A Hair-Raising Global Tracking Study

Category: Beauty Products
Methods: Product Awareness and Usage, Global Marketing Research, Product Attributes, Customer Target Profile, Tracking Research

Branding Models Using Textual Data


An international innovator of premium beauty products targeted to women wanted to better understand hair care needs and product usage among females in four countries. This research was conducted to help the company develop targeted marketing initiatives, enhance product offerings, and understand targets for new products.

Strategic Issues

The hair care market is often considered a mature market with little potential for expansion; however, the majority of hair product categories have experienced substantial growth over the past decade. This company’s hair care product line caters to several different segments by hair type, texture, and color. The company’s products have grown to include some of the best-known brands in women's beauty worldwide.

Maintaining market leadership in a highly competitive market, developing differentiated products, and building customer loyalty were the primary goals for this client. They wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the target and user segments and their needs and to gauge the opportunity for existing and new products.

Research Objectives

The objective of the study was to understand characteristics of the target and user segments for each product and potential new product, and draw comparisons across four countries: United States, Germany, United Kingdom, and Canada.

Specifically, the research was designed to:

  • Determine the incidence of the female hair segments (e.g., color-treated blondes, brunettes, and redheads, frizzy hair, etc.) by country.
  • Understand the differences in awareness, attitudes, and usage of hair care products by country.
  • Identify the most common hair care conditions that women are concerned about.

Marketing Research Design and Methods

The research was conducted among a representative sample of females in four of the countries where the company distributes its products.

Surveys were conducted via the Internet using Decision Analyst’s American Consumer Opinion® online panel, which is a proprietary, double opt-in panel of households that have agreed to participate in Internet surveys exclusively for Decision Analyst.

The worldwide Internet panels set a new standard in data quality and comparability from country to country. These panels are all carefully recruited and rigorously managed.

Questionnaires were translated and tested by Decision Analyst’s highly experienced international division. For international studies, Decision Analyst is fully staffed in all areas of research project design and management with representation from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Asia.

The questionnaire included pictures and drawings of various hair types to assist the respondent with reporting her specific hair characteristics, resulting in higher-quality data for the client.


Results provided incidence levels by product usage, target group, hair type, hair texture, and other characteristics by country. The research also provided detailed customer target and usage profile information by product and potential new product. Of particular interest to the client was how these profiles differed by country.

The study was extremely valuable to the client. Findings revealed that because women’s usage and attitudes about hair care and products vary by country, different marketing strategies were required. Likewise, the incidence of particular target and user groups varied by country. The results were used to develop product enhancements and new product positioning to better fit the needs and wants of the consumer. The client applied the research in developing targeted advertising campaigns.

Online Marketing Research Services

If you would like more information on Tracking Research, please contact Jerry W. Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, (jthomas@decisionanalyst.com), or Tom Allen, Senior Vice President (tallen@decisionanalyst.com) or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.