I’ve talked about skincare before, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever mentioned a related topic which I can’t make up my mind on… brand loyalty. It seems to me that the rise of big names in cosmetics and skincare has brought with it a particular air of elitism, devisiveness, and personal marketing. Self-branding, if you would. It’s no secret that as humans, we use our interests, and our appearannce, to build the vision of ‘self’ that we unostadwnine and want to work to embody. But gone are the days that that can solely be derived from wearing black and having a lot of piercings to look more goth, or stocking up on tassels and coloured beads if you identified yourself in the ‘hippie’ sphere, or at least their core ideals.
I suppose this isn’t a new thing in the clothing market, with designer brands signalling wealth and affluence, or if you had a full tracksuit maybe you cared the most about sport and athleticism. Perhaps none of this is new, it’s just finally gotten around to us. Thank you, Instagram.
When our personal branding went online, the options for building your branding followed us into our houses, and through the doors to our bedrooms and bathrooms. Who knew we would colour code our bathroom cabinets to appear mentally stable and rich enough to have the time to order them. Some brands were prepared, brands like the ordinary, others lost out, and some others were ready to adapt to this changing world. If anything comes to mind, it’s Drunk Elephant with their bright, bold colours, consistent packaging, and branded mini fridges. Not to mention, the fans. Somehow, I don’t know because I don’t remember the walk into madness, this brand made customers go so crazy, they set up fan accounts. We don’t know that the first couple weren’t employees, but there are certainly too many now to make that claim. Rewarded (with more product) or not, these people spend time and money cultivating these hubs of obsession.
For those who steered away from the colourful ones, crisp and minimalist packaging arrived. Decked with a certain element of science to help their followers look and feel educated and intelligent. Theres a product for every mood, vibe, and filter.
The thing I’m wary about, is that this doesn’t give any space for critical review, and people start to merit ‘shelf-appeal’ over efficacy. Brands that have always been more focused on their formulas are suffering by refusing to buy into jazzy packaging, rather being tagged as ‘medical’ or only for people who need to use it,
Because let’s be real, you should buy skincare for how well it works on your skin. That is literally the point. It should be accessible (everyone has skin), and never hide underdeveloped formulas or trendy ingredients that don’t do much, under flashy looking cardboard. So, it looks like I’m not really on the fence.