“We’re not putting all our eggs in the wrinkle basket”
Anti-Ageing, Male Grooming, and the Blogging debate – from The Beauty Trends & Innovations Conference.
Yesterday I attended The Beauty Trends & Innovations Conference. It was so interesting to be a part of such a diverse conference. I came into the beauty industry three years ago, but have always experienced it from a journalism and PR point of view. This conference showed both sides, covering everything from brand conception, formulations, packaging, and of course, marketing.
The conference included two panel debates and several individual speakers. The strongest of these was Simon Duffy, Co-Founder of men’s grooming brand Bulldog –Skincare For Men. Simon talked about how the men’s grooming industry has strong opportunities for growth, if only companies can get their marketing right for the male market. Supporting these ideas were the speakers from Man Cave, Eli Ankutse & Alex Grogan, who have also taken a different approach to their marketing with great success.
Candice Gardner from Dermalogica spoke about the anti-ageing marketing, which was also covered substantially in some of the panel discussions. Key points centred on trends for edibles and supplements and a shift towards changing the guilt associated with anti-ageing. Candice says Dermalogica for one are “not putting all our eggs in the wrinkle basket” instead focusing on overall skin health.
The final discussion panel was an area I’m more familiar with, “Developing Into The World Of Beauty Bloggers & Journalists”. Discussions proved this is an area where relationships need to be strengthened, as there is confusion and frustration from brands on how to work best with bloggers. Bloggers Fleur De Force (http://fleurdeforce.blogspot.co.uk) and Lee Kynaston (groomingguru.co.uk) spoke about the importance of approaching bloggers as real people, not just sending mail merges without their names, or their name spelt wrong, and not hounding them about using press releases. However, audience members pointed out that both sides needed to work on their manners and that is was incredibly difficult and expensive to form individual relationships, especially in smaller companies without a dedicated PR person.
Evie Leatham, former Stylist Magazine Beauty Director, spoke about what makes an interesting beauty story, and emphasised that it wasn’t all about new products. New trends, statistics and innovations like those discussed at the conference sometimes made the juiciest stories, she said.
The key suggestions for best practice when working with bloggers were:
1. Brands shouldn’t feel obliged to send samples to everyone that asks for them, and that these bloggers often weren’t worth their salt.
2. Brands should work to keep relationships strong with bloggers and journalists, even when they have nothing to promote, by sending small emails or messages just to see how the other person is.
3. Lee Kynaston suggested that asking a blogger or journalists for their honest opinion about an un-launched product (in private and off the record) would be extremely flattering and help to form a genuine relationship with that person.