In this article we aim to show how beauty brands can exploit 5 experiential marketing trends to improve their campaigns. However, before we get on to that, it is apt to begin with two quotes, both from respected sources, which address the current trend of successful online retailers moving offline, to provide an omni-channel retail experience:
“We might talk about all of our new technology, and the things that we use to get our pilots done, but really it all comes back to what are the experiences we are giving consumers… We’re just using technologies to enhance the experience.”
Ophelia Ceradini, vice president of digital innovation and technology group at Estée Lauder.
“Smart digital retailers are beginning to recognize that they too need a broader, multi-channel approach for many of the same reasons offline retailers do.”
These moves could be coming in response to the fact that, despite popularity, online sales only made up 13.2% of overall retail sales in the UK as of March 2016, leaving almost £30 billion accounted for elsewhere. The other factor, is the growing importance of the consumer experience:
“it’s not a great service experience to not be able to try on clothes before you buy them,”
This is just one aspect of the consumer experience which is missing from eCommerce. The in-store experience allows consumers engage with and learn about the brand in the presence of helpful brand ambassadors, developing a deep, trusting relationship. We will look at 5 experiential marketing trends and how they can be exploited for the beauty industry, complete with examples, just to prove it can be done!
5 Experiential Marketing Trends
Pop-ups are an effective way of creating a physical retail venue, whilst maintaining an air of exclusivity due to the limited time period of these installations. One example of this comes from cosmetics brand Benefit who created a three-story ‘beauty bar’ in Soho named Curl’s Best Friend, offering hair and cosmetics treatments, given alongside cocktails. The brand offered “1950’s style beauty parlour indulgence” staying true to the brand’s core image. In addition to this, they worked alongside Guidebook to create an app to measure engagement and increase the reach of the campaign through social sharing compatibility.
Or, to increase the feeling of exclusivity, and therefore FOMO (fear of missing out), a pop-up roadshow is an effective tool. Here we see Soap And Glory’s double decker bus roadshow, complete with giant pink slide and stage for “Beyoncé-style dance classes“. The tour also included make-overs and a comfort filled “snug” room. The brand took their “Soaper Squad” across the UK after seeing success across the pond. Both campaigns show just how successful pop-up’s can be without having to be a dedicated retail outlet.
Of course these campaigns, as with all experiential campaigns, require the correct support through social and direct marketing channels. However, a pop-up installation, complete with some free “goodies”, can give your brand the air of exclusivity and value to get the consumers talking, and more importantly purchasing!
Snapchat, as a marketing channel, is vastly underused, with 150 million users recording 10 billion engagements per day, this platform has a vast reach to a highly engaged audience. According to the Financial Times, 16 million British smartphone users use the platform, with 30% being under 18. A 2016 report by Mintel stated:
“While 90 percent of girls aged 9-17 are beauty product users, today, seven in 10 (69 percent) boys of the same age enjoy a touch of beauty.”
This is a demographic heavily effected by industry influencers and presents a prime opportunity for a combination of targetted and influencer marketing.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) December 2, 2015
Here we see an example of a Snapchat geofilter used to promote the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, these filters are easily accessible, starting at $5 each, and provide an easy way to brand the image and video content captured by consumers at your events.
Beacons are low energy bluetooth devices which communicate with other beacon enabled devices. The main initial offering was made by apple with the iBeacon release in 2013. Since then beacons have been used in a variety of contexts, including tourism, conferences and most importantly, retail! Our first example of this is the Elle ‘Shop Now’ app, by Swirl, which sends users notifications when they are within a mile of selected brands’ retail stores. If consumers visited the store after reading the message, the app pushed another message complete with an offer. According to Ometria:
“In-store visit rates were 100 times higher, according to Swirl and ShopAdvisor. An increase of roughly 500,000 store visits.”
Another example is the Regent Street App, designed to do a similar thing, but confined to the location of Regent Street:
Data capture through retail is a perfect way to grow your mailing lists and tailor future promotions more specificly to target consumers. One such example of this is clothing brand All Saints, who, through the clever use of digital receipts, collect email addresses from every customer, leaving them with important data: the consumer’s email address, the fact that the consumer purchases all saints and what they purchased. This alone can provide the base to start an effective direct marketing campaign.
Influencer marketing has shot to popularity in an age where we can follow our heroes’ activities from dusk till dawn through media like Snapchat and Instagram stories and Twitter moments. Making use of this exposure to market products was the next logical step.
Influencer marketing is already rife in the beauty industry, 57% of survey respondents claiming that their respective companies already work closely with influencers on paid projects and placements, according to Fashionista.com.
An appropriate example for this industry is the creation of the L’Oreal ‘Beauty Squad’ a team of 5 bloggers, with a combined reach of over 5.5 million, who regularly create interesting & varied content for the brand over a long period, in contrast to the more common ‘one-off’ partnerships. Adrien Koskas, general manager, L’Oréal Paris UK told Marketing Week:
“I don’t want to be like other brands where they try to use one influencer after the other for one launch or event – it just doesn’t seem very genuine and sincere.”
The use of influencer marketing can be the perfect foil to generate consumer interest in your physical events, achieving sales uplift as a result.
These 5 experiential marketing trends provide a base on which you will be able to start building a successful experiential marketing campaign to complement your brand. If you need support running experiential marketing campaigns, or a reliable source of professional brand ambassadors, contact us today!