Estée Lauder is one of the leading cosmetics manufacturers, trusted by women and men around the world. While a favorite of many, this brand is typically associated with an older consumer.

If they want to remain the second-largest cosmetics company, Estée Lauder realizes that they must also connect with the youngest demographic of adults – Gen Z

Estée Lauder was the top growth personal care brand by brand equity from Q3 to Q4 2022. Download our Personal Care Industry Snapshot for more brand rankings and industry insights.

A look at Estée Lauder’s sales conversion funnel

A sales conversion funnel tracks consumers’ progression from initial brand awareness to purchase and active usage.

Below, we use QuestBrand data to compare Estée Lauder’s sales conversion funnels between two consumer groups – overall US adults and Gen Z adults. From the differences in these two funnels, it’s clear that Estée Lauder is still growing its relationship with Gen Z

Across every phase of Estée Lauder’s sales conversion journey, overall US adult consumers outpace Gen Z consumers: brand awareness (+34.5), brand familiarity (+23.5), product trial (+16.9), product usage (+11.8), and brand recommendation (+8.4).

Estée Lauder Sales Conversion Funnel – US Adults vs Gen Z Adults

QuestBrand. 8/1/22-2/28/23. Base: US adults, ages 18+ (grey), n=3,162. Base: Gen Z adults (green), n=479.

That’s not to say that Gen Z will never use Estée Lauder. The platform numbers highlight Gen Z’s current lack of awareness of the Estée Lauder brand. Estée Lauder must get their brand in front of this young adult demographic to convert new customers, which is exactly what they have been doing through initiatives on the metaverse and TikTok.

Estée Lauder enters the metaverse

The cosmetics giant realized that to attract younger consumers, they must interact with them where they spend their free time. In 2022, that meant embracing the metaverse.

In March 2022, Estée Lauder was the only beauty brand to participate in Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week. For the first time, Estée Lauder released a wearable NFT for users’ avatars. In August 2022, Estée Lauder participated in Decentraland’s Metaverse Art Week 2022. For the event, they also released an NFT inspired by their number 1 serum – Advanced Night Repair.

TikTok becomes a high priority

Originally, Estée Lauder focused their social media presence on Instagram. However, over time they realized that solely focusing on Instagram kept them from reaching a new audience (and new customers) – especially younger consumers.

Starting in 2021, Estée Lauder stepped into TikTok – an incredibly popular app with Gen Z. There are approximately one billion monthly active users on TikTok.

Often Estée Lauder markets through TikTok influencers. Gen Z is more willing to trust a product recommendation from an influencer than from your typical paid post.

“Over the past two to three years in particular we have invested greatly in mastering Instagram as a central, effective marketing channel and we will continue to build on that. Whilst Instagram is key to engaging our core audiences and deepen our relationship with existing and new consumers, we wanted to push the boundaries in new ways and reach new people. Naturally, we looked beyond what we were already doing. In TikTok, we saw a unique opportunity to recruit a new, larger audience with a younger demographic.” – Lubna Moshin, Regional Social Media & Communications Manager, EMEA at Estée Lauder

Purchase consideration is on the rise

Estée Lauder Consumer Purchase Consideration – US Adults & Gen Z Adults – 12 Week Moving Average

QuestBrand. 7/1/22-3/13/23. Base: Gen Pop of US Adults (Grey), ages 18+, n=4,242. Base: Gen Pop of Gen Z Adults (Green), n=627.

Estée Lauder’s play for Gen Z may be paying off. When we look at Estée Lauder’s brand equity data, particularly at consumers’ purchase consideration, we see that Gen Z’s purchase consideration has been steadily rising since the middle of 2022. This signals that Gen Z’s willingness to purchase Estée Lauder products rose throughout the second half of 2022 and into the beginning of 2023.

While still well below overall US adults’ purchase consideration, this positive trajectory shows that Estée Lauder can hope to continually strengthen their Gen Z consumer base with time and steady effort.

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Catherine Ake

Content Strategist

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