Even with all the new releases, and new product variations and enhancements, I've found more and more collections less appealing. The anticipation from press releases and blogger buzz and message board frenzies often exceed the real thing. So it made me wonder - is this simply because beauty addicts like us are a different breed of customer? Or are have companies really dropped the ball in meeting the customer's needs?
Do we have too much stuff? Does this make it more difficult for cosmetic companies to innovate? I've worked retail before so I know first hand that customers can be extremely difficult, rude, ridiculous and unreasonable. While I've found this is not the majority, a few bad apples definitely ruin the bunch and in the past I dreaded the Christmas Holiday season because customers always want things right now their way and often times want exceptions made for them that aren't always reasonable or fair.
For me, I've always liked MAC's neutral collections (D'Bohemia, N Collection, Skinflicks), yet the newest neutral collections they released were too neutral for my taste. I found the same with Laura Mercier's Polished Collection. I normally love and adore neutrals in nudes and browns. While I did find 2 items that I liked enough to purchase, I found the rest too bland and too neutral. The most recent Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals collection was probably one that I was most looking forward to, yet I found it too bright and too orange/coral (more on this soon).
I realize everyone has different tastes. I personally loved Bobbi Brown's last Nude Collection and I know a lot of women didn't find it appealing at all.
I know most companies strive to achieve brand loyalty from customers. Perhaps there are a lot of women out there who are brand loyal. I just don't know of any other than my mother and my friend's mother who are loyal to Estee Lauder for life. For me there isn't just 1 line that will meet all my beauty and skincare needs.
But what is it that we want and need? I personally would like to see:
- More wearable looks on real women with each collection. Preferably 3 looks on different women.
- Ideas on how to incorporate my current products with new products.
- Inspirational ideas on how to transform a day look to a night look.
- I'd like more ideas on how to coordinate makeup with certain colors of clothes (I typically pick out my clothes for the day first, then pick the makeup to use with it).
- Better shopping incentives and GWPs.
- More knowledgeable sales associates and better training for consistency among brands regardless of location or store.
While I don't always like being pressured to buy something from a sales associate, I do feel like they should do some of the leg work in telling me about something new. I'd say about 90% of the time, I go into the store knowing what I want to buy and the sales associate has little to do with completing that actual sale. Sometimes I feel like I'm the easiest customer because they don't need to convince me to buy something and most of the time I am able to tell them what's coming out before they even know about it and also tell them if their competitor store already has it.
This is contrasted to my own personal experience in retail where I had to be knowledgeable about all the product features, competitor products, benefits, customer feedback and my own personal experience in order to make a sale.
Perhaps I am really a difficult customer who is way too obsessed with shopping and makeup. In general I feel like I am the one who meets my own needs. I'm taking a Strategic Branding class this semester which should be interesting. I realize Luxury Goods are a whole different market than most of the brands I'll be studying this semester.
I'd love to hear from you! Do you feel your needs are being met?