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Suncare research: Analyzing reviews of competing sunscreen brands

We all know how important it is to protect your skin, but nothing beats that nice summer glow. To find out which sunscreen brands provide the best protection, we used Relative Insight to conduct suncare research using competitor analysis

To track down the best lotion for responsible tanning, we analyzed online customer reviews about three different brands: Australian Gold, Hawaiian Tropic and Sun Bum.

Relative Insight uncovers the differences in language, revealing what makes each brand unique based on consumer reviews. Our text analytics technology highlights the words, phrases, grammar, topics and emotions that are more prevalent in reviews for one brand compared to another.

This approach to competitor analysis enabled us to uncover important competitor insights about the things buyers like and dislike about one brand in comparison to the others.

Australian Gold 

Like all good responsible tanners, Australian Gold customers valued sun safety when searching for a safe way to tan. Words like protection, protective and protects were more likely to be used in the reviews we analyzed. Australian Gold’s products therefore proved to be successful in providing the sun protection these reviewers sought. 

Customers of Australian Gold were also more likely to talk about their fair skin or how they were more prone to sunburn, than customers of the other two brands, and this useful little insight could be the basis of a whole new ad campaign. Based on reviews, we found that Australian Gold products did not result in allergic reactions and redness – even for customers with sensitive skin. We saw that reviews included words like burn, burnt and allergy to describe a typical day in the sun, but that Australian Gold prevented sunburn. 

This emphasis on sun protection was reflected in the overall attitudes customers had towards Australian Gold. This suncare research analysis revealed consumers were more likely to give the brand a good assessment, using words like divine, lovely, fantastic and best. Factors like smell, protection, color of tan and texture of product helped customers decide that Australian Gold was their favorite.

Image: Insight Card

Hawaiian Tropic

Compared to Australian Gold, Hawaiian Tropic customers used very different language to discuss sun protection. They were more likely to talk about the specific SPF grade of the product as opposed to general words like protection we saw from Australian Gold customers.

Hawaiian Tropic customers proved to be concerned about ingredients beyond SPF. They commented on other active ingredients like oxybenzone and octocrylene. The two compounds absorb UVA and UVB rays to aid SPF in limiting the damage caused by sun exposure. An understanding of these active ingredients prove these consumers think critically when choosing a product.

According to suncare research, Hawaiian Tropic provides the most moisture compared to competitors. Customers were more likely to use words like hydration, moisture and smooth. They attributed soft skin to the texture of the product, using words like sheer, texture and gel more often than reviews for competitors. 

Image: Insight card

Sun Bum

Sun Bum customers were more concerned about the appearance of their skin than any protective properties of the product. For many users the goal is to get tan, and they described their post Sun Bum skin color using words like orange, brown and natural. These consumers weren’t necessarily looking for a safe way to tan, rather an optimum way to get sun-kissed.

A theme of disappointment ran through the reviews of Sun Bum’s lack of waterproof products. Words such as water, sweat and washes were more likely to come from Sun Bum customers than Hawaiian Tropic or Australian Gold. Reviews claimed the product and subsequent tan washed off after a jump in the pool.

Image: Insight Card

Despite this criticism, Sun Bum customers raved about the product’s chocolatey smell. Reviews were more likely to mention smell, specifically the hints of chocolate or coffee. In a sea of coconut and tropical scents, Sun Bum’s choice sets the brand apart from competitors and alludes to a chocolatey tan. 

What can we learn from this suncare research analysis? If you have sensitive skin, try Australian Gold. If your top priority is SPF, go with Hawaiian Tropic. And if you like to smell like a Hershey bar, Sun Bum is your brand.