Shopping Cart
8 survey sins by beauty brands


There are 8 survey mistakes by beauty brands that are critical.

Consumer surveys are an excellent tool for understanding your beauty brand’s consumers’ needs, behaviours, and preferences. Still, many beauty brands don’t do them right, so their usefulness varies from nothing to some good information.

8 Critical Survey Mistakes By Beauty Brands

Here are eight mistakes plaguing your consumer research using surveys and how to avoid these mistakes:

1. Leading Questions

These questions may or may not be deliberate, but they subtly guide or influence the respondent toward a particular response or opinion. They are suggestive, presumptive and framed with a bias.


-“Don’t you agree that “brand name” beauty routine is easier than others?

-“How much do you agree that the “brand name” beauty routine is easier than others?


Frame your questions without any suggestion, assumption or bias.

-Please choose the best comparison between the “brand name” beauty routine and other brands.

a. Not as easy as the others

b. Equally easy as the others

c. Way easier than the others

2. Confirmation Bias

This bias happens when survey questions match the survey designer’s beliefs. It messes with the results because it nudges people to answer in a way that fits pre-conceived notions instead of soliciting actual opinions and responses. 

Imagine a survey about a new beauty product that only poses topics that make the brand sound awesome. It could miss out on hearing about people’s problems or complaints.


“Don’t you agree that our brand’s skincare products are the most effective on the market?”


If you find a confirmation bias in any survey question, edit to neutralize the same.


-“How effective do you find our brand’s skincare products compared to other options on the market?”

3. Pitching Your Solution

You know when surveys ask, “Hey, wouldn’t you love this new product?” before asking whether they need it? You are already pushing a solution without getting any deeper information. It can pressure the respondent to say yes, even if it’s not what they want. 


“Wouldn’t you agree that our new anti-aging cream is the perfect solution for youthful skin?”

You assume the respondent is concerned about aging, suggesting the anti-aging cream as the ideal solution without letting the respondents indicate their skincare needs or preferences.


-“What are your primary concerns regarding skincare?”

The above question allows the respondent to express her concerns without being influenced by the mention of a specific solution.

4. Future Predictions

When Steve Jobs said, “The consumer doesn’t know,” he meant don’t ask the consumer what she wants or how she will behave in the future, but people mistake it for “consumer research is useless.”


“Which of these three new products would you consider buying on your next trip to the beauty store?”


way better approach is to dig deeper into her past behaviour, which is the best predictor of future behaviour. 


-“Which of these three products have you bought the most in the last year or two?”

5. Asking The Wrong Cohort

A key reason for a false positive for early-stage beauty brands is euphoric adoption by early adopters. Still, their adoption reasons and behaviour often differ from those of early mainstream and late mainstream consumers.


When doing research with surveys, ensure that you include early adopters and mainstream consumers for your beauty brand.

The critical difference is that mainstream consumers are less willing to change their behaviour and adopt after seeing social proof.

One way to distinguish is by asking screening questions early in the survey.

Questions like: 

-When did you make your first purchase 

-How did you first become aware of the brand

-What was the final stimuli that made you go for buying 

If you don’t yet have consumers or are not even $500K, and your base is primarily comprised of early adopters,

You can ask questions to deduce if they are early adopters or mainstream consumers of your specific category with

Questions like:

-Which brands of the below did you buy, and in which year?

-Which beauty forums do you frequently participate in?

6. Not Segmenting Respondents/Consumers

This is a grave mistake when you are researching your consumer base. Not segmenting will deliver averages, and they produce below-average insights.


Either use screening questions to self-segment consumers into varying degrees of loyalty, non-buyers (yes, that happens if you email all subscribers), and different adoption preferences, as mentioned in the previous point.


You could even create different surveys for different degrees of loyalty and lost consumers and then use screening questions to segment by different adoption preferences.

7. Unclear, Random and a Laundry list of Objectives

It’s better not to survey than to be unclear, choose tactical objectives and have a long list of them.


If you are an early-stage beauty brand looking to launch or scale up, there are two objectives for a consumer research survey.


To dig deeper into the problem that you are thinking of solving and the pain with current solutions 


Once you cross >$250K-$1M+, why do your consumers buy you? the problem you solve for them?

8. No Hypothesis

Now that you know the objectives wait to jump to survey design before you have your hypothesis.


Depending on your core objective for the survey: 

Please write down your hypothesis and iterate and refine it a few times.


The problem you intend to solve and for whom, current available solutions, pain with solutions, frequency of the problem, impact on life. 

Example of hypothesis,

Women aged 50+ are looking for powerful anti-aging solutions but are scared of the side effects, esp. with invasive procedures, which can also alter their look; the problem gets worse with every year, and so does their desperation, impacting the quality of everyday social interactions and self-image.

Your survey will have questions that validate or invalidate the above hypothesis.


The problem you solve and for whom, current solutions, pain with other solutions, frequency of the problem, impact on life, how your solution is different, why they bought you and repeatedly buy you, how and when they consume, etc., how do they measure the results

Example of hypothesis,

For a fictitious brand, FUN SKIN, that detoxes skin while making the skin look younger instantly, a hypothesis could be:

Our loyal fans buy FUN SKIN to overcome the problem of lengthy routines and weeks of usage without noticing any significant difference, which could influence 50+ women to opt for unhealthy, invasive solutions. They are willing to apply the serums three times a day for instant results within a day so their skin can glow and look 5+ years younger in one day, helping them be at their best, whether outside or inside.


I covered the 8 usual mistakes that beauty brands make when surveying consumers, whether pre-launch or post-launch:

1. Avoid leading questions by reframing without any suggestion or bias

2. Don’t seek confirmation for your firmly held beliefs about the benefits of your beauty brand

3. The objective is to understand your consumers better, not pitch your brand

4. Replace predictive questions with understanding past behavior 

5. Ensure your sample represents your target consumers at every growth stage, from early adopters to mainstream.

6. When researching your consumer base, at least segment them according to their extent of loyalty 

7. Focus your survey on one core objective

8. Make sure you have a hypothesis answering the objective of the consumer survey before you design the survey

Do check out my article on Top 8 mistakes by beauty founders.

Jump offers profitable growth to women-led, early-stage beauty brands with a “fit, fundamental & fully executable” solution using first principles of diffusion



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Layer 1