Amritha Gaddam, CEO & Founder, The Tribe Concepts

Amritha Gaddam began experiencing this new “organic wave” while studying for her MBA at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management in Bengaluru. Living in a hostel away from her home in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, Amritha was troubled with skincare and hair care problems, something she never faced at home. Wanting to take better care of herself, she asked her mother to send her homemade self-care products. Her mother had always used Ayurvedic recipes of her father, an Ayurveda expert, for over 30 years had formulated, to create homemade alternatives for hair oil, face, and hair cleansers.

 

How has beauty changed for you? Have you thought about it? From shopping beauty in malls to checking out testers we have come a far way today. Five years back I never knew I can shop for beauty and especially makeup online. Things have changed and drastically. Digital technologies have made us opt for things in the most convenient and satisfying ways possible. 

Technology has evolved in the last few years and has disrupted how brands connect with consumers today. From traditional TV commercials, bigger brands like HUL also going for Instagram influencer marketing is a huge shift. There are brands that evolved coz of social media, they started and got recognized today coz of social media. The Tribe Concepts is one such brand, and I feel proud to say out today that it started as a humble Social media brand before we made it big. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube today play a major role in building brands be it creating content, ads, conversation with customers they have a huge share today. On an average brand are spending at least 40% of their marketing spends today on digital space. Surprisingly bigger brands have joined this wagon as well. In a recent article, it is published that Loreal allocates 30% of its marketing spends to digital channels. 

There are brands like Dove from Unilever who are known for their beautiful human campaigns today using social media to spread the campaign awareness and the views and reach is extremely high. 

The good thing about the digital space is the reach. As of Jan 2021, there are 1.10 billion mobile connections in India with around 340 million of them on Facebook and about 325 million users on YouTube. From a Tier 1 city to rural areas the reach is high on digital and thus it has become an easy way for brands to communicate to every corner.

Here are 4 major contributors to the evolution of the Digital space-

Social media

With the massive adoption of social media by both millennials and the previous generations, it has become a space of communication for brands. Social media has become marketing channels for brands and they are utilizing this space for the creation of content, ads, etc. Channels like Facebook, YouTube have become major revenue generators. Celebrities have always played a major role in brand awareness across the world, and there are these celebrities so active on social media and collaborating with brands and creating an active voice for the brand to reach the consumer. Social media is a place where trends are set and disrupt the entire ecosystem in seconds and brands have fallen prey to this both in a positive and negative sense sometimes. Social media helps brands grow and also fall. And that’s how it plays a dual face. Over the last few years, social media has helped brands grow drastically in terms of discovery of a brand, understanding how it functions, visual ads that clearly target consumers, and establishing a voice and language for the brand through the content created by brands on social media.

Influencers

A new age trend that shook the entire world is the evolution of an influencer ecosystem. Majorly started from Blogging, YouTube vlogging, etc… where different people had their own channels speaking of various content, today it has come far away. Social media has made normal people celebrities with their content. Videos such as beauty applications, hair tutorials, skincare routines for different skin types are various beauty content on the digital space that awed a regular viewer. Today there are influencers entirely in the beauty space as full-time professionals whose job is to help people find the right products. Celebrities have totally used this platform to drive their influence. Starting with Global celebs like Kylie Jenner and her brand Kylie cosmetics which made Kylie a billionaire today there are various celebrity-led brands globally and in India as well. Recently, Deepika Padukone announced a global lifestyle brand rooted in India, to focus on beauty, skincare to be launched soon. 

The influence of these influencers on pushing brands forward both organically and inorganically is seeing a drastic shift in the performance of brands digitally. The number of views for brand campaigns has increased. The majority of celebrities no longer tag themselves to one brand but talk about various brands pushing brands forward. 

The educative videos, guidance, and techniques from various influencers have changed how consumers shop for beauty. Today there are various digital testers for a consumer before choosing and opting for a beauty product. 

“Today there is an influencer, who looks like me, has skin like me has a body shape like me and it is super easy for me to shop what suits me the best by following that influencer. Easy to decode foundation shades, skincare routines, etc…”

Face to Face with the customer

Today brands are communicating with their consumer. From a product on a shelf, today consumers are able to reach out and talk to the brand all thanks to digital technologies. This increases the faith in a consumer. Social media posts and videos see a lot of DMs, comments, likes, shares where it is a two-way dialogue between the consumer and the brand. The brand tries to say something and the consumer in return is sharing what he feels or wants to convey. This can be both positive or negative but definitely working through a two-way conversation between brands and consumers. Customers share their feedback, experience, and brands are directly understanding ways to make themselves better. Recently we all saw how the HM x Sabyasachi took it so beautifully digitally created awareness in peaks with a lot of influencers and visual hype that it got sold out in minutes of actually launching the product. Do you think this would have been the same in an offline scenario? No doubt the digital push is disrupting how brands function. 

When it comes to beauty there is skin types, colours, foundation shades, and customer today is able to shop all this all right with help of the knowledge the brand is sharing with them on social media. Today the information is vast for a consumer to catch up with a brand.

Reach

Aggregators like Nykaa, Amazon ship across the country to all pin codes possible. Digital evolution has transformed the way we shop for beauty. I remember when I was young my mom used to shop for her favourite beauty products only when we go to the nearest city once in two months. In fact, she was way behind new-age innovations in beauty or brands. But today everyone from a rural to the urban area has access to social media they know brands, they know new beauty innovations, they know how to shop them and how to use them. All thanks to digital technologies. Today I know what Deepika Padukone’s favourite toner is where to get it from and how to use it right. It’s that simple today. No wonder beauty has become the new-age trend. 

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