CX Industry Focus: Budget Beauty Brands

When it comes to makeup, we often base quality on price. The cost of a product can have a big impact on the customer’s perception of the brand, the value of a product and, in turn, a brand’s reputability. As much as makeup users and enthusiasts may strive for costly, high-end brands, pricey products can really take a toll on the wallet. So what’s the trick to keeping up a strong beauty regime that doesn’t break the bank? Well, if you haven’t already invested in budget beauty brands, now’s the time.

It seems as though many brands have caught onto the fact that consumers value variety and with the prevalence and volume of online reviews, it’s now easier than ever to discover a decent beauty product at a fair price. Who could say no to that? 

We’ve used our unique emotion analytics platform Emotics to analyse data from 5 top budget beauty brands. Let’s see who comes out on top, and who falls short. 

Flying in to first place is Maybelline

With an impressive overall Adorescore of 41, 5% above industry average, it is clear to see that consumers have faith and confidence in the product and the brand.

So what is it about this economically modest brand that puts them at the forefront of our analysis? Maybelline have recently collaborated with American fashion model Gigi Hadid. Named International Model of the Year by the British Fashion Council in 2016, Hadid is known globally and has tremendous influencing power. Hadid has collaborated with Maybelline New York to launch her very own limited-edition collection of makeup, which seems to have got people talking. 

That being said, not all of the reactions to the collaboration are good – many customers are questioning why Maybelline has decided to sell a relatively expensive product, when a large part of their appeal to consumers is the low price of their range.

So perhaps there’s more to the popularity of Maybelline than a one-off collaboration with an American model. Whilst customers are confused by the collaboration, part of Maybelline’s consistent popularity is their top customer service. Great customer service should never be overlooked – it hugely influences the experience of consumers and always impacts brand perception.

If you want your product to be recognised, customers have to love your brand and to love your brand, they have to love your customer service.

Creeping up in close second place is Bourjois

Bourjois tot up an exciting Adorescore of 40, which is 2.5% above the industry average. According to our data, one of the primary factors that drives Bourjois into high second-place is the quality of their products.

The brand’s well known foundation ‘Healthy Mix’ plays a huge part in gaining recognition for the brand.

Customers everywhere have been commenting on the quality and affordability of Healthy Mix, which is a huge win for Bourjois. The correlation between affordability and quality is often assumed by consumers, with parallels being drawn between high-cost and high-quality – however, Healthy Mix defies this notion and proves that budget beauty can also offer brilliant product quality.

Sitting firmly in the middle is NYX

NYX achieves a modest score of 39. Although they haven’t come out on top, their overall Adorescore is still positive. The brand earn a score of 51 when it comes to Trust, which is around average in this industry snapshot.

So what is it about this budget brand that customers can’t get enough of? Aside from the good quality products at low prices, NYX has launched its very own masterclass. According to Fashion Networkthe masterclass features online content that aims to educate consumers and provide technique-focused, professional makeup artistry.

The content will be provided by ‘offline’ artists, i.e. those who work with makeup for the entertainment industry, film and fashion, and ‘online’ artists, such as those who excel on social media (Lacombe, 2018).

Additionally, NYX are a well trusted brand due to them being advocates of cruelty-free beauty. Similar to Lush and The Body Shop, NYX are known as a Leaping Bunny approved brand, which is imperative to a wide community of consumers.

In second-to-last place is Rimmel

Despite their recent long-term campaign to raise awareness of cyber-bulling with the Cyber Smile Foundation, backed by Rimmel ambassadors Cara Delevingne and Rita Ora, our data still shows Rimmel to be fourth on our list. Rimmel have an overall Adorescore of 38, which is still relatively positive.  That being said, Rimmel score 46 on the Joy index, which is 2.5% below the industry average. Analysis shows that consumers enjoy the product in terms of quality and price, so how can their brand perception improve?

Our data shows that the brand falls short when it comes to customer service.

Additionally, a number of consumers have mentioned online that the brand is not cruelty free, which may also lead to the brand scoring lower than NYX.

Finally, in last place is Sleek

Sleek totals an overall Adorescore of 37, and also scores 32 for Sadness, which is 5.2% above the industry average. Analysis shows that this is partly due to the removal of the brand from the popular beauty store Superdrug, opposed to poor quality products.

In addition to the removal of a popular product from a key retailer, poor customer experience is also to blame for driving negative emotions towards the brand.

Helpful customer service and positive communication are vital aspects of optimising CX for consumers. Sleek’s customer service, according to online discussion, is not up to scratch and is one of the biggest drivers of sadness towards the brand. For Sleek to improve, grow and succeed as a company, they must take care of customers and provide valuable experiences.

The volume of superior quality beauty products at fair prices on the market is huge, and growing. With constant market competition, picky purchasers, and extensive online reviews, brands now have to constantly compete. This means the quality of affordable products has greatly improved, and they are more widely available, which is great news for customers who love a bargain. Our data analysis shows little difference in these budget beauty brands when it comes to price, quality and brand empathy. Perhaps they need to work on what it is that makes them stand apart from their competitors if they are to truly succeed. 

Adoreboard’s emotion analytics platform Emotics is unique in its ability to analyse data to give rich emotion insights. Our emotion analysis goes far deeper than sentiment analysis or simple NPS.

If you would like to uncover decision ready insights and better your customer experience, click here to book a demo today.

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