How use of language can help boutique beauty brands carve out their niche
Beauty and cosmetics brands operate in a crowded marketplace, where having a distinct, recognisable identity and strong relationships with customers is critical to success.
The industry – like many others – is dominated by a few particularly powerful brands. However, some recent success stories have shown how smaller businesses can use modern marketing and branding methods to carve out their own niche.
If you are an ambitious firm targeting international growth in the beauty and cosmetics sector, you will need to have a clear strategy for showcasing your brand, communicating with customers and building relationships.
As the business enters foreign markets, effective localisation and transcreation will prove essential to ensure your content is tailored to specific markets, without losing your core brand message.
Setting your brand apart
Having a strong brand is a key ingredient for success in any industry. However, it can prove particularly crucial in sectors such as beauty, cosmetics and fashion, as consumers in these markets are heavily drawn and loyal to brands they feel are well-aligned to their own style and tastes.
To succeed, brands don’t necessarily need to be long-established or to be backed up by high-profile, expensive marketing campaigns. Small, quirky brands with lots of character have every chance of success, particularly in industries such as beauty and fashion, where consumers are often searching for the next trend or a new name to get excited about.
What is essential, however, is a distinct brand identity that consumers can engage with and remember. The way your business uses language is a fundamental part of this. Visual content is highly important where beauty products are concerned, of course, but carefully chosen language can prove just as valuable for fleshing out your core brand message and tapping into customer needs, interests and aspirations.
As your enterprise grows and you begin to think about international expansion, it’s vital to ensure that core messaging stays intact. This is where localisation and transcreation become critical.
By working with a dedicated language partner, you can ensure that your content is presented in a way that stays true to your brand but also feels natural and relevant to the target market.
The digital imperative
Digital communication is something that has been steadily growing in importance for the beauty and cosmetics industry for several years. With this trend set to continue for the foreseeable future, growing businesses have a lot to gain from innovative and well-executed strategies to engage with customers in the digital space.
One of the key conclusions in the recent Deloitte report ‘Shades for success: Influence in the beauty market’, was that digital excellence is at “the heart of change” in this sector.
“Digital channels have become the primary arena for consumer decision‑making,” the consulting firm noted. “Established and challenger brands alike are now primarily authenticated by online influencers. Competition for new market share is now fought largely below‑the‑line, in the world of online blogs and vlogs, tutorials, testing salons and consumer reviews.”
There is clearly a lot of importance attached to how modern beauty brands position themselves and communicate in the digital space. Consequently, if your company has its sights set on international success, effective use of social media and multilingual search engine optimisation to strengthen your online presence could prove crucial.
Furthermore, many beauty brands are likely to be reliant on a young, tech-savvy audience, so it’s imperative to be able to communicate comfortably and naturally in digital channels.
One small beauty brand that has shown what can be achieved with the help of a robust digital strategy is Porcelain of Singapore. Co-founder Pauline Ng told Forbes that the business immediately recognised the need to go digital and use modern platforms to engage with a young audience.
Porcelain’s past campaigns have celebrated women who have embraced their passions and encouraged consumers to give their skin a rest by not using foundation on Fridays. This illustrates how, as well as offering quality products, brands can inspire and emotionally engage with their customers by sending out positive messages.
The Singaporean business now hopes to expand into Vietnam, China and Malaysia.
Forbes’ article offered other examples of niche beauty brands that have succeeded by focusing on personalisation and innovative thinking, such as Allies of Skin and Althea.
As these stories show, it is possible for smaller firms to compete with big names, even in the most saturated industries. If this is something your company aspires to, planning how to express your unique brand identity and establish a digital presence in different global markets could be an essential step towards achieving your goals.
Image: everydayplus via iStock