Sustainability: What will snap next for beauty brands?

Steph Money, Executive Strategic Director, Streetbees
August 10, 2021

Building and maintaining a positive reputation is everything to a beauty brand. One wrong move and years of goodwill (not to mention value) can be destroyed in a moment. And few issues are more challenging now than getting sustainability right. 

The problem is that if you ask 50 people what sustainability means to them, you’ll probably get 50 different answers. Vegan. Recyclable. Reusable. Ethical. Natural. Local. The list goes on. And even the most well-intentioned brands can’t do it all at once. Certainly not while keeping shareholders happy. 

But brands should - and in this day and age must - try. The Instagram profile Estee Laundry is littered with examples naming and shaming  brands’ mistakes and the blowback from their 188,000 followers can be devastating and far reaching. 

The only option is to really understand the categories where your brands play, and be guided by them. Our research shows that there are three elements that BPC buyers balance as they make purchase decisions:

  • Efficacy
  • Price
  • Convenience

These have been around forever and the concept of price elasticity of demand is long since established. Now, though, we’re seeing the addition of sustainability as a fourth element that plays into the decision making process, and one which has its own elasticity of demand. We’re currently uncovering what it is that BPC consumers are putting on their “ready to ditch” list. The point where the convenience or efficacy is no longer enough to justify the sustainability hit and begins to erode the brand. Listen for the snap. 

Call it sustainability elasticity of demand.

There’s loads to share, and while it’s clear that currently sustainability isn’t as strong a purchase driver as the other key elements, it is increasingly one that consumers won’t compromise on.

So, if you’d like to find out more, register for our webinar. I’ll take you through some of our findings, including the emotional drivers and context behind what consumers tell us. We’ll focus on which sustainability changes make the most commercial sense to keep customers and shareholders happy.