The cosmetics industry is a very popular one. Within fashion product categories, cosmetics are among the products with the lowest investment threshold.
This is good news and bad news.
The good news is that many people can access this sector with limited capital investments, but exactly for this same reason, the bad news is that it has become increasingly difficult to escape the “noise” of the many players who are occupying this busy market space.
In order to find an effective approach to build a community, create a product, and start a company, cosmetic brand managers need to look for marketing approaches that take advantage of innovative communication strategies to avoid competing on price.
Unless they find the right communication strategy, having to outbid your competitors on search and display ads can mean sinking a lot of money in unprofitable campaigns.
Using a cause-marketing approach can be a refreshing approach to solving this problem.
Cause-related marketing strategies allow you to build a connection with your audience which is not based on the traditional associations that cosmetic products use (and reuse) but allows you to focus instead on relevant social and environmental causes that resonate with your customers in completely different ways.
In this post, we’re going to analyze what your cosmetic brand can do in order to tap into a cause-marketing strategy, an approach that allows it to escape traditional pay-per-click advertising and make a lasting impact on a valuable social issue.
What is Cause Marketing and Why It Works with Cosmetics
Let’s start with a definition: cause marketing is a marketing approach that focuses on developing a brand community by creating shared values that are meaningful and relevant to your audience.
Developing shared value allows private brands to solve social problems profitably by leveraging the innovation potentials and ambition of the private sector in the pursuit of greater communal goals.
Cause-related marketing demands to brand managers to delve deep into the “extended world” of associations that can be created between a product and its consumers in order to provide to products a broader and deeper significance.
Think about it: cosmetics products have strong associations with our own sense of identity, sense of self. Cosmetics are about confidence, seduction and so much more.
Why not expand these attributes to champion a cause which will embody the spirit of your brand?
If you’re able to find the right cause, you’ll be able to escape competition, connect with your customer in a unique way, and actually contribute meaningfully to helping society. Of course, if you are committed to serving your customers, then you’ll be developing a profitable business along the way as well.
If you’d like some help in figuring out how to approach the development of a cause-marketing campaign, we’ve got you covered. In this article we’re sharing a lot of useful information on how to develop a successful cause marketing campaign: All You Need to Know to Start a Cause Marketing Campaign. The article will guide you through a series of operational steps to pick a cause that resonates with your organization. If instead, you’d like to read more about the way cosmetics can connect to cause marketing, read along!
How to Apply Cause Marketing To Cosmetics
How can you expand on the meaning that can be associated with a brand through cause marketing? There are many ways to go, and it’s usually up to the brand manager to create a connection that is meaningful and unique.
Does your cosmetics brand have a particular focus? If so, which one? What are the values that connect to your customer? Is it freedom? Gender equality? Gender neutrality? Empowerment?
If you have an established consumer base, it may be time to get some interviews and focus groups going, to start serving them better, not only through your products but also through the larger social impact that your brand is willing to make.
Can you build connections with a particular user group and their specific challenges? If you are able to, you’d be earning an opportunity for your brand to take a stand and address a social issue that needs attention.
Cosmetics are a product category that can be easily explored to connect with deeper, more profound customer needs, and your business can champion those needs and contribute to lasting change.
Cause Marketing is Not Greenwashing
Whenever we’re addressing the topic of cause marketing, some caution is always advised.
Cause marketing does not have to be simply a way to bypass competition by appealing to customer’s values for the sake of profit.
On the contrary, cause marketing is an innovative dimension of communication that helps your business focus, both externally and internally, on fulfilling a profound, collective societal need that your products can aspire to serve.
This is why your business needs to realize the tradeoff that this strategy entails.
- On the short term. A marketing strategy based on fulfilling a higher purpose could potentially jeopardise your profits. This is because your management decisions could be influenced by the ethical stances adopted by your business. Focusing on a particular customer profile, might mean letting go of a more profitable one, choosing to serve a market need, may have implications on your providers or resellers. You need to accept that the decisions that honour your commitment may impact your profits.
- On the long term. If you are true to your goals and you are able to make sacrifices, then you have an unparalleled opportunity. You can connect with your customers on a completely different level and foster a loyal community of customers and brand advocates that will keep you in business for years to come. The space you will build for yourself will be a “blue ocean”, without any risk of competing with other more market-oriented brands.
This is what cause marketing has to offer, and it’s up to you to decide if this approach resonates with you and your way of doing business.
Let’s face it. The era of advertisers spending hours and hours looking for high-volume\low competition keywords is done.
Customers are not looking at paid advertising as a convincing medium to inform their shopping decisions.
Besides, wouldn’t you want your brand to stand for something larger than a consumer product?
Cause marketing does provide you with this opportunity, and – if you are able to commit to it – even being profitable while you are at it.
If you’d like to read up about those organizations that made the leap and developed what we called an “impact-first” business model, we’ve got a resource you could look into 5 Business Models to Pursue Social and Environmental Change. Enjoy!
If you’re interested in reading up more about successful strategies to market your fragrance business, we’ve got a post right on that. You’ll also find a list of the most profitable, expensive, and successful fragrances sold worldwide. Here’s the link!