As we continue efforts to minimize the COVID-19 virus, consumers and companies alike continue to feel the pressure that social distancing has put on our lives. Ben Crocker, MD, medical director for a large primary care practice and a healthy lifestyle advocate said in a recent Harvard Health blog, “Social distancing and the loss of work and/or routine are tremendous pressures, both physically and psychologically. At the same time, our society tends to specifically reward heroic efforts that show that we can continue to perform at the same level, all while keeping a brave face. Many people are struggling to work full-time remotely while simultaneously caring full-time for their family at home.”
The struggle is real, as people joke—except in this pandemic, there’s no joke about it. And just as people have had to adjust on a personal level, companies have had to adjust on a corporate level. CPG brands everywhere are adjusting their strategies to better meet the needs of consumers. And consumers, these days, are expressing those needs as personal self-care items, specifically, health and beauty products.
At first glance, health and beauty products might seem like items that would tumble to the bottom of peoples’ “essentials” lists, but as we continue self-isolating and virtual meet-ups are skyrocketing—self-care has become critical in these challenging times. We have enough toilet paper and dried pasta to last us half of a year, and now consumers are eager for health and beauty products. Online beauty products, for example, are increasing, and the NPD Group noted that online sales in the prestige beauty category went up 47% the week of March 28, whereas normally it would only be about 20%. At-home hair color has also seen an uptick in sales, as people can’t yet return to salons, and in some instances has seen sales increase 50%.
Since health and beauty products are the gold standard definition of self-care that people need in their lives, brands that are integrating new ideas and strategies throughout the pandemic are a lifeboat for some consumers these days. Here are three ways health and beauty brands are making quarantine a little bit better:
1. They’re not stopping the beauty innovation train
When your business hits an unfortunate snag, like this current giant one of a pandemic, it can be daunting to know how to proceed. But when you can’t meet in person to strategize, how do you keep going? One group of beauty innovators started a Slack group that has been going strong since 2019—and is even stronger today—to help beauty marketers in their efforts during this pandemic.
Other beauty brands are taking to the Internet, and new beauty events are popping up online. The Glow Getter Collective, for example, ran an online event to help emerging brands break into the beauty category.
2. They’re keeping us busy
While sheltering in place, a lot of consumers are looking for ways to fill up their time, and beauty brands and influencers are there for them. LVMH’s beauty brands, for example, have taken this to heart and have reworked their social media feeds to better engage people during social distancing. They’re posting an abundance of tutorials on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and the latest, Tik Tok, and engaging with their consumers whenever they can. “Recognizing that Gen Z remains stuck at home with nothing to do apart from their Zoom classes, brands across industries have been upping their content investments on the short-video platform,” writes Liz Flora for Glossy, and the platform, she notes, has created a welcoming space for beauty brands.
3. They’re here for our new—and established—routines
Similar to keeping us busy, these vast amounts of time in isolation mean that consumers have more time for their beauty routines and in fact, their skincare routines are one of the few “normal” parts of their day. And beauty brands are here for it, ready to comfort with self-care products. While people may not be wearing as much makeup as they would on a normal day, products like cleansers, toners, and moisturizers are having a moment in the sun. One consumer even described her skincare routine as her “one true constant” during these abnormal times.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, beauty continues to move forward, and that’s good news not only for consumers but also for retailers who are on the hunt for new products. Online product discovery platforms have seen an uptick in buyer searches for self-care products, as retailers look to fulfill consumers’ needs. And for health and beauty products, that need isn’t expected to go away anytime soon. As L’Oreal Chairman and CEO John-Paul Agon said recently, “I think personal care and beauty products will be stronger after the crisis because people will realize even more how important it is to take care of yourself.” Undoubtedly this industry will keep innovating and evolving throughout quarantine and beyond.
Check out how one beauty entrepreneur is engaging with customers during the global pandemic on ECRM’s blog.