Beauty releases have gone into overdrive lately. Brands are coming out with new products at an alarming frequency, with some companies dropping a new products every. single. week. The real question is: what impact are these releases having on the brands, the consumers and the industry as a whole?
Monday marked Anastasia Beverly Hills’ seventh and eighth palette launch within 6 months. Previously, ABH would release their palettes periodically, usually one every three months. They are the most recent addition to the list of serial offenders when it comes to boring, constant releases – joining Colourpop and Makeup Revolution. However, these brands are certainly not alone. The whole beauty industry machine has started to speed up.
Who asked for this?
Who explicitly asked for 5 new releases every week? Why has Colourpop taken it upon themselves to completely oversaturate the market? And do brands really expect consumers to have the money to keep up with this?
It’s clear that the beauty industry has changed – new brands are launching all the time and non-beauty brands are increasingly dipping their toes into a lucrative market for a quick cash grab. Things have felt pretty crowded for a while. Perhaps because of this certain brands feel the only way to differentiate themselves is through constant releases. While the brand might be burnt into people’s minds, it’s pretty unlikely that it will be because of the products they’re launching, but rather for a more negative reason.
In my mind, for every beauty launch there needs to be buildup so consumers can really lust over a product, followed by a period of promotion to keep the launch in the minds of potential buyers. Part of the excitement is seeing ‘your’ product everywhere and not being able to get it off your mind. Seeing product tutorials and influencers using it builds the desire to own it.
Surely it can’t be good business to be dropping new products left, right and centre? If you launch something week-on-week, it doesn’t create desire, but instead portrays the product as dispensable and not worth having. It also doesn’t give each new product enough time in the spotlight before attention shifts again. Brands do not spend such a long time perfecting product formulations and packaging for lazy (if any) marketing and gimmicks. Many launches now drop with little-to-no warning, which leaves many potential buyers caught off guard if they’re not given time to save up. It also seems rather presumptuous to assume that consumers will be able to afford product launches at a moment’s notice.
Does any of this sound positive to you?
When asked about the increase in new releases, Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills said on Twitter:
‘It’s just the way the market is now we have to launch new stuff all the time because the consumers get bored and want more choices’.
By feeding into this toxic fad, it actually just serves to perpetuate the trend for themselves and other brands within the industry. To me it also shows a massive misunderstanding of what the consumer actually wants – coming out with vast amounts of unappealing products is the root of the problem, not the fact that the consumers want to move onto the next thing.
She went on to say that someone who would buy the Norvina palettes (which are a series of bright warm colour stories, but you knew that) are unlikely to buy the Carlie Bybel palette (largely cool toned shimmers). This is certainly not false – they’re vastly different palettes with colour stories that would appeal to very different target audiences. However, I’m not sure that fact justifies dropping 4 palettes in the space of a month just because the target audience would be different. Norvina has tried to justify the situation by stating that the ‘Norvina’ line is to be a sub-brand within Anastasia Beverly Hills… but this was not made clear to the consumer at all, leaving that to sound remarkably like an excuse. The key issue with a higher end brand coming out with lots of new releases is the price point. When Colourpop started releasing their colour capsule collections, no one really batted an eyelid because the palettes only cost $12. However in the case of ABH, they have released 3 $45 palettes, 2 $29 mini palettes and 3 $60 palettes in the last 6 months alone. It is almost more acceptable for more affordable brands to release products more frequently as the price point is so much lower, but when a higher end brand jumps on the bandwagon too, it cheapens their brand massively. The exclusivity is gone, the feeling that you’re purchasing something special has vanished and die hard customers are left alienated by a company that seems intent on taking their money.
If the aim is to increase the amount people are buying, then I’m afraid to say that that has flopped. People are probably more conservative with their spending now because there is so much to actually buy that consumers want to make sure they are spending on something worth while.
Quality not quantity!
To me, these brands seem so desperate to stay relevant with their consumers that they’re actually making themselves irrelevant. It is possible to be a beauty brand these days, release products periodically and drum up some serious excitement! Brands like Hourglass or Nars have recently come out with their holiday collections which garnered so much interest! What’s confusing is that all these brands have their core fan base that will support their every launch… before it became a weekly event.
Beauty is, of course, subjective and what appeals to one person won’t appeal to another, but that in itself is not justification for mass product launches (but thanks anyway Norvina). In the beginning, I’m sure some people felt a compulsion to ‘keep up’. However as the beauty launch machine started to spew out more and more product, most people (if they’re sensible or don’t have a bottomless bank account) gave up.
Instead of new palettes and fresh ideas drumming up excitement and encouraging people to buy, it has created a feeling of dread, boredom and disinterest. We’re not able to get excited about a single ABH or Colourpop launch because another one follows so closely afterwards and wipes all memory of the previous one. Also as mentioned before, very few will be able to afford consecutive launches. The consumer feels STIFLED – it all feels like a money grabbing gimmick.
Seeing as it’s 2019 and it’s relevant, let’s look at it from a purely environmental point of view, or from a wastage standpoint. It’s pretty much guaranteed that no one will be able to use up the product they have before it expires. Most beauty addicts struggle with their existing collections, let alone trying to get through new products too, so most of that waste will probably end up going straight to landfill. In trying to fulfil this odd desire to pump out new product every week, Colourpop has actually taken a step back in terms of sustainability. Previously, their palette packaging had been made of cardboard, whereas now it has changed to hard plastic. WHY!? It just reinforces yet again that not only is it not benefiting the consumer or the brand, but it also doesn’t benefit THE EARTH.
It’s odd to me that brands have got this so wrong. I haven’t heard a single person praising the influx of releases. Maybe brands will start to get the message and stop making a joke out of the amount they release (Colourpop, I’m looking at you). Or maybe they’ll only get the message when their sales start to dwindle as people put their interest in the brand to bed once and for all.
Follow me on:
Get £10 off £40 at Space NK – https://referme.to/Tbbrb1o
Get your first month of Beauty Pie for free! – https://beauty-pie.mention-me.com/m/ol/am8tu-hannah-butler
Shop ILIA Beauty! (affiliate) – https://iliabeauty.nhuie7.net/NV9e2