In-Store Cosmetic Demos Raise Brand Awareness

Results of a customer response survey show that in-store beauty demonstrations, a tried-and-true retail technique, are a hit with consumers.
The survey was conducted by national marketing company Cosmetic Promotions, Goldenrod, Fla., between fourth quarter 2008 and first quarter 2009 at a series of events at various retailers. More than 3,000 consumers were surveyed at live demonstrations conducted by makeup artists at mass food, drug and merchandiser stores.
Ninety-six percent of respondents said they would like more of the same event at that store. Sixty percent never tried any of the demonstrated products before. Thirty-five percent expressed an intent to purchase immediately based on the demonstration, and 56 percent would purchase at a later time, with only nine percent having no purchase intent. The respondent’s age group breakdown was 25 percent under 25, 44 percent 25-50 and 31 percent over 50.
Cosmetic brands featured at the demonstrations included Cover Girl, Neutrogena and Markwins’ Wet n Wild and Black Radiance.
Markwins hired Cosmetic Promotions to stage more than 500 sampling events featuring those two brands, and also to introduce its Beauty Benefits line. During one Neutrogena sampling period, for example, held in Meijer’s stores, sales were six pieces per hour; of the 67 percent of those who never tried the brand, more than two-thirds made a purchase.
Demo events usually included a drawing for a “Beauty Basket” prize, which encouraged consumers to opt-in to receive future event notices on the entry form, providing a valuable mailing list for the brands. Additionally, make-up artists took time to train store associates in order to continue sales once the events were over.