The Beauty Industry
The beauty industry has grown significantly over the last decade.
Society is changing its’ thoughts on what beauty means. As a result, the beauty industry is creating a new face and completely changing its marketing methods.
One of the most significant evolutions in this industry is the rising importance of diversity in the beauty industry. Aspects like the kinds of models that brands use, how often, and how much they pay these models have become urgent.
Many consumers today identify themselves with the beauty influencers in the market. They want to see themselves in the work that is shared.
Beauty influencers have become an integral part of this growing diversity movement, especially those with more personal platforms.
Also, it’s not just diverse models that customers want, but people in communities of color seek brands that offer a variety of products to fit their beauty needs.
Brands that choose inclusivity, where products meet the needs of diverse communities, better reflect the society that their consumers live in.
We’re also seeing new changes within beauty which requires brands appeal to more modern consumers. Genderless beauty products are becoming more and more common.
It’s a whole new world for beauty brands, and here’s how beauty influencers are impacting and embracing it.
Diversity In Beauty
Faces in the beauty industry have historically represented one group of people.
For decades, white, young, and gender binary people have been described adequately in the media, especially those that are considered skinny.
This representation was okay for a while, but recently, consumers demand inclusivity in beauty marketing. This concept of diversity is expanding, thanks to consumer concerns and beauty influencers input.
For example, beauty influencer Jackie Aina is well known for her opinion on shade range and inclusivity. If you don’t know, the shade range is the range of foundation shades that a company has.
Her millions of followers that love her prioritize products lines have a shade range to match all skin colors, especially those in the ebony range like hers.
The consumer doesn’t want to feel excluded anymore, especially if they are giving money to this market.
Customers of the beauty market, don’t only want diversity in shade range.
But they want to see fresh, new faces that represent them, uniquely colored and black faces. Customers want a wider variety of models who fit different standards.
It’s vital that different ethnicities, body types, and ages are represented in the media. Beauty standards are changing!
Diversity within the fashion & beauty industry is always apart of the industry discourse. Following the new wave of intersectional feminism, we have seen consumers demand increased diversity in talent casting from brands.
It’s clear the diversity influencer marketing is now also under the microscope.
Wins And Losses In Beauty Diversity
Everyone from Fenty to Gucci has shown how they handle diversity in the industry. Let’s get into it!
Fenty Beauty brand is the standard for inclusivity in the beauty market.
When Fenty arrived, they had more than 40 foundation shades, allowing people of all ethnicities to purchase and enjoy their products.
Fenty Beauty has changed the game when it comes to diversity. Compared to most beauty brands, Fenty also has a wide variety of models that represent their brand.
It’s hard to believe the Fenty brand only launched in 2017.
Sales in its first month exceeded $72 million – an impressive feat attributed both to the significantly priced products, and a digital marketing strategy that showcases different faces.
Fenty’s launch was also well-timed, which means that Fenty joined the conversation with major brands.
Their brand encourages influencers of all sizes, shapes, genders, and colors to tag the brand so that they can share and retweet their posts.
It is disappointing to see that so many brands have yet to understand their responsibility in the influencer marketing industry.
Ed Razek, the Chief Marketing Officer of Victoria’s Secret, was under fire for his comments about trans and plus size models.
He said he wouldn’t include them within the renowned Victoria’s Secret Fashion show because they are not part of the ‘fantasy’ that people want.
His comments were not only offensive but dishonest. Ed’s comments are totally at odds with the trends that are being noted by consumers, the very people he is trying to target with his shows.
To survive in this new landscape that prioritizes social justice, Victoria’s Secret will need to consider the consumer at the heart of their new business models.
New activist attitudes
Indeed, the consumer is increasingly taking on a more significant role in marketing planning.
Brands need to consider their audience as active participants in their brand narrative, rather than passive recipients of brand messaging.
Brands are being accused of selecting influencers that conform to western standards of beauty. They don’t create influencer campaigns that are reflective of people of different ethnicities, sexualities, ages, or those with disabilities.
Clothing brand, Revolve, found themselves in hot water when their annual influencer ‘Revolve Around The World’ trip to Thailand did not include any plus size individuals or black women. Social media immediately expressed their mutual dislike of this project and created the hashtag #RevolveSoWhite.
This hashtag voiced their outrage and concern that they missed the mark when it comes to representation within influencer marketing.
How Does this Affect Influencer Marketing?
Influencers are vocal about their demands of the beauty industry.
They know that their followers are diverse and want inclusive beauty products and marketing. Brands that ignore customers miss out on working with influential people.
Brands that don’t respond to the demands for diversity receive lousy publicity and lose hundreds, even thousands, of followers and customers.
Beauty inclusivity is growing for many reasons, especially since consumers are demanding more and more these days. The cultural shifts are changing the beauty market forever.
Perhaps more significantly, there are the optics of non-diversity. Negative publicity is terrible for brands that don’t acknowledge and embrace that wants of their consumer base.
Looking at influencer marketing individually, brands should strive to embrace a variety of influencers as part of their campaigns. They should make a conscious effort to seek out diversity regardless of ‘brand standards.’
It is essential for influencers to make room for those that are underrepresented. Fenty Beauty is a brand that has received much praise in embracing a more inclusive approach to not only the casting but also product development.
Rihanna strives to champion diversity through her product offering, advertising campaigns, as well as the brand’s influencer marketing strategy.
It can all change!
The beauty industry is one that has been someone notorious for lack of diversity.
But several brands have experienced enormous success through changing this – and placed influencers at the epicenter. Fenty beauty is one such brand.
Another great example is MakeupForever, which prides itself on creating products that encompass those that buy their products. Other brands, such as Benefit have made products, which only truly work for one type of consumer.
Since the outrage has been ongoing, Benefit has been expanding to fulfill their consumer’s desires.