Beyond Skin Deep: The Value of Familiarity for Beauty Brands 

March, 2024

The following contains excerpts from our recent CPG report, Beyond Price, which looks at 6 attributes across multiple categories. Check out the full report by clicking ‘download PDF.’ 

With a worldwide revenue projection of $646 billion for 2024, the beauty and personal care industry is booming. But in a competitive marketplace and amid post-inflation financial concerns, brands must look beyond price to make an impact on shoppers. When we asked what people think is most essential to brand value across CPG categories, familiarity topped the list, beating out both quality and convenience. But building a strong reputation requires more than mere awareness, especially to win over younger audiences. 

So, what can beauty brands do?

Show Don’t Tell 

Shoppers are increasingly looking to try before they buy, making finding creative solutions for product testing a top priority. With beauty purchases, 1 in 2 prefer to try products before they buy, and for Gen Z, this figure rises to 58%. Brand experience is one of the most critical ways to add value — take a ‘show don’t tell’ approach and let shoppers discover your advantage for themselves. 

After a record-breaking 2023 — thanks to huge tours from stars like Taylor Swift and Beyonce — a survey from Variety found that 40% of people plan on increasing their music festival attendance for 2024.  Ahead of festival season, brands can take cues from the  “Sunscreen Stations” Neutrogena placed at Coachella’s sun-soaked grounds in 2023, giving music lovers the perfect setting to test out the brand’s SPF when they needed it most. 

Via TikTok

For more unexpected activations, take inspiration from your customer base to unlock fresh ideas. TikTok user Claire Dumont has recently gained buzz for documenting her practice of testing the durability of popular lip products while training for upcoming New York marathons. Beauty brands that can show up for potential customers in less anticipated spaces like sporting events are poised to earn loyalty among discerning audiences.   


Make Reviewing Rewarding 

In addition to familiarity, reviews play a critical role in influencing purchase decisions, with 1 in 3 shoppers reporting they read reviews before buying; among Gen Z, the number is even higher at 38%. As a complement to sampling efforts, incentivizing customer reviews can lead to increased sales and expanded awareness. 

Gen Z-favorite Topicals, a skincare brand with a dedicated fanbase that treats chronic issues like eczema, has harnessed the combined power of sampling and reviews through their insider program, the Spottie Sphere.” The digital community allows participation across three tiers for everyone from everyday users (“Spottie Hotties”) to influencers and licensed skincare professionals. Every level is given early access to product launches and giveaways, and members are incentivized to help build the brand’s rep through rewards-based challenges including online reviews. 

While familiarity is key, it’s just part of the story. For more ways brands across categories can showcase value, check out the full report by clicking ‘Download PDF’ below.

Other Popular Stories