There has been a shift in the beauty industry over the last decade. As younger generations have become active consumers in the beauty space, their hyper awareness of the world around them has driven an adjustment in the way brands are reaching them. It’s no longer enough for beauty products to simply fit their needs; increasingly this group is gravitating toward brands that mirror their beliefs.
In the beauty market especially, where there is no dearth of products promising solutions, today’s brands must approach marketing with messaging that reflects their target customer’s beliefs. The ethos behind the brand is now more important than the efficacy of the product itself.
Why? It is no secret that the younger generations of today are dialed in. They have grown up exclusively online, with information at their fingertips that was not freely available to the generations before them. Classic, efficient forms of advertising will not win them over. In many ways, they are also a much more sensitive pack. Human, animal, and environmental rights are major players in their selection process when making purchases. Add the last decade’s shift toward self-care, and Generation Z and many Millennials need to feel… moved.
And they are proving that fact.
As of 2021, there is compelling evidence that Generation Z and Millennial consumers are willing to pay more and show loyalty to brands that have a zero-sugar-coating approach to advertising. In fact, in a recent study, up to 94 percent of consumers surveyed stated they are often more loyal to a brand that is transparent in their story– with 73 percent of the latter claiming they would pay more for products that align with their values.
According to Her Campus, the media company with the largest college age women’s audience, a “huge bulk” of Generation Z also cares so deeply about social issues that they will boycott brands that haven’t taken steps to mitigate the problems they’ve inherited. These consumers look for brands actively espousing and taking a position on causes that they believe in. Whether this comes from ingredient transparency, production, or the entirety of the brand story, brand values aligning with the consumer matter.
The beauty market is crowded, it’s noisy, and it’s often met with skepticism. Years ago, conventional wisdom had brands standing on the sidelines of social issues, but that’s no longer an option. The sidelines are where brands wither. Brands that have cultivated dynamic relationships with Gen Z are firmly rooted in their ethical positions and have open dialogue with their consumers. Brands that invite Gen Z into their inner circle create a powerful reciprocity. In doing so, they give Gen Z the motivation to invite a brand into theirs.