Finding the value in views on hydration


Manager of Behavior & Marketing Science, HCD Research


As consumers, we tend to be swayed by simple and sensible concepts. One of the most fundamental lessons about our health is to stay hydrated. Recognizing the obvious benefits of hydration, the cosmetic world has incorporated it into several different facets of the industry. From skincare to hair products, including moisture into a beauty regime became a staple. However, companies are left with a very challenging question: how can hydration be constructed and branded best for consumer products? By listening and learning about consumer perceptions, products are better positioned to communicate and portray the appropriate message effectively, which ultimately motivates buying behavior and increases product satisfaction.


Cosmetic products promise a lot in their claims from diminishing dark spots and wrinkles to whitening teeth and thickening hair. Hydration is one of the most commonly claimed benefits in the cosmetic market. Since water is a basic health and wellbeing essential, consumers universally appreciate its power and value. Since we all rely on water to survive, hydration is an easy concept to incorporate into cosmetic products.


Putting the emphasis on health and wellness effects allows the consumer to have a better sense of control in their appearance. Framing information to highlight positive benefits, like increased hydration, influences behavior by acknowledging the consumer’s desire. Promoting proactive, healthy effects, like hydration, gives an exciting added value to the item. Even though, technically, anything that adds water to a substance is hydrating, the process of integrating hydration into the marketing campaign is not as simple as it may first seem. Even if a product technically does add water to the skin or hair, it must be perceived by the consumer as hydrating, before they even use ...