Is Influencer Marketing on the Decline? A Kylie Cosmetics Case Study.

Are traditional celebrity endorsements, which were once a cornerstone of marketing for brands like Kylie Cosmetics,  losing their effectiveness in today’s market?

Key themes:

  1. The Decline of Traditional Marketing Strategies: In this blog, we discuss how traditional celebrity endorsements, once a cornerstone of marketing for brands like Kylie Cosmetics, may be losing their effectiveness in today’s market.
  2. The Rise of the Clean Beauty Movement: We highlight the growing consumer preference for clean beauty products, characterised by transparent ingredients and eco-conscious formulations, and how brands must adapt to meet these evolving demands.
  3. Transition to User-Generated Content (UGC): We emphasise the shift towards authentic engagement through user-generated content on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, as brands like Kylie Cosmetics seek to connect with consumers more genuinely.
  4. Preference for Nano and Micro-Influencers: We discuss the trend of collaborating with smaller influencers, particularly nano and micro-influencers, as a more cost-effective and authentic means of reaching target demographics and driving brand advocacy.
  5. Adaptation and Survival: The conclusion underscores the importance of brands adapting to changing consumer preferences and market dynamics to remain relevant and thrive in the beauty industry’s evolving landscape. It suggests that embracing the clean beauty movement, leveraging UGC, and collaborating with smaller influencers are essential strategies for success in this new marketing era.

A viral TikTok by @Nicky.reardon details the alleged ‘Disastrous Demise’ of Kylie Cosmetics and why he thinks people aren’t buying the previously popular cosmetics. In the viral video, Nicky claimed, “Kylie is scrambling for money”. His evidence for this was that in the past ‘3 months’ Kylie launched three new businesses: Khy by Kylie in November 2023, Cosmic Kylie Jenner perfume launching in March 2024 and Sprinter, a ready-to-drink vodka soda in a can in March 2024. One million people hit the like button on Reardon’s TikTok, where he asked, “When did the Kardashian magic die?”.

The beauty industry has witnessed a seismic shift in consumer preferences and marketing strategies in recent years. One brand that has been at the forefront of this evolution is Kylie Cosmetics, founded by Kylie Jenner. However, as trends change and consumer behaviours evolve, questions arise: Is influencer marketing losing its efficacy? Has the era of celebrity endorsements come to an end? To explore these questions, let’s delve into the case of Kylie Cosmetics and its journey amidst shifting market dynamics.

The Decline of Kylie Cosmetics Revenue: A Symptom of Larger Trends

Kylie Cosmetics, once a powerhouse in the beauty industry, experienced a significant decline in revenue, with a staggering decrease of over 50% in 2023, according to Statista. This decline, evident in the brand’s online sales figures, prompts us to scrutinise the underlying factors driving this shift in consumer behaviour.

The Rise of the Clean Beauty Movement and its Impact

A key player in this shift is the burgeoning “clean girl” aesthetic, which has captivated consumers since the early 2020s. This aesthetic, characterised by a preference for products with transparent ingredient lists and eco-conscious formulations, has propelled the clean beauty movement to the forefront of the industry. With over 50% of Gen Z consumers prioritising ingredient transparency, according to Ulta’s annual ESG report, brands like Kylie Cosmetics are compelled to adapt to this evolving landscape or risk losing relevance.

Navigating the Transition: From Celebrity Endorsements to User-Generated Content (UGC)

As trust in traditional celebrity endorsements wanes, brands use alternative strategies to engage consumers authentically. Enter user-generated content (UGC), a powerful tool that has gained traction in recent years. Kylie Cosmetics, recognising the need to pivot away from conventional influencer marketing, has integrated UGC into its marketing mix, leveraging platforms like TikTok and Instagram to amplify authentic user experiences. However, transitioning from celebrity-driven campaigns to UGC presents its own set of challenges, requiring brands to strike a delicate balance between authenticity and brand identity.

The Ascendance of Nano and Micro-Influencers

In tandem with the shift towards UGC, there’s been a growing preference for collaborating with smaller influencers, particularly nano and micro-influencers, according to the Influencer Marketing Hub The State of Influencer Marketing 2024: Benchmark Report. These influencers, with their niche audiences and higher levels of engagement, offer brands a more cost-effective and authentic means of reaching target demographics. By aligning with influencers who embody the ethos of the clean beauty movement, brands like Kylie Cosmetics can forge meaningful connections with consumers and drive brand advocacy in a crowded marketplace.

Adapting to the Evolving Landscape

In conclusion, the decline of influencer marketing, as exemplified by the case of Kylie Cosmetics, underscores the need for brands to adapt to changing consumer preferences and market dynamics. By embracing the clean beauty movement, leveraging user-generated content, and collaborating with smaller influencers, brands can remain relevant and resonate with today’s discerning consumers. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the beauty industry, one thing is clear: adaptation is essential for survival, and those who embrace change will thrive in the new era of marketing.

Share This

Accounts Team | Distract

The Accounts team at Distract seeks to manage clients in the most effective way by harnessing every opportunity to pull together the agency’s diverse departments to deliver.

Date Posted


Contact Us

Click the button below and our team will follow up with an in-depth anaylsis of your current paid media and digital presense. This will be sent to your email address.

Contact Us