CONSUMER EMPOWERMENT:

Identifying Four Consumer Types Impacting Today’s Beauty Market

While large corporations once dictated trends to consumers, today it is evident that the power is also in the hand of the consumers.  And with the advent of mobile devices, online tutorials, and social media, consumers are highly savvy and more informed than ever, demanding constant innovation and update. As quickly as they can make positive recommendations exponentially to all their contacts through social media, they can just as quickly spread reviews that are negative.

Skeptical of marketing over-promises, today’s consumers prefer honesty and quality. Thus, they are drawn to small niche brands with brand personalities and straightforward product claims. In fact, in the United States, indie cosmetics have evolved by almost 20% recently, while the ‘traditional’ cosmetics industry only grew by about 3%. This illustrates the how strong, authentic brand perspectives appeal to today’s consumers.

And as consumer empowerment is key, we have identified four main consumer types:  MODERATE HOLISTICS, MILITANT IDEALISTS, REALITY ZAPPERS, and EFFICIENT PRAGMATICS.

MODERATE HOLISTICS can mostly be found among Boomers and Gen-Xers. They understand that health and beauty are intimately linked.

They purchase mainstream brands for personal care, but can, at the same time, tap into local indie brands and alternative cures inspired by alternative and Eastern medicine such as aromatherapy, gem therapy, and chromotherapy for skin care.

Avid consumers of sleep-care and athleisure products, they are open to test meditation apps such as Headscape, Mindbody, or The Mindfulness App.

MODERATE HOLISTICS value natural ingredients and sustainability, and understand that fitness and well-being are key, however these values are not the main focus of their lives.

To attract their attention, product and brand communications should convey both long-term health benefits and instant pleasure and efficacy.

MILITANT IDEALISTS, on the contrary to MODERATE HOLISTICS, do not want to compromise their political and environmental convictions because they need to be faithful to their causes to feel better about themselves.

Mostly young affluent Gen-Xers, they endorse brands with social values and initiatives and are actively involved in minority rights such as gender-neutrality, racial equality, and women’s rights.

They generally prefer local indie brands to large corporations, as traceability, minimal carbon footprint, and fair trade are key to them. Well-informed, MILITANT IDEALISTS tend to jump on the latest ethical trends such as vegan or cruelty-free to be irreproachable and have a clear conscience.

To reach this consumer group, brands have to voice their political ideals, be aligned with latest sustainable trends, and be actively involved in non-profit initiatives.

REALITY ZAPPERS are mostly Gen-Ys, Gen-Zs, and the Alpha Generation. From an early age, they are able to fluidly jump from virtual to real, and embrace both equally.

They purchase from brick-and-mortar stores and ecommerce. Recommendations via social media are a critical factor for buying decisions.

They study online reviews and peer recommendations before making purchases, and constantly look for the latest and coolest products to try.

They love to watch online tutorials, as well as produce their own.

To reach this consumer group, brands have to constantly innovate and catch the latest online buzz. Having said that, brands should not just impetuously take on the latest trends. It is more important to remain faithful to one’s brand identity, and sometimes this means passing on some trend opportunities.

EFFICIENT PRAGMATICS represent the largest consumer group as they can be found trans-generationally.

For them, transparency and fair prices are key. They are skeptical when it comes to product and marketing claims, and tend to trust realistic claims rather than promises that seem exaggerated. For example, it is better to state that a product is 95% organic, rather than try to claim 100% when it is not.

As they tend to value price more than sustainability, they appreciate customer savings programs, loyalty cards, and value sets.

Leading busy and active lives, they use time-efficient products like ‘all-in-ones.’ To attract this consumer group, communicate simple, honest, and authentic values, as well as true, straightforward claims. Underlining the relation between value and price is also key.

EFFICIENT PRAGMATICS represent the largest consumer group as they can be found trans-generationally.

For them, transparency and fair prices are key. They are skeptical when it comes to product and marketing claims, and tend to trust realistic claims rather than promises that seem exaggerated. For example, it is better to state that a product is 95% organic, rather than try to claim 100% when it is not.

As they tend to value price more than sustainability, they appreciate customer savings programs, loyalty cards, and value sets.

Leading busy and active lives, they prefer time-efficient products like ‘all-in-ones.’

To attract this consumer group, communicate simple, honest, and authentic values, as well as true, straightforward claims. It is also critical to highlight quality and affordability.

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