Beauty is big business. Anyone who doesn’t believe that fact should check out a recent survey done by The Beauty Company, which pointed out that the personal care and beauty industries saw a $532 billion sale mark. All of this means that effective advertising can mean the difference between yours being the next go-to product and never making it big.
Advertising techniques must suit a business’s needs. It must also incorporate some of the tried-and-true persuasion strategies that have made it so effective, and in some cases controversial, in the past, all the while keeping claim substantiation in mind. What follows are four elements of persuasion to incorporate into your beauty product advertising campaign.
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Low self-esteem in potential customers—particularly women—is a prime target by beauty companies that use the opportunity to address fantasies and hopes. An advertisement might employ a younger, beautiful woman alongside an aging woman, implying that using their product will result in a user being less likely to be unattractive and aged.
Beauty companies often use age-old insecurities to promote their products. These insecurities include age, weight, the attraction of the opposite sex, shortcomings in career achievement, etc.
A prime example of this type of advertising is Dove’s recent “Real Beauty” campaign that used the images of “real” women to counter the notions of “unrealistic” beauty that are so pervasive in promotional efforts today.
Appeal to Lifestyle and Luxury
People buy beauty products to help them achieve a goal. A woman might purchase a certain lipstick to attract a date or buy perfume to wear to an important job interview. The next advertising message seen on television will probably show someone in some exotic or luxurious setting. The tagline that the lipstick or perfume implies is that the beauty product will help set the circumstances in motion to get you there.
Social marketing is peer pressure gone high tech. With good social marketing, current customers become advocates for a product with their experiences. Review sites and beauty blogs allow companies to advertise, reaping the benefits of customer comments alongside them. Even some beauty companies get into the act by encouraging their customers to comment about their products.
Appeals Using Science and Results
People buy products in the belief (sometimes misguided) that those products will deliver the promised results. This is particularly true of products whose claims are based on science and product testing. This often goes so far as to show pictures of product users showing side-by-side images of before-and-after product use. Even when pictures are not shown, hard science results are often quoted to appeal to buyers. Besides using words such as “proprietary” and “revolutionary,” a beauty company might use statistics and the results of studies to set their products apart.
Whether a customer believes in the projected images or not, appearance is central to advertisers’ efforts to convey their messages. Unfortunately, these images are often severely distorted, from portraying women as housewives on one end of the spectrum to sex symbols on the other. As inaccurate and unseemly as these images are, there doesn’t seem to be any plan in sight to curtail these efforts. After all, they work, just as they have for many years.
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