Capstone Project Proposal

–Research question/argument

I want to learn how beauty gurus gain the following of masses and are able to create partnerships with brands that trust them as well. I would really like to figure out what makes them so trustworthy to consumers that brands have the ability to put their products in their hands for reviews. What makes them get to a point where they are being paid just to continue blogging? Not all of them are “experts” perse, but are self-made and taught. Why should I read their blog? Is it because they seem real and relatable to us? My argument is that the more relatable an individual is, the easier it is for masses to tune into them. However, there are many blogs and other social accounts that I find completely unattainable but I want to live their life. Is it more about the fantasizing that audiences are intrigued by?

–What are your data and how are you collecting it?

I will collect my data in a few different ways. Because I do have friends that have become self-made Instagram beauty stars, I think it would be really beneficial to ask them how they got there and how they manage it as a whole. From the other side, I will conduct surveys with women within a bracket of ages that are heavily influenced by social media and the digital world. I hope that they are able to be candid with me and honestly tell me why they will follow some over others and how often they have been persuaded to purchase something due to the accounts they follow. I’d like to look further into how brands are able to target consumers through these outlets, so I will also try to obtain interviews with companies that do this.

In order to become an expert on this topic, I will have to do extensive research and gather data from a wide range of blogs, from those with small followings to large ones, and determine their similarities and differences that set them apart. I am also considering taking this into my own hands to gather personal experience. Since I already review products through a website that sends me free items to do so, maybe I will begin taking my own presence more seriously so that I can watch my following grow or remain stagnant at a small following. I think this will really help my study, but I have to be careful not to allow this to become biased when my own personal work does or not progress.

–Project presentation details
I have a few different plans for incorporating my data into a project. One of my initial ideas is to create a sort of online magazine that gathers it while staying true to theme. I would like for it to be interactive, but I’m not entirely sure how I will go about this just yet. I have thought about potentially doing something with Augmented Reality or interactive surveys that keep data growing throughout the presentation of my project (i.e. This or That? type of questions). Since I am also considering building upon my own presence in the beauty blogging sphere, I may keep the presentation within my blog because there will be data presented inside other data that can be seen directly on my blog in real-time. I would like for my presentation to be targeted to females for the most part between approximately 18-30 to both be a statement for awareness, or a guide to creating their own presence.
Questions for my classmates:

1. How do you go about researching beauty/health products? Do you have favorite blogs that are your go-to’s? What about Instagram and Youtube? What is your most preferable way of searching for beauty products and finding trustworthy information?

2. Do you believe that these beauty gurus are trustworthy in the sense that they are able to influence consumers to purchase certain products over others? How do you feel they gain this trust?

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About meganwaelz

My name's Megan. I'm recent graduate of Rutgers University. There isn't much rhyme or reason to what I'll be writing. So just join the ride.

4 thoughts on “Capstone Project Proposal

  1. Whenever I need to research a beauty or a health product I always go on youtube and type in the item i am interested in and write “reviews” at the end so that I can get recent reviews of the product. Over time I have built up list of youtubers that I generally go to and subscribe to. I generally like to follow beauty bloggers with the same skin type as me so it’s easier for me to figure out what types of make-up product will suit my face more. A lot of the time beauty bloggers will state that they are not getting any compensation for a review, that’s generally when I trust them. It is however possible that they don’t mention anything and they are therefore just advertising a product. I’m usually pretty wary of those.

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  2. Very interesting topic! I have always been interested in the online vlogger/beauty guru community because it’s really just an amazing display of effective and very successful self-marketing. I think that the one thing that all of these gurus have in common is that they are able to clearly understand what their strengths and appeals are so that they are able to push that forward and gain the trust of subscribers.
    Of course because of the growing power of these beauty gurus, many companies are utilizing them as a new way to advertise their products, so it’s important that the gurus are able to find a balance between being honest to themselves and appealing the clients. For your second question, I definitely believe that the beauty gurus have the ability to influence consumers to purchase certain products, but sometimes it might be hard to trust them if they are constantly praising their sponsored products. A guru could easily lose their credibility if it is discovered that their feelings on the product are not honest and that they are only singing high praise because they are able to make a profit off of it.

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  3. Love your topic and ideas for research. I think the way you want to go about researching will really get the feedback and information you want to write for your final paper. Another source that might help with generating information would be looking at blogs of people that just review the products these “beauty gurus” are suggesting in the first place or even the comments posted below these followed online beauty blogs.

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