A new US consumer survey by Harris Poll EquiTrend suggests that many mass market cosmetics brands can give premium brands a serious run for their money.
Reflecting the fact that economic conditions are tough and consumer spend is lower, the poll revealed that mass market brand Physicians Formula came top in their respective categories, beating many more upmarket brands to the finishing line.
According the market research company, even the extensive marketing campaigns for premium brands, which stretch to up market store counters and make-up artists, are not necessarily giving those companies the highest brand equity scores.
Contrary to this, the company says that many of the mass-market cosmetics are performing well on the respective equity measures in its annual poll, assessing 1,500 products, services and lifestyle brands.
Mass-market doing very well
"When we compare all the cosmetics brands irrespective of category, mass-market brands perform very well when compared to their prestige counterparts, particularly traditional department store brands like Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden," says Joan Sinopoli, senior vice president and senior consultant with Harris Interactive's Custom Solutions Group.
The company noted that, in particular, the mass market Physicians Formula brand not only came out top rated in its dedicated mass market category, but its equity score outpaced that of the Estee Lauder Origins brand, which is marketed in the prestige cosmetics category.
The market research company believes that not only is Physicians Formula likely to be a brand to watch as it evolves in the future, but also that this underlines a trend that well positioned mass market brands are likely to continue to follow in the future.
Clear differentiation and social media marketing
“The variability in the prestige market does add to the impression that it is more niche; each brand has certain strengths regardless of how much or how little traditional marketing it does," continues Sinopoli.
"Physicians Formula may be a case for how clear differentiation and social media marketing can help boost a brand to a leadership position in the mass-market."
Sinopoli went on to note that three factors appear to be driving the success of the Physicians Formula brand, specifically the ‘physician’ association, the fact that those polled saw it as a good fit to their own self-image, and thirdly that it scores high in the market researcher’s Social Engagement metric.