An Analysis of Beauty Interest Communities
(Digital Media Beauty Talk – The Unknown Conversation)
Online communities shape a new beauty agenda and
influence product demand
New digital stakeholders must
be taken into account at all levels of the beauty industry
'Online beauty talk' is under-analysed.
The number of online groups and communities of interest dedicated to discussing
beauty care and products has exploded. These online consumer sites are
, that is, their purpose is to share information and to self help.
Participants talk about their beauty and appearance problems and solutions,
exchange information on products and discuss how to get value for money.
These groups differ fundamentally from the e-commerce sites or
digital shops which are totally functional
existing only to sell products
and they are also quite unlike individual blogs. Although these communities
are not transactional they contribute to shaping beauty market transactions.
The major attraction of these communities is their trustworthiness
Participants trust them because they are people 'just like me' who are
speaking from experience. These onlines sites are used to obtain explanations
and to generally benefit from what are now in effect repositories of
The 'face to face'and 'word of mouth' have moved online. These digital
communities of interest are setting a new beauty agenda
stakeholders in the beauty discourse
alongside the incumbents -
the product formulator, marketeer and retailer. These groups are
playing a role in helping to create new cultural formations.
The beauty industry, despite the number of sites
of talk generated, knows remarkably little about what these
groups are saying, the beauty opinions being formed and their influence.
But insight is necessary to understand how this digital platform is
changing the established discourse.
Online beauty talk has been under-documented and under-analysed because
it consists of unstructured data, and complex data
(both text and
images). The vocabulary and terminology used and the emotions involved
make interpreting online beauty talk a veritable minefield for Big Data.
Since 2009, we have been tracking these digital beauty communities,
investigating their beauty conversations and discussions. Our new
report, An Analysis of Online Beauty Interest Communities, maps this sector
and examines these groups' impact on the beauty consumer and product demand.
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