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Should a beauty brand invest in market research?

by Arun Shirishkar

What impact can market research have on a beauty brand? Can market research change the way a business functions? Vinay K Mayer, Vice President – International Sales & Service Delivery Asia Research Partners answers all these questions and shares his insights on how market research solutions help the beauty industries.

What are Market Research Solutions? How is this service relevant to the beauty industry? What kind of requirements do beauty brands have when they approach you for research?
Market research is relevant to all businesses. Healthcare and Wellness industry is currently only tapping into 10% of its growth capability. In the coming years, it has the potential to raise it to 100%. Much of this starts with Market Research. We provide insights to the brands related to consumer choices, preferences, usages and their awareness towards different brands, which helps these brands to design their products as per market needs.
Brands want to understand consumer preferences, their expense nature and how the brand image looks like to the consumers V/s competitors. We also do a lot of product testing and pricing studies for brands. Mystery shopping and customer satisfaction are another significant verticals among our services.

How have the findings of this research helped them? Has it affected the way they do business in any way?
Once a brand receives insights from market research, they get a clear picture of what customers like and dislike, what price points they are attracted to, what kind of packaging is desired, etc. These findings help brands prepare their products better for the target consumers. Even branding required market research — for example, selecting a tagline that attracts customers is important and it can be determined through market studies. From customer satisfaction to competition analysis, in-depth knowledge of the market is crucial to winning brands. We also do product testing, brand image studies, and brand ambassador research to improve brand visibility.

What is the customer sample size and categories that you target while conducting research?
We always try to get a National Representative Sample, that is covering the entire country. We are mostly focused on Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities; 8 – 10 top cities are always targeted to get a comprehensive look at the perceptions of people in semi-metro and metro cities. Our research is always tailored to meet the specific requirements of each brand. Product requirement and gender sampling are important and so is choosing the right methodology of research.

What are your insights into consumer behaviour for 2021 in the beauty sector?
Awareness about holistic wellbeing is on the rise among Indian consumers, and accordingly, spends on beauty and wellness products has increased considerably. Per capita spending is expected to increase during the 2019-2024 period and the Indian beauty and wellness market is forecast to reach INR 2,463.49 Bn by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of approximately 18.40%. The rise in middle-class income and increased female participation in the labour force, especially in tier 1 cities, considerably increased purchasing power. Indians are also becoming more and more conscious about their appearances, and hence allocation larger portions of their disposable income towards beauty products, spa, and salon services.

What parameters should brands keep in mind before investing in consumer or trend-centric research?

  • Brands should prefer in-country partners and work only with reputed market research agencies. Data from low-end market research agencies might not be reliable and in turn, affect your brand’s success.
  • They should target the cities / countries where they have the distribution network/ manufacturing units. Research should always begin with qualitative research to obtain base-level insights, further delved into a quantitative research methodology where research is aimed at a larger audience.
  • Tracking studies should be considered to evaluate new or existing products.

Is it advisable for companies to invest in research before launching a new brand or product?
100 percent! It increases the chances of your success and helps in the decision-making process.

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