How beauty brands attract and maintain loyal customers

/ by Ryan Feldman

The 2020 holiday season was quite good to the health and beauty industry. Black Friday alone saw a 75% increase in global sales (source: Shopify). But, the industry is changing and consumers are looking for more than just a good deal. With people stuck at home, skincare has seen a major shift to at-home spa-like care. To get a more complete picture of shifting trends, and to understand what potential customers are looking for in skincare brands, we’ve been collecting valuable insight from Apiary-managed beauty and skincare brands. 

The two guiding questions we’ve set out to answer here: What can beauty brands do to attract and maintain loyal customers? How can beauty brands catch the attention of new customers? 

Be transparent about ingredients 

A major shift is taking place in the skincare industry—consumers want healthy skin and they’re moving away from toxic cover-up products. They’re looking for products that focus on the health of their skin. Given that there are no FDA regulations surrounding skincare, consumers have to do their homework to identify non-toxic products. Per the beauty industry in general, products should be paraben-free, sulfate-free, pretrolatin-free, and formaldehyde-free. Consumers are less loyal to a given brand these days, and more interested in buying clean skincare that yields results.

Align your brand with experts, not just celebrities 

Despite moving away from toxic ingredients, consumers still very much rely on celebrity and/or trusted influencer endorsements. These endorsements are not always the safest option and could lead consumers toward damaging skincare products. Instead, include a mix of celebrities, influencers, and skincare and healthcare experts to build credibility and steer your customers in a healthy direction.

Highlight environmental impact

More and more potential beauty brand customers care not just about the product ingredients, but how they’re packaged. A growing trend, especially among millennials, is the desire to purchase skincare packaged in glass, non-plastic, and non-toxic recyclable materials. Customers care about what the brand stands for and are thus more likely to become loyal customers if there’s an alignment of concern for environmental impact.

Don’t forget niche audiences

Skincare is typically focused on anti-aging and acne products, but speaking to potential customers during periods where gentle and healthy skincare is a necessity can introduce the brand to customers who otherwise might not have exposure to it. Brands often overlook niche audiences such as pregnancy and relocation to a new climate as the size tends to be smaller—this is a mistake! Targeting niche audiences can often be more affordable, and reaching new customers during pivotal periods in their life can result in brand loyalty.

As the skincare industry continues to change, brands must change with it. Reaching new customers requires a solid strategic approach, but converting them to loyal customers requires real brand connection.