Given the restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic, product launches have drastically decreased. However, adapting to the current situation, brands are turning to digital launches to capture the attention of the customers. While other industries are gearing up for the change, the beauty industry has already taken the leap. Digital launch events don’t require physical legwork, but the virtual world poses varied technical glitches and challenges.
Designer Masaba Gupta and Nykaa were gearing towards the first-ever designer-led fragrance collection for two years now but had to launch the product, virtually. Similarly, Nourish Mantra’s new product line with Nykaa was delayed by three months, and went live only at June end. Around the same time, they launched their new hand care category.
“This lockdown has opened up avenues of virtual soft-launches and more extensive digital marketing strategies, which are low cost and sustainable. This has pushed us to position our products more creatively. We want to go live on Amazon this month and we will go big with influencers this time,” says Ritika Jayaswal, CEO & Founder, Nourish Mantra comments.
Innisfree too had a virtual launch for their upgraded Green Tea Seed Serum in July. “A lot of planning went into the online launch of Innisfree. We sent the product a few days in advance for our guests to experience it. We did mock sessions to ensure that the online event is executed smoothly,” says Mini Sood Banerjee, Assistant Director and Head of Marketing at Innisfree India.
Launching a product via a virtual event is quite tedious, says Banerjee, adding, “We did regular mock sessions to solve all issues in advance. We ensured there is coordination among our team members, made regular follow-ups with guests, planned fun games, hosted an interactive session. Team members ensured that there is no connectivity issue. We researched in choosing the app for the event. All our points on keeping the guests engaged were well prepared in advance so that they didn’t lose interest.” Social media channels are extensively used to create content and buzz around the products and the brand.
“We do a lot of interesting activities on our social media platforms for our audience and regularly host digital relationship-building meetings with different media houses. We have hosted a series of live sessions on skincare regimes, mental health awareness, and holistic wellness and mobility workouts. We posted bingo challenges, house challenges and interactive contests to keep our audience entertained and engaged,” says Jayaswal.
Growing role of influencers “Since high budget campaigns are very difficult to shoot currently, hence a shift is evident. Influencers are skilled at keeping the audience engaged. They produce a diverse mix of unique high-quality creatives/videos/stories/reels which will be effective, faster and more cost-effective than traditional formats,” says Banerjee, adding, “Innisfree has done reels with influencers, and the reach is quite good.
Consumers also find influencers trustworthy and persuasive since they are also applying the same brand/ product and can give genuine feedback.” Influencer marketing is a big part of the beauty industry with its product tutorials, DIYs, tips and tricks, etc. “Even before the pandemic, beauty brands worked with influencers extensively for spreading awareness about their brands.
With the pandemic, this has gone higher as people have more time at home to consume more digital content and learn from educational influencer videos. The fundamental aspects of shopping have changed- and as a result, the key elements of customer loyalty – trust and confidence – are being put to test, making it inevitable for brands to build a strong network of influencers or content creators,” concludes Jayaswal.
Digital launch events don’t require physical legwork, but the virtual world poses varied new technical glitches