>Building Emotional Connections in Cosmetics

Building Emotional Connections in Cosmetics

  • Cosmetics Market Research

Beauty means business.

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.  Loyalty is important because it can lower customer acquisition costs which can be high in the Beauty market.

We conducted ethnography with women 18-22 for a major global cosmetics company.

We shadowed women who used cosmetics daily and spent a considerable amount per week on cosmetics to understand their cosmetics daily routines, their shopping habits, and customer needs. The findings were fascinating and indicated that women used cosmetics to satisfy Functional needs, such as concealing blemishes and oily skin.  But the research also found a large opportunity to capture on the Emotional benefits of the product such as bonding with other women, and other positive emotional benefits.

Make up was an art satisfying needs for control, fun, self-expression and confidence

Beyond the functional uses for cosmetics, an Emotional Connection emerges when both functionality and a positive usage experience are satisfied.  Make up is overwhelmingly intertwined with social dynamics. Friends are often “influencers.”  Marketers need to treat friends as important influencers in the purchasing process, just as a cereal company considers children as influencers in the purchasing decision.  Even though cosmetic addicts may “cheat on” the favorite product in euphoric shopping experiences, they consistently come back to products with which they have emotional connections.

Opportunities for Beauty Marketers:

  • 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
  • Create a unique experience around the product such as parties and girl bonding


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