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The Beauty Beat: How to find your tribe

Suzanne Scott
28th October 2020

Shared values and a clear and sincere brand identity will help you make your mark.

  • There are a lot of learnings to come out of the pandemic and some brands will be quicker to adapt than others

  • To have a beauty tribe is to benefit from a loyal following of engaged consumers who are eager to buy your latest launches and then tell the world about them

  • Demographics will only get you so far, to really resonate on an emotional level with your audience you must share their values

It’s not a secret that the beauty industry - like most other industries - is having a tough time of it. In-store footfall is at an all time low, which is creating a challenge for brands that have typically relied on building relationships with their customers via face-to-face activities. Brands that rely on over the counter transactions have had to scramble to improve their digital retail experience while fulfillment has, at times, been almost impossible as factories and warehouses saw lengthy closures. 

Beauty brands are now seeing the value in having a strong digital voice and presence and utilising expert content to entice and retain an engaged audience. There are a lot of learnings to come out of the pandemic and some brands will be quicker to adapt than others. 

One aspect of relationship-building that was true long before the arrival of COVID-19 and is even more crucial now, is for a beauty brand to truly understand how to resonate with their audience and existing and potential consumers by building a loyal tribe. 

We saw beauty tribes in action when queues formed around the block for the arrival of Fenty at Harvey Nichols, we see it every time someone makes a purchase at Glossier and adds a hoodie to their cart, and we see it when beauty obsessives rush to review the latest makeup palette from Makeup by Mario on YouTube. Essentially, to have a beauty tribe is to benefit from a loyal following of engaged consumers who are eager to buy your latest launches and then tell the world about them. They are your consumer and your promoter. So, how do you find your tribe? 

It’s all about shared values and a strong brand identity

Demographics will only get you so far, to really resonate on an emotional level with your audience you must share their values. Therefore, your brand must stand for something. In the case of Fenty, her audience resonated with the disruptive side of the brand and how it celebrated diversity, while Glossier was the first brand to really speak to a millennial, social-savvy audience. Brands like Hourglass are renowned for luxury products minus animal-cruelty which makes them hugely appealing to a switched-on and informed customer. It goes without saying that segmenting your target customer by age, income and lifestyle is important, but what we’re seeing now is that shopping habits go far beyond that. Whether they are buying a new serum, lipstick or gym gear, women want to align themselves with a brand that mirrors their own outlook on the world. 

Content is at the heart of it

Glossier basically wrote the rulebook on how to really matter to your customer in a digital world. After all, their brand was essentially built by their audience’s likes and dislikes. Their content platform, Into The Gloss (the OG Glossier) was already a huge hit with a millennial audience and, through social, in-blog commenting and audience data, Glossier founder Emily Weiss was able to create a brand that directly served the desires of her readers. She had the customer base before she even had a product to sell them. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and Youth Dew were developed based on the feedback of her audience proving this kind of direct insight into your consumer is worth its weight in gold. 

Excellent relevant and sincere content is essential when it comes to carving out your own tribe. Get your content right and it will pull in an engaged audience and that engagement will be what shows you the direction in which to steer, not only your product development, but every aspect of communication. Your customers only get to know you by consuming your content. A timely, well-written blog post will show them what you believe in, a slick video will demonstrate your authority and expertise and your social campaigns will reveal who you collaborate with and whether your values are compatible with theirs. 

Talk to the digital marketing specialists

We know these are daunting times for a beauty brand, especially when the existing ways of doing things no longer work. We understand it’s hard to know where to start and we know that establishing a point of difference, a tone of voice and a credible and relatable identity in an already saturated industry can feel like an almost impossible task. Let us help you make an impact. Get in touch with our Managing Editor Suzanne Scott for a chat.

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