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Marketing to Women: Nail Polish Explosion

Posted on the 30 January 2013 by Jamiedunham @jdunham

OPI Splash
Okay, we are the Lipstick Economy, but a little girly news about nail polish won’t hurt anyone.  While expanding lipstick sales have been traditionally linked with recessionary periods, nail polish is the new indicator for the 21st Century. According to WWD, polish sales reached $768 million in 2012 in the U.S., which is a gain of 32% over 2011.  WWD reports on a survey that claims that 33% of women in the States have at least 25 bottles of polish in their homes. 

Why the booming sales?  I think we all know why.  There are all the colors of the rainbow now available in polish. Gel nails are all the rage and have recently been introduced as home kits.  Nail art and decals are part of the personal nail expression.  And polishes come in all types of finishes – cracked, sand, matte, high gloss and more.

Nail polish is all about personal expression.  And it fits all sizes and ages.  It’s also an inexpensive way to follow trends without too much risk.  I often see grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters all in a nail salon together discussing the merits of Cajun Shrimp or My Chihuahua Bites.  Oh, and the names are part of the experience.  It’s cheap fun that lifts your spirits.

OPI always has wacky names and seasonal destination collections that give you and your toes a quick vacation just by polishing.  Now that’s a group that understands its brand and its personality.  The names are so fun that I hear women talking about them all the time and talking about their favorites.  Names like Aphrodite’s Pink Nightie and Lincoln Park After Dark.

Evidently nail art has been big in hipster places like Japan for quite a while.  Here in the United States, it’s a small luxury with a big return.  After all, we can only see our lipstick when we look in a mirror or see the smudge on our coffee mug, but we see our hands all the time.

Fast Company reports that women are not the only ones that want a little fun.  Seems men are getting into the nail obsession.  Josh Espley is CEO of Blakk Cosmetics, whose first product,Alphanail, is being billed as “war paint for your fingernails.” (It’s nail polish, but for dudes.)


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