Dove’s Market Research Led to a Fundamental Change in Their Approach to Beauty
2004 might not seem like a long time ago, yet the world has changed in significant ways. Think about it: cellphones were becoming common, but we were still three years away from the first iPhone. Social media was still finding its way and so many events were still on the horizon. And the idea that the world would have to shut down due to a global pandemic was the stuff of fiction.
But in 2004, market research was every bit as important as it is now, and what ultimately impelled the company to create the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty that garnered worldwide reach and is still going to this day.
The campaign found its very start in marketing research – a creative strategic research effort with three universities in four cities around the world taking part.
What the research found was that only 2% of women considered themselves “beautiful”. Like many other beauty product and skin care makers, Dove used professional models in their advertising. But with information gathered from the market research they conducted they hatched a new strategy.
Our own Smart Market Research Team has created a research system that can help you make your own discoveries about your target audience – they’ll help you find the answers you’ll need to hatch your own new strategy to get you back on course to success.
Instead of professional models, Dove opted to put “real” women in their marketing efforts to portray beauty as a source of confidence rather than anxiety. The move also inspired the company to make another major pivot away from a product centered advertising to one that was consumer centric.
To say their efforts paid off would be an understatement: they received massive media coverage from talk shows, women’s magazines, and mainstream news broadcasts and publications. Some of the women featured in the ads made guest appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
All of this coverage was FREE, mind you.
In fact, that free media coverage alone turned out to be worth about 30 times the media that Dove actually paid for!
Oh, and annual sales for the brand in the first 10 years of the campaign went from $2.5 billion to more than $4 billion. Not bad.
And to think that all this success started with market research that gleaned real information that was used to directly address the target audience’s (in this case women’s) hot buttons and pain points about beauty.
That’s what JOTO PR Disruptors does – the research to find the data you’ll need to rediscover who your customers are now – how they feel about and what they want out of your products or services. Through that information, you’ll have the means to find the solutions that change perceptions, build your reputation, and ultimately earns you success.
Karla Jo Helms
Chief Evangelist and Anti-PR Strategist (BIO)
DISRUPTION | EXPOSURE | INFLUENCE