BeautyMatter’s Future Fifty event was star-studded with the best and brightest in the beauty industry.
With front-row access to noteworthy executives behind brands like Sephora, Ulta, L’Oreal, Beauty Counter, Haus Labs, Jones Road Beauty and more, we’re sharing all the 2023 takeaways in trends, industry shifts, and what the future holds for the beauty industry.
Here are the top eight beauty industry shifts in 2023 from the Beauty Matter Future Fifty event.
1) “ROCKET SHIPS OFTEN EXPLODE,” – CAROL HAMILTON, GROUP PRESIDENT, ACQUISITIONS.
Hamilton warned that taking money too early doesn’t benefit the founder of the brand. Consumers need to get to know your brand and that takes time.
Building a strong foundation is imperative no matter how sophisticated and knowledgeable you are in the beauty space. Beyond great products and a great brand story, you need to have a reason for being.
You need to be leading the world in something—maybe it’s pioneering beauty on social media like Urban Decay did in the 90’s or a super strong social justice mission that’s built into the brand DNA like Youth to the People.
You must have the patience to nurture the brand. Brands that respect profits, not just brands that take investments are the ones that get noticed first by Hamilton.
The brand mission isn’t enough, you need to have a social mission as well but keep it simple and intuitive to the brand, and know your purpose from the beginning and early.
2) THE LAYERED APPROACH
Something we work on inside all our programs, whether it be clients we work with 1:1, C2C, The Mastermind, or The Beauty Brand Launch Method is positioning your brand using three differentiating stories, not just one. When you have a layered approach to positioning you have the room to navigate a pivot or shift in trends with ease.
You’re not stuck in one segment. Paraphrasing Hamilton, when brands swerve towards a trend when that trend wasn’t an integral part of their brand DNA it smells of desperation and inauthenticity.
But if they start with just one positioning and that positioning becomes outdated shifts it causes the brand to become stuck because the market has changed.
3) RETENTION IS THE NEW ACQUISITION.
Retention, profitability, and long-term sustainable growth is what brands in the know are focusing on.
They’re not looking for a quick spike with ad spend.
You want to look deeply at your customer experience—what’s their second and third purchase and why. Farmacy founder, Tiffany Marie Corpuz, shared that after covid the company pivoted its investments into customers with high LTV because ad costs shot up in 2022.
She added, “98% of our sales come from our loyalty members.”
Elevating the customer experience can include:
– loyalty programs
– gifts with purchase
– payment plans
– subscription plans
– social shopping with points marketplace like Catch.
– curated offers
4) ASK FOR CUSTOMER FEEDBACK.
You’d be surprised how many brands don’t do this enough. Involve your customers in the entire process of building, growing and scaling your brand.
In a way, Glossier’s founder, Emily Weiss pioneered the modern-age approach to brand building with bottom-up marketing but this is even more important nowadays as hundreds of beauty brands launch on the market each year.
Michelle Crossan Matos, CMO at ULTA said they have 4M active users that we are actively asking for feedback and targeting users with our brands.
5) CONSISTENT ROI OVER SPIKES.
The Jones Road team is leaning into YouTube and IG Reels even though they’ve had a couple of Bobbi Brown’s TikTok videos go viral that saw them sell out Jones Road stock within hours.
The JR team believes that TikTok’s virality is peeking and since a good portion of their customer base is 50+, they are also focusing marketing spend on Facebook ads and affiliate partnerships with media companies like Prevention.
6) DON’T BE AFRAID TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.
Bobbi Brown shared a fun story of launching her MIracle Balm without packaging.
Because she was too excited to wait on her secondary packaging to get the product out to her customers, she had her team pack hundreds of Miracle Balms in sandwich bags bought at Kings grocery store and sealed with neon tape.
This launch style born out of necessity became a huge hit and helped kick off the product’s popularity with a bang.
7) NATURAL ISN’T ALWAYS BEST ACCORDING TO PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT EXPERTS.
And some other trends in product development:
– luxury haircare
– Biotech-driven ingredients
– Completely up-cycling feedstock
– wellness ingredients
– hero products, no loss leaders.
8) WHEN THE ECONOMY IS FICKLE, GO UP-MARKET.
The 1% does not change its shopping habits when the market changes. If you’re seeing sales drop recently, you need to go up-market with your market and offer. In fact, luxury shoppers are looking for brands like yours to give them that luxurious experience they can’t find elsewhere.
Additionally, ChatGPT is going to make commodity products even more commodity so even more of a reason to un-commoditize your brand and offer something special.
If I had to boil down the takeaways to three core themes it would be this, in 2023, retention is king, your bigger why and purpose has to be deeply woven into your brand DNA, and buyers, media and consumers alike are looking at real brand presence, not rocketship growth hacking.
Ready to grow real brand presence with your beauty business and make a mark in the beauty industry? Learn more here about how we can work together and create a plan to make your brand an iconic one.