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Beauty Trends and Marketing Tips According to Urban Decay, Walmart, P&G, Hyram Yarbro, and The Inkey List.

Dec 1, 2021

Last month we attended Glossy’s 2021 Beauty Summit, a three day conference where founders, CEOs and marketers discussed how they’re responding to shifts in the beauty industry. 

Experts from leading brands like Urban Decay, Walmart, P&G, Selfless by Hyram, and The Inkey List shared their insights on topics including social platform trends, how to reach and appeal to Gen Z consumers, and how to build strong brands in a fast paced environment.

Below we recap some of our notes from each expert session. Please note that we did not record the sessions so insights are approximated, not directly quoted. 

“Breaking the Digital Mold for Makeup” with Urban Decay

Insights from a session with Malena Higuera, GM at Urban Decay.

The evolution of platforms and formats

Instagram is quickly evolving in its use case. Not only is it getting closer to the conversion moment, it is also becoming a customer service platform. Urban Decay often gets questions in their comments and DMs, and responds in real time.

Live video formats (e.g. Insta Live or Twitch) are also great because they give you more than just 6 seconds to say something. Beyond that, it helps break down the hyper-produced world of social and gives your team the chance to say things authentically. 

Pro tip: Don’t underestimate the power of your team! Urban Decay’s field team do a lot of Instagram lives and Malena praised them as a great source of creativity, intel, and inspiration. Beekman 1802 was another brand that not only did a good job of pulling insights from their field team, they tapped into their diverse employee network to build a winning TikTok strategy

On finding the right influencers

Don’t just stick to the usual beauty influencers. Ask yourself: how are you plugged into culture? How are you keeping up with and staying relevant to where culture is being created? Once you’ve identified those communities of culture, cross reference them with your brand’s values and characteristics. For example, Urban Decay has started partnering with Twitch gamers because their subcultures fit well into the ethos of its brand. 

Finding the right influencers will give you the ability to create trusted, authentic advocates for your brand. Social media and influencers are giving us the chance to bring amplification and scale to intimate referral conversations!

“Forming Partnerships to Reach New Audiences” with Walmart and P&G

Insights from a session with Angel Beasley, Merchandising Director of Specialty Hair at Walmart and Lela Coffey, VP for P&G Beauty's North America Hair Care and Multicultural Brands.

Gen Zers are true digital natives that grew up with social media — they are incredibly informed and educated as a population. Because of that they don’t want to be told what they want, they want to tell us.

Three things that Walmart and P&G learned from Gen Zers about what they want from hair care:

  • Provide value beyond looks. Gen Zers want something deeper than just having something that makes their hair look good - they’re focused on healthy hair and aligned values.
  • Embody diversity. Gen Z is the most multicultural generation we’ve ever seen, which means they’re the first generation whose hair is not going to be like their parents. This will only continue through future generations, so it's important for brands to think about hair care. 
  • Do your research, find a niche. After discussing with a panel of Gen Zers, Walmart and P&G discovered that many were interested in hair porosity. This ended up being a key pillar of their new line, NOU.

“How Gen Z is Changing Skincare” with Hyram Yarbro and The Inkey List

Insights from a session with Hyram Yarbro, influencer and Co-founder of Selfless by Hyram; Colette Laxton, Co-founder and CEO of The Inkey List and Selfless by Hyram; and Mark Curry, Co-founder of The Inkey List and Selfless by Hyram.

This past year proved that consumers are looking for skincare products that are transparent and have high efficacy. Here are three other key elements that Hyram, Mark, and Colette think Gen Z consumers are looking for in skincare:

  • Education. All three panelists said that there are now a lot of affordable skincare products on the market - so now success pivots on education. Gen Zers want to understand what works for them and why!
  • Simplicity. Hyram predicts that the lengthy multi-step skincare routine is a fading trend. Instead, Gen Z wants simplistic routines and will be scaling back the amount of products they use. 
  • Individuality. Hyram said that as part of simplifying their routines, Gen Z will want tailored products. The future is about individual skincare journeys! This demographic will want to “choose their own adventure” both in how they take care of their skin and how they engage with your brand.

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