Consumers seek high-quality beauty products that boost confidence

NEW YORK Beauty shoppers are more receptive to advertisements that appeal to their confidence, rather than their insecurities, and offer free samples, according to new research from the About Group, which is part of The New York Times Co.’s "2010 Beauty Study," conducted online in August, also found that beauty products are considered a necessity, with more than two-thirds of respondents stating that they are willing to buy products even while watching their budgets.

“We see a significant number of intent-driven consumers willing to pay higher prices for quality, brand products that satisfy specific beauty needs,” stated Evan Minskoff, VP marketing for the About Group, which comprises the websites,, and “This presents brands with the opportunity to truly engage this audience by emphasizing the relevance of their products to consumers’ core beauty goals.”

The study found that consumers prefer ads that appeal to their confidence and present brand and product benefits in an informative, intelligent way. They also are receptive to ads that stress quality over price. The most compelling ads offer free samples or trials (cosmetics, 71%; skin care, 64%), printable coupons (cosmetics, 58%; skin care, 56%) and product information (cosmetics, 49%; skin care, 44%).

The data also revealed that more than 50% of consumers prefer well-established brands because they believe these products are more reliable and are perceived to have higher value. Consumers prefer well-established brands versus generic for cosmetics (73%), skin care products (72%) and hair care products (67%).

In addition, consumers indicated that they use beauty products for the following reasons:

  • 69% use beauty products to make sure hair and skin always stays healthy;
  • 67% use beauty products to help solve specific skin and hair problems/concerns;
  • 59% use beauty products to maintain a certain look/style;
  • 55% use beauty products to look the best for their age;
  • 70% believe that looking their best will make them more successful;
  • 63% believe that looking their best will make them more desirable; and
  • 75% say when they look good on the outside, they feel good on the inside.

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