The hair care and color market needs to break away from investing in traditional media and distribution channels and look to the opportunities digital marketing can offer if it is to beat the market decline.
While nearly every major consumer category reduced print spend from Q1 2011 to Q1 2012, Personal Care (including Hair Care & Color) was up 7.1 percent, according to a digital marketing agency.
L2 ThinkTank says that similarly, television spend across Personal Care was up 8.8 percent in Q3 from a year ago, but with sales across the industry effectively flat, this is unsustainable.
Investing in decline
“At present, 25 percent of consumer media consumption is spent across digital channels, yet just three percent of Hair Care & Color media dollars are allocated to internet display ads,” explains Scott Galloway, professor of Marketing, NYU Stern.
According to L2 ThinkTank, professional hair care has it worse off as salon Hair Care sales declined 15.8 percent between 2006-2011.
The problem is brands have decided to invest in shoring up declining channels, building portals, updating educational tools and generating product content geared toward professionals — all of which have had mixed success.
However, brands that have seen success are the ones that have broken away from the group relying on media and channels in structural decline.
Estée Lauder brands Aveda and Bumble and bumble have challenged traditional distribution, by expanding into Sephora and department stores, as well as maintaining robust direct-to-consumer e-commerce businesses.
Guthy-Renker has also turned to e-commerce and direct response as it looks to bolster its hair care brand WEN.
L’Oréal Paris and Garnier, recognized the shifting tides of influence and invested in robust online retail partner integration and tapped into influential vlogger channels; whilst Organix does not invest in TV at all, reallocating resources/efforts to print, speed to market abilities, and product innovation.
As it looks to document this shift in the industry, L2 ThinkTank has quantified the digital competence of 53 global Hair Care & Color brands to provide a robust tool to diagnose digital strengths and weaknesses and help brands achieve greater return on incremental investment.
An excerpt of the findings can be found here .