Rahul Sachitanand
Dec 17, 2020

Confined consumers make beauty brands rethink their marketing plans

With consumers stuck at home most of the year—or wandering out warily masked—cosmetics labels have seen their product assortments upended and have faced fresh challenges reaching buyers.

Confined consumers make beauty brands rethink their marketing plans

Stuck at home and locked down to ride out the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are finding few reasons to use their cosmetics and beauty products in their pyjamas. Instead, a report from 65db, a part of TBWA, shows that people have massively shifted their product mix. And conversations measured in the report have been widely altered too.

The report, which tracks trends in two key Asian markets, China and Japan, shows how categories such as skincare and professional treatment have soared in 2020, even as makeup has dived. For example, as "mask-face" has become a trending topic, conversations around this topic have soared.

Searches for mask-related conversations 


Similarly, with With social distancing during lock-down, DYI beauty practices and self-care grew, in particular with people experimenting new innovative beauty products and technologies and at-home treatments. In China this is reflected in the trend of householdization in the professional field or the use of household electronic products for personal care, while in Japan, the “otaku economy” saw significant growth in home beauty instruments. 

As people learned to being indoors, the way they looked at their beauty regimen also shifted. The report points out that brands had to reckon with shifts in sentiment. For instance, there has been growing emphasis on mental wellness and healthier lifestyles during the pandemic, and this is reflected in growing interest in topics ranging from sleep quality to nutritional diets.

Searches for at-home beauty regimens


On the ground, this is reflected in younger Chinese consumers, for example, discussing beauty regimen, once only discussed by elders. Besides a clear appeal for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) ingredients such as Lingzhi and Snow fungus, edible skincare products are now trending in China.

Searches for sustainabiluty, price and online purchases of cosmetics have surged. 


Perhaps the biggest change is happening in the way beauty brands are marketed and sold. While consumers. While online channels are getting increasingly popular, brands also need to reckon with consumers who are more stringently evaluating their budget, strongly considering the ethical and sustainability positions of the brands they consume and in a tough economic environment, taking a more conservative and nationalistic view of their purchases. 

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