>Building Emotional Connections in Cosmetics and Our Research Findings

Building Emotional Connections in Cosmetics and Our Research Findings

One of our analysts conducted ethnography with women 18-22. This article is an overview of this non-commercial study.

Cosmetics are often considered a “low-involvement” product. Customers often spend little effort in choosing between products. In an age of cosmetic conglomerates rapidly reverse engineering products, companies are finding that an emotional connections can build loyalty (crucial with high customer acquisition costs).

The findings of this study were:

  • Make up is both an art and a tool satisfying needs for control, fun, self-expression and confidence
  • Make up is overwhelmingly intertwined with social dynamics. Friends are often “influencers”. Marketors need to treat friends as multiple constituencies in the purchasing process, just as a cereal company considers children as influencers in the purchasing decision.
  • An emotional connection emerges when both functionality and a positive usage experience are satisfied
  • Even though cosmetic addicts “cheat on” the favorite product in euphoric shopping experiences, they consistently come back to products with which they have emotional connections

Analytically, this presents marketors the opportunity to do the following:

  • Positioning the cosmetic as a “social” cosmetic, to attach brand with positive associations of women being with friends
  • Integrating social aspects into communications may help build an emotional connection with low-involvement cosmetics like Mascara
  • Building an intersection between the positive emotions of being with friends and CoverGirl’s brand perception


Topics: cosmetic market research, social influences in purchasing, marketing low-involvement products, social dynamics in cosmetics, cosmetics ethnography, cosmetics communications