Disruptor brands and influencers dominate haircare search, study finds
- Disruptor brand Watermans bested legacy marketers like Head & Shoulders, Pantene and Garnier with an 8.6% share of searches in the haircare category, according to a new analysis by Captify and Publicis Media provided to Marketing Dive. Most searches for Watermans (82%) were for specific products.
- Along with disruptor brands, influencers continue to impact beauty marketing, driving a 55.3% bump in searches for the category. After announcing Rochelle Humes as a brand ambassador, the brand John Frieda saw a 2208% lift in search over two days, the study revealed.
- Jen Atkin, founder of disruptor brand Ouai, was the most searched haircare influencer with 54% of searches around haircare influencers in 2018, beating out Tracey Cunningham (13.2%) and Sam McKnight (13.1%). Mobile searches for haircare grew 7% over the past six months, comprising 36.9% of the total search market. However, desktop still has a majority of share (54.9%), while tablet searches command just 8.2%.
The Captify and Publicis Media study paints a microcosm of the disruption currently hitting the haircare sector, a key CPG segment that's shifted greater focus to direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and influencers, who've snapped up more attention and sales than many legacy competitors. DTC brands are winning increasing market share thanks to their digital marketing savvy and expertise in areas like e-commerce and the supply chain.
"The traditional [fast-moving consumer goods] model has changed dramatically, brands are now faced with increasing pressure as media channels evolve and consumer behaviour changes," Heather Dansie, insights director at Publicis Media UK, said in a statement that accompanied the report.
The ability of Watermans, founded in 2014 by Matt and Gail Waterman, to dominate the share of search among haircare brands demonstrates a challenge facing legacy CPG marketers like P&G and L'Oréal. Watermans sells unisex, chemical-free products designed to spur hair growth, products that consumers are searching for by name.
"Whilst these disruptors may not stay around for long, they do benefit the haircare industry by driving overall awareness and increasing share of search for brands," the report said.
The growing presence of influencers throughout the marketing world has certainly touched the haircare space. By simply announcing a new brand ambassador, John Frieda was able to notch more than a 20-fold search lift, demonstrating the success that CPGs can find when choosing the right influencer for their target audience.
The search dominance of celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkin and her Ouai brand suggest that, while microinfluencers' popularity in marketing is growing, celebrity influencers still sway consumer audiences.
"Endorsement for luxury brands was a role traditionally filled by celebrities, however there has been a shift towards influencers collaborating with upmarket haircare brands as a crowdsourcing initiative for new product ideas," the report said.