In the age of excess information, customers have become more smart and demanding. Basic products no longer engage or excite customers. That's why differentiation has become a key attribute for all product-led businesses.
The beauty industry, too, has seen a prolific rise when it comes to product interaction. Brands are using strategies like influencer-led product reviews, trending Reels and digital launch events to ensure that consumers interact more with beauty products. The customer also expects that their beauty products don't just deliver product functionality but experiential value as well. This has given rise to concept-based beauty products that aim to create unique moments of customer delight.
Conceptual beauty offers a new perspective on how beauty consumers can find, explore, purchase and interact with beauty products. This involves creating thematic concepts around new launches that are reflected in several aspects, from product formulation and packaging, to visual and verbal communication. Conceptual beauty, therefore, raises the allure of beauty products, offering beyond-basic creations by weaving interesting stories and themes into the products. The result is products that offer not just basic functionality but an idea, a mood or a vibe to spark interest and excitement among consumers.
This concept remains largely unexplored in India, though. India-based cosmetic companies tend to be commercially driven and are looking to do only the basics with their products while concentrating efforts on marketing and distribution.
This is unlike international markets, where conceptual beauty has become a norm in a crowded and highly competitive market. Beyond doing the basics of delivering high quality products, major players are innovating with big ticket launches and over-the-top themes to generate excitement. Some of the memorable ones include Huda’s Mercury Retrograde collection and Too Faced's Better Than Chocolate line.
At a time when we are more active in the online world, the beauty consumer needs more than just good quality products. Of course, the winner of the beauty game will be someone who offers better quality skincare and make up, but they also need to offer an experience to stand out from the rest. That's why conceptual beauty is here to stay; not only because each brand needs to have its own identity but also because with a medium like beauty, elements of fun and play need to be present to create a direct connection with the customer.
In India, the conceptual beauty canvas remains largely unexplored. While some young brands are trying to take the conceptual beauty route, it remains to be seen how they will adapt to meet the demands of the new-age beauty customer.
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Kairavi Bharat Ram is the founder of Typsy Beauty.