‘Disruptive’ or different – where’s the line?

‘Disruptive’ or different – where’s the line?

Disruptive marketing, disruptive innovators – whatever you want to call it, the beauty industry has finally woken up to this powerful and innovative method in which to forge ahead in the 21st century cosmetics market. But are these brands that are being lumped under this header actually ‘disruptors’, or are they merely finding new ways in which to carve out their own niche in an over saturated market?

What is clear is that companies are becoming wise to the fact that the way in which to be seen and heard has changed exponentially over the last decade as the digital age takes hold. Brands are coming through and ‘disrupting’ the market as they get to grips with the updated business models needed to create products and marketing campaigns that play to the market’s mood and gives the consumer what they want.

While the likes of Uber is a great example of a ‘disruptor’ in the public transport sector, it’s clear that the brands that are willing to step up their marketing game and correctly judge the way in which the beauty market is unfolding will be the ones that take the biggest slice of the pie. Think along the lines of artificial intelligence alongside ground breaking digital experiences and you’d be getting close to the direction the market is heading.

Let’s look at L’Oréal; the beauty giant has recently opened the doors on its Mexican ‘content factory’ for PortadaLat. This data and social media listening centre measures the impact of the French beauty giant’s content marketing as well as its integration with paid digital and off-line media, for an omnichannel perspective. It will also allow the brand to work with editorial partners and content creators. Disruptive? I’m not too sure. Different? Most certainly. Ryan Zamo of recent natural Z Skin Cosmetics fame is another brand working up to its marketing strengths with its new Amazon store, but a disruptor? I think not.

However, it has to be said that there are some brands that are disrupting the market. Step up Kylie Jenner – her lip kits sell out within hours of being restocked and the business model of simply a social media marketing presence by the teen reality star herself has surpassed all others. Likewise the rise and rise of local FMCG company Patanjali Ayurved is now so strong it’s challenging its multinational competitors to be kingpin of the Indian personal care market. Now that, my friends, is disruptive.

Last week the CEW got together a panel of so-called disruptors to debate this exact question, with the panel of beauty experts deemed as doing things differently in our industry, from Blow LTD offering expert beauty services to your home, office or hotel through an Uber-style app, to MyShowcase, a personalised shopping service.

However, the panel called into question whether, by doing things differently, they were in fact disruptors, or merely conforming to an ever-changing world where companies are playing catch up with the increasingly demands of the consumer.          

The jury is out on whether the term ‘disruptors’ can be used to bulk together a host of brand’s that have a savvy marketing team staying one step ahead of the game. However, I’m tending to lean on the words of the CEW, ‘Ten years ago these businesses simply couldn’t have existed. As technology rapidly develops, so does opportunity, and the beauty industry is taking notice.’

So whether that’s being a ‘disruptor’ or merely a forward-thinking brand willing to make a difference, it seems the beauty industry is poised and ready for action.