• Ashley Wu

The Beauty Industry’s Shifting Strategies During COVID

The pandemic has drastically altered the way all businesses operate, from product launches to the way brands market themselves. Working at a skincare company these past few months has exposed me to the many ways that top skincare/cosmetics companies in the beauty industry have been shifting their marketing initiatives. We begin to see the development of many brand trends, especially as the industry experiences a huge digital shift. These trends have completely altered both marketing campaigns and the way recent product launches have been executed and for some brands, cut them off completely.


Stay at home policies have pushed consumers into developing a new appreciation for skincare and different beauty interests, giving these brands new angles to market themselves. These circumstances have given consumers more time to research product ingredients on their own and experiment with different formulas/products, leading companies to focus more on raw authenticity as a way to draw people in. Since consumers are now a lot more cautious about their health and what they are putting onto their skin, this theme has been crucial for many companies. This time has also given time for people to focus on self-care, such as through at home spa inspired routines. During these chaotic times, people need to find ways to de-stress and temporarily take their minds off of what is happening in the world.


These circumstances have also inspired brands to focus less on their own sales and more towards helping communities financially and mentally. What I mean by that is building a digital community, ones where people can look towards their favorite brands for mental support. Giving consumers a sense of belonging and bringing them together in shared empathy and support is exactly what everyone needs right now. Financially, brands are taking more initiative towards helping healthcare workers, whether it be through money donations or product giftings, to show their appreciation and support.


Here are some examples of ways top beauty brands have creatively executed the key strategies/themes that COVID-19 have influenced:


Raw Authenticity

Beauty brands have become a lot more transparent about the ingredients that go into their new products, since consumers are more health-conscious, and some have come up with creative implementations to showcase their transparency.


Fresh launched a short documentary on Youtube Livestream and Instagram TV called “The Story of Rose” to highlight how they created their Rose product line and visually showcase the detailed process that goes behind their product development. They also started leveraging different consumer claims about their product effectiveness to show that their products were working, from a consumer perspective.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZFGEDBsbXM


Youth to the People also released a short documentary about a product that they recently launched, Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial Mask, to give consumers an insider look into how the product is produced from the factory to the retailer.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaX1keJ0bAU


Community Building

Recent skincare product launches have been supported with creative ways to make consumers feel as if they are part of a community within the beauty industry. Using new product launches to inspire and promote a more meaningful message have been a crucial part of building a stronger digital community.


Drunk Elephant began a #barewithme campaign to support their launch for their new “Bare With Us Kit,” which was all about using clean skincare (aka clean ingredients) to enhance a woman’s natural skin/beauty and promote confidence without makeup. Each kit contains a box of skincare products and a small paperback book containing stories about people who have had amazing skin-changing experiences after using Drunk Elephant and how they now live a much more confident lifestyle.



Farmacy released a virtual event line-up on Instagram to support the launch for their new “Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer.” These included a Green Morning Routine, Healthy Cooking Workshops (Green Juices, Smoothie Bowls, Salads, Cocktails, etc.), Plant Home Decor Workshops, and Q&A. They also released a short video on how the moisturizer was made to show the process behind producing it and what specific ingredients/vitamins go into its production.


Self-Care

Companies are aware of how stressful these times have been for communities, so to show their appreciation, many are producing content to help consumers feel more at ease.


True Botanicals have shifted their entire Instagram content theme with the #TakeCare campaign in an effort to spread positivity during this period of social distancing. They have even provided mini checklists to remind people to take care of themselves, whether it be through “Simple Acts of Self-Care,” “Supporting Your Community,” or “Keeping in Touch” with loved ones.





Healthcare Help Focus

Like many of the businesses that are using their profits to provide support towards healthcare workers, beauty brands are contributing as well!


Kate Somerville launched a DeliKate product line for sensitive skin that was originally meant to treat clients who are constantly going through skin treatments/peels, but now healthcare workers have been using the line at the end of the day. Many nurses have commented that DeliKate was a great way to calm their irritated skin from wearing a mask the entire day, so Kate Somerville decided to use this line to benefit healthcare workers. For the entire month of May, they are donating 15% of all sales from the DeliKate line to the World Central Kitchen’s COVID-19 Food Relief, where a single DeliKate purchase funds a fresh, packaged meal to a responder in need.




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