1r Agency’s CEO and Co-founder, Shelly Socol, attended the BeautyMatter NEXT Summit along with 300+ other beauty and industry leaders.
The daylong event was an immersive experience tackling real-time issues on the minds of industry leaders, as well as contemplating what’s next in beauty.
Shelly walked away inspired, having many forward-thinking conversations with big thinkers and industry leaders, unique content experiences, and unparalleled networking opportunities. Below are some of her key takeaways from some of the speakers and panelists around some of the biggest topics covered during the event:
- The combination of shopping and marketing must be intrinsically linked. Brands must use their marketing efforts as a learning journey. Agility is key, along with having a holistic view looking at the metrics and data.
- You must create cultural capital with your brand. Brands need to discover the best ways to meet consumers where they are across all channels, create intimate relationships by generating emotion, and figure out the best ways to educate and connect with them. The way to do this is to be precise in your storytelling, brand core values, and emotional connection. Apple and Nike are examples of some of the best precision storytelling, never deviating from their core brand values. Their emotional call to action is simple and to the point: Just Do IT.
- There is a return to tribalism that influences consumerism. It is hard to have a mass brand when there are psychographics separating the consumers. How do you speak to everyone if you are a small brand that wants to connect with their following? Brands are having to double down into their communities. This is not a function of customer service alone but meeting their consumers where they are.
- Brands need to find their own voice and conversation. It is so important to create real value by listening to what consumers want and service your #1 advocates. You can’t buy consumers.
- Founder-led brands are what consumers connect to heavily. The OG is Bobbi Brown. She consistently connected to her consumers, always showing up in stores and pop-ups, signing autographs, and being the reflection of the brand.
- The quality of the content is paramount. Content is king but it must be relatable, true to a brand, emotional, and authentic.
- Creators are the new influencers. We have moved from the mega influencer to the creators to the community. There are now nano creators, fan advocates, and a focus on building a community. Big brands are not putting as much into mega influencers anymore. Having a flow squad that creates authentic content is driving their ROI to their army of creators, not just from the mega influencers.
- Effective shopper behavior has the desire to experience and play with products. The in-store experience must strive to be where the consumer is and constantly iterating where the consumer is moving and meeting them there.
- The human connection is crucial and delivers on the consumer expectation in store. JCPenney started full-service salons across the country to unlock the immersive and personalized experience. The salons provide the consumer with the ability to engage with stylists, try on products, and intimately have a personal care moment. This effectively brings the businesses together.
- Do not invest in the newest technology because everyone else is doing it. When considering the various technologies out there, it’s important to make sure it feels personalized and not another new gadget that is trending.
- It is crucial to have a digital understanding of how customers want to engage. Digital technology within the beauty space moves fast and is changing all the time. It’s important to be open to adaptation and use each experience as a learning opportunity.
- Invest in personalized technology for your DTC that closely mirrors your in-store experience. This can include features like live chat, virtual try-on, digital makeup artists, concierge service, and foundation/color finders.
- TikTok Shop has leveled the playing field for brands to compete and win. Small brands and start-ups can really compete at the highest level.
- Appropriately use social selling platforms that make sense for your brand. When thinking about using TikTok Shop, you need to consider your long-term plan, then strategize with a level of commitment and work it into your overall strategy. TikTok is a great format to introduce new products and launch newness. However, it’s important to see how TikTok plays into your entire brand strategy and then use TikTok Shop accordingly.
- TikTok can do a 98% profile of your consumer in 1 minute and 30 seconds. Social media platforms, like TikTok and Instagram, have become the gatekeeper that holds this information. Their algorithms are so smart, it’s almost like they are a bouncer at a club. They assess your consumers and unlock who they are (their tastes, their desires, how they dress, what moves them, etc.). Then the algorithm quickly calculates their preferences and psychological makeup before serving up curated brands of their potential liking. Brands need to have the right mix to speak to their consumer.
- Gen Z spends 10% of their time on social media. Brands need to consider how they engage with their consumers, especially with Gen Z, who are motivated by emotion. Design is not the whole answer, it's the meaning behind the brand and what emotion is evoked. How does your audience feel different, special, and heard when engaging? How do you educate, inspire, and service the consumer emotionally and form a deep lasting engaged relationship? Brands need to create an emotional connection with their consumer.
- Gen Z likes nostalgia. M.A.C. 's OG lip gloss squirt has seen a huge boom since its recent revamp. They leaned into their nostalgic 90’s packaging introducing 9 shades of a balm and gloss fusion.
- Focus on diversity and inclusiveness. Brands need to ensure this generation can see themselves and their friends in your product.
- Trends move fast. MAC prides itself on making and creating trends with the best product development and timeline. You must be fast and predict what will be important.
- Uniquely engage the consumer. In partnership with Ulta, NYX created an immersive virtual gaming and shopping experience to engage with their consumers online and in-store. This helped with retention as the consumer kept returning to the game over and over, establishing a longer engagement.
To learn more about what is next for the beauty industry, reach out to email@example.com.