Better Touch Better Business
As a result of the enforced countrywide self-isolation and mask-wearing, apparel and beauty brands are faced with a challenge.
In the past two months, shopping plazas in China have been forced to close for epidemic prevention and control. Demand is surpassed by lower expectations of income and less interest in fashion due to long periods of self-isolation. Let’s face it, we dress for other people just as much as for ourselves!
Many retailers have used social media such as WeChat groups and live-streaming platforms to try to connect with customers. They’ve packaged products into mystery bags and gift sets to be sold in a limited or one-time offer.
These tactics to extend reach and lower prices helped to stimulate consumption and alleviate the initial impact brought on by the epidemic. When consumer demand dips, it is up to brands and retailers to find new markets. During the epidemic, some beauty brands quickly pivoted and blazed a new trail.
Compared with skin care products, cosmetic brands especially beauty tools have taken far more steps to generate demand, including creating a new type of makeup brush and matching it with a whole set of concepts, techniques and terminology.
During the epidemic outbreak, cosmetic companies have increased their marketing around what they call “mask makeup.”
Simply put, it's just more elaborate eye makeup. The first wave of beauty brands that have joined the marketing type promoted eyeliner brush, eye shadow brush, eyebrow pencil brush and other eye makeup brush.
This wave of mask-related marketing can be traced back to the end of January, which was a mere two weeks into the outbreak. When surveys showed that the concept of “mask makeup” began to attract buyers, brands swarmed to social platforms such as Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu and Douyin to roll out related contents and products.
With the continuous promotion of “mask makeup”, especially when beauty bloggers and the media joined in, the definition has been constantly enriched and perfected, giving more leeway for beauty products to employ it in their marketing.
In late February, some beauty brands began to use “mask makeup” to promote foundation brush, concealer brush, and powder brush as base products that prevented makeup from rubbing off when wearing masks. “MHLAN,” a Chinese brand that gained its popularity through e-commerce, packaged its makeup brush into “a perfect combo” to solve the makeup problems caused by breathing and friction from wearing a mask. The makeup sprays of international beauty brands such as MAC and Urban Decay were also mentioned on social media at this stage and were closely tied in marketing to “mask makeup.”
Mhlan, the Chinese beauty brand that promoted their eyeshadow brush eyebrow brush for mask-wearers, was also the first to adapt to the easing of preventive measures in China. The company rolled out new promotions for lipstick brush, upon the change. When public venues were reopening and the workforce going back into offices, their marketing message was clear and straightforward.