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Nov 1, 2016

Do Consumers Crave Collaborations?

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I ignore advertisements. I mute the TV when commercials come on, I opt for Netflix and radio shows that are commercial free, I skip the ads on YouTube every chance I can, and I honestly couldn’t mention the ad that just showed up when I checked the weather on Google.

Any chance this applies to you? Most likely, it does.

There are certainly more advertisements today than there were even just a couple years ago. In a world where ad inundation is commonplace, it’s difficult to make an authentic connection with brands.

To overcome this challenge, some brands are looking to collaborations to reconnect with consumers. Collaborations are partnerships that are established between a brand and external entities to create a unique product offering for consumers. These collaborations are influencing the makeup category in particular. While 2 percent of total makeup launch products in the first half of 2015 were part of collaborations, this amount increased by 8 percentage points in the first half of 2016. As might be expected, some of those collaborations were with celebrities.

Celebrity collaborations differ from endorsements in that celebrities actually have a role in the product’s development, as opposed to simply having their name or image on a product. However, even celebrities—much like advertising—run the risk of running cold with consumers.

There’s another group of individuals hitting the scene that are, in some cases, outranking celebrities when it comes to being more engaging and relatable, and they are known as influencers. The best definition of an influencer that I’ve come across defines such individuals as social media users who have established credibility in an industry, have access to a large audience, and can persuade others due to their authenticity. They are becoming so prevalent that some consumers may go so far as to view them as a type of celebrity. According to NPD, looking at 2016 prestige makeup launches, influencer collaborations brought in an average of two times the dollar volume of traditional celebrity collaborations in their first month.* The impact of these influencers on consumer purchasing decisions is also echoed in the fact that 92 percent of makeup users get information on makeup products from these influencers’ YouTube videos. **

Consumers are relating to influencers and their authentic personas, and are eager to try out products they are involved with, in an attempt to get a glimpse of their unique take on makeup. As competition within the makeup category continues to increase, the relationship between a brand and its consumers remains an integral component of a brand’s success. While there is no promise of a significant ROI from influencer collaborations, brands pursuing these partnerships in a genuine form will be giving their influenced consumers what they want.


*The NPD Group, Inc. / U.S. Prestige Beauty Makeup Launches, Top 50, January-June 2016
**The NPD Group, Inc. / 2016 Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report



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