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Cost of Living Crisis: How Brands Can Navigate the Storm
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Cost of Living Crisis: How Brands Can Navigate the Storm

The cost of living crisis means this year’s holiday season will be more challenging than ever for brands.
The cost of living crisis means this year’s holiday season will be more challenging than ever for brands.

Consumers will be reconsidering every single purchasing decision. They’ll require more information and support to help them decide, and will also be more open to changing their minds about the brands or shops they use to complete their purchases.

Navigating the storm

Despite temptation, cutting back on marketing efforts when times are challenging is the worst move a brand can make. Going quiet will have dangerous repercussions and truth be told - if your brand is not participating in some way, your prospects will forget about you. Instead, look at the uncertainty as an opportunity to truly be seen, to serve new customers looking for the best bargains and to dominate your market while others are stepping back.

Remember, it’s all about working smarter rather than harder – especially true during times such as these when consumers are treading more carefully.

How will the cost of living crisis impact the health and beauty sector?


Clare Varga, WGSN Director of Beauty believes “Beauty and personal care priorities won’t change, and instead, what we’ll see is people focusing on better rather than less.” Clare also predicts consumers will be favouring discretionary spending and considered choices, looking at both value and cost.

Also, just last month, retailer Boots responded to the cost of living crisis with the introduction of their new budget range, with Jenna Whittingham-Ward, the Head of Beauty for Boots, stating that “at a time when many people are facing choices between heating and eating, we’re all bracing ourselves for a winter of feeling the pinch more than ever”.

So, what can brands do to tackle the challenging peak season ahead?

Introducing a new budget range to accommodate for product swaps is a great offering, but given we are already in the last three months of the year, it’s not feasible for the vast majority of brands who need to act now.  Instead, why not look at how your brand can increase its visibility at a time when the search function will be working overtime.

Here are four different ways brands can take action.

Get your products on Google Lens


Google Lens is an image recognition app that allows anyone to perform a Google search using real-world objects from your phone’s camera. Google Lens enables users to instantly search for what they see without having to describe it perfectly first. It analyses shapes, colours, textures, and shading - comparing each image to 15 billion other images.

But that’s just the start of it. According to Google, 60% of shoppers say they often or sometimes get inspired or prompted to buy something even when they aren’t actively shopping. That can come from spotting great street style: 39% of shoppers say they often or sometimes look for a specific outfit online after they see someone wearing it. Or it can come from browsing online: 48% of shoppers have taken a screenshot of a piece of clothing, accessory or home decor item they liked (and 70% of them say they’ve searched for or bought it afterwards). 

Google Lens can help users shop for looks as soon as they spot them. Just snap a photo or screenshot and it will be possible find exact or similar results to shop from.

Checking your technical and improving SEO

Forget spring cleaning, now is the time to test things like your page load speed, fix any broken links and get rid of any old landing pages for items that are no longer in stock or discontinued.

With discount hungry customers on the horizon, it is also recommended to load test your site before Black Friday to ensure your current server set-up can handle a spike in traffic. 

As part of this process, focus should also be on optimising product descriptions for Black Friday shoppers and including the right keywords to raise your positioning in the search ranks.

Why not start with reviewing sales data from the previous year to see which products performed best during Black Friday, and also consider how you might be able to incorporate any new keyword trends?

Leverage Social Commerce

If you are an e-commerce brand looking for ways to increase your visibility, conversions and build relationships with customers, social commerce should definitely be part of your marketing strategy.

Coined by Forbes as ‘the next global shopping revolution’, Social Commerce is a fast-growing subset of e-commerce, and is expected to increase from $492 billion globally in 2021 to a $1.2 trillion industry by 2025.  

It ticks all the boxes today’s customers are looking for including convenience, speed, and ease.

To find out everything you need toget started, why not check out our very own Social Commerce Masterclass.

Tell your brand story


While discounts and promotions will certainly be at the forefront of consumer mindset – consider also how your brand brings value beyond the product and the reasons customers like to shop with you.

Ask yourself, your team, your CEO – what the narrative of your brand is and how has it has got to where it is at today? Hopefully this should be an easy task – but just in case things have got a bit lost, it might be time to think about ways you can re-inform and re-educate your prospects.

Using your story to deliver an authentic point of difference shouldn’t be about making sales directly. Remember, it’s about being authentic to your core fundamentals and should be seen as a relationship-building and brand awareness practice that creates more opportunities for audiences to get to know your brand.

Not entirely convinced on this approach? Here are some beauty brands that are doing it well.

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees uses storytelling to help customers buy into the company’s philosophy: that we should treat our skin, and the world we live in, with care. In 2021, the company’s peak revenue was published at $270.0M.


Fenty Beauty

The launch of Fenty Beauty in 2017 highlighted the importance of inclusive marketing. In the month that followed its launch, there were 132 million views of Fenty Beauty related content, making it the largest launch of a makeup brand on YouTube. It truly jolted the industry and shifted the beauty landscape.

Although consumers will be a little more conscious of what they’re spending at the moment, there are still plenty of ways that brands can make sure they’re not forgotten. For any extra information on ways your brand can increase visibility, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Posted 24 October 2022 by Anne Chianalino