying-relevant-in-a-fast-paced-industry-health-and-beauty.pdf>.
Howarth, J 2022, The Ultimate List of Beauty Industry Stats (2022), Exploding Topics, Exploding Topics, viewed 27 April 2022, <https://explodingtopics.com/blog/beauty-industry-stats#top-beauty-stats>.
Murphy, A 2021, About Our Beauty Brands | Kendo Brands | Cosmetics, Kendo Brands, viewed 28 April 2022, <https://kendobrands.com/about-us/#:~:text=The%20portfolio%20consists%20of%20Fenty,quality%2C%20innovation%20and%20authentic%20storytelling.>.
Lim, J., M. Radzol, J. Cheah, and M. Wong. 2017. The impact of social media Influencers on purchase intention and the mediation effect of customer attitude. Asian Journal of Business Research 7, 21–30. [Crossref], [Google Scholar]
Barnes, N. 2015. EWOM drives social commerce: A survey of millennials in US and abroad. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness 9 (2):36–46. [Google Scholar]