Opportunities in Beauty are more than skin deep.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and as a result, its definition will continue to evolve as it has for thousands of years. We’ve teamed up with leading research firms Decision Analysts, Resonate and MRI/Simmons, to identify trends and opportunities related to the current POV of this evolution.
More than skin deep, today we see beauty’s elevated beyond traditional views of vanity and luxury, by focusing on more of a holistic view of wellness, health and a life well-balanced. A recent Kantar study reveals consumers define beauty as “looking healthy, “hygiene/cleanliness” and “being comfortable in your own skin.” It’s no wonder beauty products continue to be affiliated with vitamins & supplements, fitness, medicine and travel & hospitality.
Consumer’s desire to celebrate a more authentic appearance, looking real vs overly “made up” and artificial is fueling a movement. As a result, the beauty industry saw flat YoY sales in 2019, with a decline in makeup sales vs. an increase in skincare sales. The pandemic has only amplified these trends with reports citing consumers continuing to spend more on facial skincare products and body lotion vs. color cosmetics and fragrances. Consumers are expressing greater concerns about what’s going on them vs. what’s going in them.
Brands have an opportunity to lead the conversation about healthy skincare options that work with or without makeup to achieve the natural look consumers desire. In addition, this surge in consumer concerns over ingredients presents an opportunity for brands to offer honest and transparent messaging, explaining the unique roles synthetic and natural ingredients play in efficacy and safety. Now, while consumers want to simplify, there still remains value in trading up. Focusing on premium ingredients, advanced formulas and global trends can demonstrate product value.
As this “less is more” POV gains momentum, research reveals only 6 in 10 consumers plan to continue their usual beauty regime and 4 in 10 consumers plan to cut products from their beauty regime. US brands should take a look beyond our shores at the global market for ingredient and regime trends. Brands outside the US lead the “less is more” way in both ingredients and number of products consumers need for their beauty regime.
“Inclusive Beauty” is the new industry buzzword radiating with positivity and importance. This movement focuses on the relevance of a variety of overlooked and underrepresented demographics in the beauty category:
- Women of Color – Not only do these women need color options customized for their skin tones, but they also have significant differences in self-perception, confidence and beauty needs that brands must speak to individually.
- LGBTQ+ – Consider themselves fashion-forward yet report less confidence than their straight counterparts in their look. They struggle with identity building – walking the line between self-protection and self-expression.
- Men – Continue to be disappointed by how brands portray them and feel they are often overlooked by the beauty industry – or seen as an afterthought.
- Gen X – Labeled the invisible audience because they feel ignored by the beauty industry. They have deep pockets and are looking for companies to help them look their best – toggling between defying aging and embracing aging.
The largest opportunity for brands is understanding the difference between niche and underserved audiences. The underserved demographic categories present an opportunity for the beauty category to foster strong relationships, by answering individual needs with unique and customized offerings. In addition, this is a space where brands can strive to truly align with the idea of modern beauty; through products, as well as imagery, which celebrates ethnic and age diversity, plus the beauty of all body types, facial features, skin colors, genders, etc. The ever-changing perception of beauty is providing brands the opportunity to align with an age where consumers expect brands to make the world better. From helping support and celebrate natural beauty and healthy skin to supporting and celebrating the individual needs of overlooked demographics.