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Markets & trends

Beauty brands embrace the appeal of neuroscience

According to recent findings by trends agency Peclers Paris, more and more millennial fashion and beauty brands are tapping into the strong consumer demand for mood-oriented products and interaction. Leading brands such as Benefit Cosmetics are eschewing traditional marketing spiel in a move to create a closer emotional connection with their consumers.

A no-brainer, if you follow leading expert on emotions Antonio Damasio’s reasoning that 80% of our choices and decisions are driven by our emotions. Biometrics and neuroscience are being brought into the mix to enhance our overall retail experience. Face reading and moodtracking technologies are examples of these new ways of garnering interest and enticing shoppers to come back for more.

Mood-boosting beauty pioneer Benefit Cosmetics continues to lead the (...)

Mood-boosting beauty pioneer Benefit Cosmetics continues to lead the feel-good retail movement. © Benefit Cosmetics US / Instagram

Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo was one of the pioneers of the trend back in 2005 when it launched UMood, algorithm-based brainwave sensing technology that was designed to help customers find the perfect t-shirt from 600 styles, to suit their emotional state. Beauty brands often use seductive product names in the hopes of tapping into consumers’ deep-seated desires. Clinique’s Happy fragrance and Benefit’s Dr Feel Good complexion balm... the list goes on. While the concept of mood-boosting fragrances or makeup is not new, digital marketers are going the extra mile by lavishing more attention on consumers’ moods and general well-being.

Benefit is a case in point. The San Francisco-born beauty giant has built its reputation on playfully engaging with consumers, announcing, for instance that "laughter is the best cosmetic" despite boasting an army of best-selling beauty products. Earlier this year, Benefit raised brows with the launch of its "brow translator" tool. The mood-gauging microsite unabashedly surfs the ’browcentric’ beauty trend — thanks to the likes of Cara Delevingne, enabling internet users the opportunity to upload pictures of their eyebrows and find out what they say about them.

Chaos MakeUp's buzzed about soon to be launched mood cream and existing (...)

Chaos MakeUp’s buzzed about soon to be launched mood cream and existing colour-shifting cosmetics are enjoying a healthy insta-crowd following. © Chaos Make Up Artist / Instagram

With the help of neuroscientist Dr. Javid Sadr from Canada’s University of Lethbridge, Benefit came up with a face-reader, which analyses the upper part of the face to determine emotional expression and adds an enhancing effect. Arched, narrow, knitted, neutral... Our brows speak volumes about how sassy, happy or sad we are feeling.

Benefit captured their market research in this video, showing passers-by how to define their brows with their online brow translator:

Meanwhile, indie brand Chaos Makeups buzzed-about, soon to be launched Mood Cream not only plays upon a changing emotional connection between product and user in its name but also has nostalgic appeal by evoking thermochromatic mood rings from times past. The multiple-purpose colour-shifting cream changes colour with exposure to water or heat.

AFP/Relaxnews

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