How Beauty Standards can affect Marketing strategies

 When formulating a marketing plan for a cosmetic brand, you should think about what the beauty standards are for your target areas and how they are different depending on traditions, resources, and culture. Social media platforms are starting to bring trends and styles from around the world together so companies need to take this into consideration when trying to appeal to a wider target demographic.

A company might want to explore each country’s culture, beauty standards, and influencers before attempting to break into each specific region. Culture often dictates the standard of beauty in different countries. For example, Koreans apply skin lightener to represent wealth, because historically speaking, if you were tanned, that would mean that you were a poor peasant working outdoors as compared to people who have pale skin, which represented wealth and prestige. Whilst in Western countries it is the opposite as people apply self-tanner to seem bronzed with a sun-kissed complexion.


Pop culture tends to reflect what’s popular with the younger generation ‘right now’ and is heavily influenced by the Mass Media. Social changes are tailored to reflect what humans think is “sexy” or “appealing” regardless a person’s personal opinion. Our brains are manipulated by industries into believing that what the media tells us regarding everything from what the ideal body is to the style of clothing we wear. Even though everyone defines beauty in their own way, culture will always play a huge role in the perception of what’s beautiful to the masses . The process of becoming “beautiful” varies with each different country. This can be the way people apply their makeup to striving to achieve the ideal body type. All of these factors play a part into what products the consumer will want to buy and use to achieve the look.

There are different beauty standards around the world and this causes companies to market products differently in aspects such as the type of products that are highlighted to how they relay these different messages to consumers. Being able to connect with brands and companies from around the world via social media has been incredible and opened up endless possibilities by providing the opportunity to create a more in-depth relationship with consumers. This also allows smaller brands to get traction from customers Globally rather than just be limited to locals. It can also help lower the cost of marketing and public relations while still getting the same amount of attention if you are strategic and use good tactics. An effective social media page should be more than just an online website that showcases products but a place where you can see the products being implemented into everyday life with real people or even your own company’s customers. Consumers can share photos or videos of the product which builds an online community where others can get inspiration from the content posted on the company’s social media platforms.

Other things that can define and change how companies market to specific countries are differences in language, culture, and beauty standards which can all add up to consumers looking to people on social media and mirroring their trends. Now influencers can reach a global audience where consumers find their own style, but none the less find styles they like through other people on the internet. If considering working with an influencer to market a product you might want to take a look at our previous blog How can we learn about branding through social media influencers, which explains what you need to think about before reaching out to potential influencers.

From these culture differences there are many differences in how brands market their products around the world so a company might create several different campaigns for the same product depending on where the product is being released.

The idea of Western beauty has been skewed into an unrealistic ideal because of social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. These platforms have filters and other tools that consumers can use to make their face look flawless, which is unrealistic in everyday life. These expectations stem from the companies that photoshop their models to show images of unrealistic beauty to the consumer. However, in recent years there has been a change with companies such as Dove and L'Oreal starting campaigns to show that real women are beautiful in their own skin without any help from photoshop, which is important for people to see especially with social media making the world so small. 

Looking Closer at UK vs. America:

One of the biggest cultural differences between companies is with America and the United Kingdom. Both tend to mirror each other closely but marketing campaigns among countries tend to be very different even if the brand is international. America tends to be more daring with their everyday makeup trends, which makes brands like Kat Von D and Hard Candy more successful as they have a wider selection of products that fit the US consumers wants and needs. In Europe, especially London there is a lot more cultural diversity yet a lot of consumers go for the natural look wearing a more modest amount of makeup and choosing quality over quantity. In the past decade, the cosmetic trend gap has become smaller due to social media posts going viral on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, where people from around the world can create content for global viewers to watch and replicate. Companies have utilized this and focussed their marketing campaigns on social media.

Vloggers and other social influencers in the past decade have upped the game for video quality and original content. Especially in London there have been several vloggers in the past few years that have become popular amongst viewers outside of just Britain. The internet allows trends to circulate globally and get information to people anywhere in the world. This concept doesn’t just apply to London Culture being spread around the world, but now American, Korean, and even Latina influences are coming to the United Kingdom.

Slowly trends are becoming cohesive and styles are emerging from the internet rather than from traditional sources like magazines. Wherever you are, you can log onto social media and watch videos or read posts from anywhere in the world. Makeup may help us to achieve the unattainable, but when we put it to a global scale achieving the ideal may be more elusive than we think.


More about the author
Maya Schaefer
Author: Maya Schaefer
Senior Beauty Blogger
Maya is studying Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. She is passionate about beauty and will be working with us to help increase our social media and share her insite on popular and up and coming trends through her blogs.

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