Currently in Poland there are about 100 domestic large and medium-sized, as well as over 300 small and very small cosmetic producers. This is a high figure – Poland is one of the European leaders in this field. What is more, according to estimates, as many as half of the cosmetic products on the Polish market are brands of Polish origin.
Does this mean that new foreign brands have no chance of winning the hearts of consumers in Poland? Absolutely not! As an experienced advertising agency we support such brands on their way to the shelves of Polish drugstores every day. However, you cannot do without a good Polish PR strategy.
Here are 7 best public relations practices for the cosmetics industry in Poland that you should definitely take into account in your business!
Table of contents:
- Creating a specific brand personality
- Ambassadors and brand faces
- Media relations in the beauty industry
- PR samples and packages
- Instagram – the most important communication medium?
- Creating an expert image
- Taking advantage of current trends
1. Creating a specific brand personality
Stand out or die – that, in a nutshell, is the practice of building a strong brand personality. Competition is constantly growing and there is no point in fighting it. What is more, domestic cosmetic producers are not lagging behind and are constantly analysing trends, introducing products and ingredients that are currently in demand. Instead of being afraid of them, it is better to focus on what you can do to stand out. And the stakes are high – the popularity of cosmetics (especially skincare) is beginning to grow tremendously in Poland.
There are many tools to build a brand’s personality in the beauty industry – from the colour scheme of the website, through the logo, the look of the packaging, the atmosphere of the feed on Instagram, the way of addressing the audience or the choice of media in which sponsored articles appear, to such seemingly trivial issues as the outfits of salespeople in stationary shops or the bags in which PR packages are packed. All this must form a coherent whole. It is therefore important that PR specialists work closely with both the marketing department and the production and sales departments.
Importantly, the nature of the brand on the Polish market may (and sometimes should) differ from how the brand is positioned on other markets. It is always necessary to keep in mind the current trends and characteristics of the audience from a given place on the globe. When developing a PR strategy one should always start with a classic SWOT analysis and list a few adjectives that will forever be part of the brand identity (e.g. allergy safe brand, very sweet and feminine brand, bold brand).
2. Ambassadors and brand faces
When thinking about ambassadors or faces of cosmetic brands, influencers are often the first to come to mind. Indeed, there are quite a few of them in Polish social media. According to the report cited in the Nutridome analysis, Agnieszka Grzelak, Ola Nowak, Weronika Sowa (Wersow), Natalia Karczmarczyk (Natsu) and Ewa Grzelakowska-Kostoglu (Red Lipstick Monster) are currently the most popular in Poland. Even younger audiences (i.e. Generation Z) can be reached through TikTok and influencers who are leading the way on this platform – for example Maria Jeleniewska, Marlena Sojka and Sabina Pawlik.
However, ambassadors do not have to be influencers known from social media. Depending on the target group, actors, celebrities, athletes, musicians, and even people respected in the industry – cosmetologists or editors of industry magazines – can become ambassadors or the face of the brand. It is worth being tempted by such cooperation. A well-known (and, above all, valued by your target group) name allows you to reach the brand more widely and make it gain a few trust points in advance.
We suggest, however, that you approach the subject with caution: send products for testing, give time to check how the cosmetics work and consider whether such a person wants to enter into cooperation. The ambassador will only be credible if they sincerely recommend the product or the brand. And Polish customers are particularly sensitive to this.
3. Media relations in the beauty industry
Nowadays, media relations does not only mean traditional communication channels, such as television or printed press – although, of course, luxury magazines or guest appearances in breakfast programmes will be very effective PR tools in the cosmetics industry. Nowadays, journalists are also active online – on industry or strictly women’s portals, as well as in social media. Whether or not you want to appear in print media and television, a strong media contact strategy (including digital media) is an extremely important element of good public relations in this industry.
How do you get contacts in the industry media in Poland? There are several solutions to this. You can purchase a ready-made list of media contacts, create a PR list yourself or start working with an experienced agency that will do it all for you. We recommend the latter option – especially if you represent a foreign brand and have never operated on the Polish market before.
Obviously, acquiring media contacts and creating a media relations strategy is not everything. You also need to know how and when to communicate with them, as well as what materials to provide them with.
A few tips from us:
- Try to reach specific journalists directly, rather than hitting general inboxes of editors or departments.
- Send visually appealing press releases – with photos or information on how the active ingredients work, presented in an easy to read format (e.g. colourful tables or infographics).
- Create an online newsroom where you can post all relevant information about your brand that might be of interest to journalists.
- Invite journalists to events and make sure your representatives always find time to give them an interview.
- Send journalists PR packs with products or product samples to test.
4. PR samples and packages
No one is going to write a eulogy for a brand if they haven’t had the opportunity to admire it in person. This applies to anyone who can have a real impact on how your brand is perceived by potential consumers – from journalists to influencers. Most beauty brands use ready-made PR lists. This way, when new lines or cosmetics are launched, a ready-made package of products for testing or samples is immediately sent to the relevant people.
It should be emphasised, however, that this is not classic influencer marketing, but a PR tool. When sending such a package, you cannot expect the recipient to speak positively about the brand. Influencers and beauty journalists receive dozens of them. They usually only mention those brands that have really caught their attention. So here we return to point one, the essence of standing out from the crowd.
When putting together a PR package, remember to personalise it. A leaflet with a dedicated name message is always a nice touch and can make the recipient feel obliged to thank the brand that sent it for the gift. It’s also a great idea to reference a situation from that person’s life in the letter – so it’s important to really follow the influencer’s feeds.
5. Instagram – the most important communication medium?
There’s no denying it – it’s clothing and cosmetics brands that lead the way among business profiles in Polish social media, especially on Instagram. This is mainly due to a similar target group – definitely most cosmetic brands reach mainly women, who constitute 73% of all Instagram users in Poland.
They look there for inspiration, pretty pictures, motivation, but also information – also about skincare or colour cosmetics. So if you’re a cosmetics brand and you’re wondering which social media platforms you should appear on, your first steps should be on Instagram. For many audiences, Instagram is where they communicate with the brand (via Direct Messages).
A huge plus to building your brand’s position and personality on Instagram is the variety of tools this platform offers. Not only can you build a beautiful, colour-consistent feed that will attract aesthetes, but you can also create an expert image through live shows or Insta Stories. Even just the choice of colour theme for photos and graphics, as well as the appearance of models, will have a significant impact on how the brand will be perceived by the audience – not only by consumers and promoters (e.g. influencers), but also by competitors.
6. Creating an expert image
Building an expert image should be the foundation of your PR strategy in Poland. Why? Because Polish consumers (and above all, female consumers) are extremely conscious customers. They are educated on the effects of active ingredients, conscious care, as well as ethical cosmetics with safe ingredients or not tested on animals. You, as a manufacturer, should provide them with this information first hand. Such transparency is very helpful in building public relations for Poles.
Consciously creating an expert image – of a brand or its owner – is also a great way to become a recognisable voice for the entire industry. It inspires trust, allows you to stand out, and also to reach an even wider group of potential customers with valuable content. How to do it?
There are many ways – from expert articles in the trade press, through interviews, your own YouTube channel, to content marketing in the form of a company blog, or simply sharing knowledge in social media or live events. The communication channel should always be adjusted to the way in which your Polish audience consumes content.
7. Taking advantage of current trends
A solid, well-planned PR strategy is one thing, but reality and changing consumer trends are another. In the Polish beauty world, you can often see how some cosmetics or ingredients gain popularity, while others lose it. Korean skincare can be an example – although a few years ago this trend was dominant among influencers, today it is not talked about much anymore. Another example is niacinamide, an active ingredient that manufacturers have long used in anti-ageing or anti-acne cosmetics. However, its presence was not emphasised in PR messages – consumers preferred to hear about retinol, for example. Today, niacinamide is becoming an increasingly popular and well-known ingredient among Polish women.
Advice from us: constantly follow current trends and adapt to them. How to do it? Nowadays, Polish consumers draw almost all their knowledge about cosmetics from the Internet. It is the Google search engine that will give you the most information about what is currently popular.
And what is currently popular? Here are some of the frequently searched beauty, make-up and hygiene trends in Poland, as revealed in the first half of 2021 (data from the Nutridome report):
- Skincare: oils and acids, aloe vera gel, face shaving, face rolling, face creams, rose water, antioxidant serums,
- Haircare: CWC method washing, hair porosity,
- Body tanning: bronzing products, sunscreens,
- Men’s grooming: growing a beard, beard powder, beard shampoos, beard brushes,
- Make-up: blusher, bronzer stick, eyebrow styling soap,
- Manicure: black french, baby boomer nails.
- Origin of cosmetic products: brands that are not tested on animals,
- Cosmetic DIY: self waxing, hair cutting, hybrid manicure, making a bath bomb.
Analysing current trends allows you to better understand Polish consumers and the differences between them and customers from other countries. This allows you to reach your target groups much more effectively.
Are you looking for a group of specialists who could help you develop and implement a full Polish PR strategy for your brand? As a Polish public relations agency we have been providing support to foreign companies who want to conquer the Polish beauty market and make Polish consumers fall in love with their products. If you need us, write to us! We will be happy to discuss your needs.