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June 2, 2010

P&G’s CoverGirl A Consumer Favorite

Favorite Makeup Brand
In a new beauty survey conducted by Market Force Information, Boulder, CO, Procter & Gamble’s CoverGirl topped the list of consumers’ favorite cosmetics brands. The survey examined which cosmetic brands are most popular among consumers and why, as well as their favorite places to shop for cosmetics. It was conducted last month among Market Force’s network of 300,000 independent mystery shoppers and merchandisers, and more than 5,000 consumers responded, according to the firm.

Some 70% of the survey respondents said they wear cosmetics and out of 60 cosmetic brands, CoverGirl was cited by 14% as their favorite. Clinique was second on the list with 10% and Maybelline and Mary Kay tied for third with 8% each.

When the consumers were asked what they loved most about their favorite makeup line, they chose brand trust over all of the
Source: Market Force Information
other factors— the actual product attributes mattered much less. More than two thirds said they love their makeup because they trust the brand, while only one third cited loving it “because it feels wonderful.”

Playing Favorites: P&G’s CoverGirl ranked high in a recent survey.
CoverGirl led the other brands in most of the attributes consumers care about most, scoring highest in categories such as great value, brand trust, wears well throughout the day and easy, no-mess application. Clinique was named second in brand trust and rated highest of all the brands in the “uses humane testing/is environmentally safe” category.

Although Mary Kay was the fourth favorite cosmetics brand, it still scored well for several attributes, including ranking third for brand trust, according to Market Force.

In the survey, most respondents bought their cosmetics from mass retailers and drug stores, but Sephora was a clear leader among specialty retailers. When consumers were asked where they go to purchase their cosmetics, their answers showed there is no one clear retailer category of choice.

The majority (29%) said they purchase them from mass retailers like Walmart and Target, and another 21% buy from drug stores such as CVS or Walgreens, said Market Force. Slightly fewer, about one in five, shop for cosmetics in department stores. Sephora was a crowd favorite in the specialty retailer category. Out of the 12% who reported buying cosmetics from specialty retailers, more than one third said they purchase from Sephora.

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Brand Loyalty Takes a Hit During Recession

According to a March 2010 study on brand loyalty conducted by comScore Inc., there has been a significant decline in consumers’ allegiance to their favorite consumer good product brands during the past two years.

According to comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, “a decline in loyalty to consumer goods brands is typically one of the byproducts of a recession as consumers give greater consideration to price. Research we’ve conducted at comScore ARS has quantified the impact of the ‘trading down’ effect within a number of different product categories, highlighting consumers’ increasing willingness to switch brands in the face of pocketbook constraints.”

The study evaluated the change in brand loyalty within a number of consumer goods categories, including health and beauty aids and household products and housewares. As the economic downturn has continued, the percentage of shoppers who typically buy the brands they want most has steadily declined across the categories examined. In March 2010, less than 50% of shoppers reported purchasing the brand they want most. As part of the study, U.S. consumers were also asked about the type of brand they did buy when not their preferred one, with a focus on the importance of promotional discounts and lower price in causing the shift.

For most categories, the drop in likelihood to shop for the brand wanted most is not restricted to buying other brands on sale. Rather, a sizeable percentage of the change in shopping approach is being driven by a decision to convert to less expensive brands to save money, according to comScore.

“Despite these shifting consumer dynamics, research has repeatedly shown that premium brands which invest in marketing and promotion activities aimed at maintaining buying at ‘preferred’ levels are able to minimize short-term erosion of share to less expensive brands and position themselves for a bounce-back when the economy improves,” said Fulgoni.

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