Will a web game drive sales for a ‘farm-to-face’ beauty brand?

Discussion
Source: Farmacy Beauty Lab promotional video
May 26, 2021

Not every consumer is a serious video gamer, but plenty of people play casual games online to pass the time. Beauty brand Farmacy now plans to use an on-website video game to capture the attention of potential customers.

The “farm-to-face” brand intends to launch its “Farmacy Beauty Lab” game on its website by the end of June, according to Glossy. Website visitors will play the simple game and, after completing it, will be taken to a screen where they can personalize the label of a bottle of skin cream.

The game was intended to be an exclusive for a virtual press and influencer event in April, but the brand folded it into its broader public-facing web strategy. The company plans to update Farmacy Beauty Lab in the future to peg the game play to other products and ad campaigns. The Farmacy website averages 250,000 sessions per month with an average duration of two-and-a-half minutes. The company anticipates the game will increase dwell time.

A video from April depicting the game shows simulation-style game play, in which the player clicks on vials of ingredients moving along a conveyor belt to collect them and thereby create an order of the correct skin cream product. With each click of an on-screen ingredient vial, the customer sees a pop-up window of information about that ingredient.

While the move may be non-traditional for a beauty brand, Farmacy is of course not the first brand to try to leverage online gaming to promote engagement. For instance in 2017, the now defunct Jet.com launched a mobile quiz game with prizes attached. McDonald’s in Sweden once ran an in-restaurant mobile trivia game, and numerous other retailers as varied as Schlotzsky’s and TGI Friday’s U.K. have run promotions built around online games.

In the beauty space, there have been some recent examples of unconventional brand marketing which have paid off, including a series of collaborations between e.l.f. and Chipotle to bring collections of burrito-themed beauty products to market that quickly sold out.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Can using gamification to enhance web engagement lead to higher cart conversion rates? What do you see as the keys to making gamification tactics work for Farmacy and other consumer-direct brands and retailers?

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6 Comments on "Will a web game drive sales for a ‘farm-to-face’ beauty brand?"


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David Leibowitz
BrainTrust

This looks like an innovative concept to drive consumer engagement. Brands that focus on integrated marketing are realizing that the consumer website is the destination. To drive awareness and traffic, brands need compelling, interactive and shareable experiences.

Venky Ramesh
BrainTrust

Farmacy is not the first beauty brand to announce online gaming to engage its consumer base. Last year, e.l.f cosmetics announced a tie-up with a popular Twitch gaming streamer (Lufu) to strengthen its position among the Gen Z female gamers. A survey they conducted found that 70 percent of their followers played video games, while 65 percent enjoyed watching others stream gaming content. So they collaborated with Lufu, who has 8 million followers, as a way to show support to their female Gen Z consumers trying to stand out in a male-dominated gaming world.

Trevor Sumner
BrainTrust

Using a gamer with a large following as a spokesperson is quite different than creating a game. I expect much of the former, little of the latter, despite the gaming penetration among target audiences.

Trevor Sumner
BrainTrust

While casual gaming is an interesting take, especially to reach younger audiences, this feels like more gimmick than substance. Ingredient focus is especially important in beauty these days, but there are better ways to explain Farmacy’s approach. With the pandemic lifting and shoppers eager to escape their homes and digital captivity, I expect this will see modest engagement but not become a staple of their content marketing for the future.

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Staff

Gamification should increase engagement with digital natives, especially given they can personalize products.

Matthew Brogie
BrainTrust
3 months 29 days ago

With existing traffic of 250,000 sessions per month Farmacy has a great base to experiment with. There is a dual potential benefit here: increased conversions and increased traffic. If the game is actually engaging, there will be some viral effect. I think the effort vs. potential gain relationship is very favorable and would encourage Farmacy give it some runway and iterate a few times. My bet is they will see good results … not game changing, but they will move the needle.

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