Private Brand Cosmetics Flourish Among Upper Income Women

Shoppers in higher income brackets can sometimes be thriftier than those with lower incomes. If they think a private label color cosmetic’s quality and performance is on par with a national brand, they will buy it.

According to a recent report from Mintel, 64% of women in the $100K-$149K income bracket plan to continue buying some Private Brand color cosmetics and some brand name color cosmetics, meanwhile, only 50% of those in the $50K-$74K and 48% in the $75K-$99K bracket say the same thing.

“This does not mean higher income women do not purchase higher end, national brands,” notes Kat Fay, senior beauty analyst at Mintel. “But they can be selective, often spending more on one category or occasion than another.”

One-third of Mintel respondents (33%) say they are buying Private Brand cosmetics more now than they did this time last year. Not surprisingly, more than half (51%) purchased private label because it offered the best value for the money. Depending on the product, some can be as much as 30-40% cheaper than name brand cosmetics. Meanwhile, 33% were motivated to try a private label cosmetic because of a coupon or special offer and 26% of shoppers went on a recommendation from a friend or family member.

“In addition to recommendations and advertising, shoppers are influenced by in-store cosmetic demos,” adds Kat Fay. “Demos show a product in action, teach shoppers how to properly use an item and allow them to ask pertinent questions. Retailers say demos always spur sales.”

For those who don’t purchase private label color cosmetics, nearly half (49%) say they are happy with their brand name product and have no desire to try anything new, 32% say they never thought to try something else and 18% fear that store brands use cheap or inferior ingredients. This offers an opportunity for marketers to educate consumers on the quality of their products and ingredients.



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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.