The beauty and personal care market experienced another strong year in 2012, improving upon its 2011 performance despite the deepening of the economic crisis in Europe and a slowdown in China’s economic growth.
As already discussed in our 10 Global Consumer Trends in 2013, there have been changes in what the recessionary consumer views as ‘value’. Consumers are now more willing to pay for convenience, with ‘experience’ also becoming increasingly important in the value equation. Thus, more and more companies are focusing on how consumers experience their brands and services. This new profile can be likened to that of beauty consumers, with the trend having moved into the beauty arena.
A hair treatment a day keeps the salon visit away
Consumers over the past couple of years have been searching for ways to look and feel as good as possible, as well as prolong the gap between visits to the salon in an effort to save money. This has led to a growing consumer desire for products which can help them to nourish and care for their hair. The ongoing healthy performance of conditioners enabled the hair care category to achieve the second strongest absolute growth in beauty and personal care during 2012 coming just short behind skin care.
The hair care industry has been taking advantage of this increasing desire for nourishment and health by promoting a multi-step routine similar to that in skin care, as well as by introducing more specialised treatments. This multi-step routine now includes pre-shower/bath treatments such as oils as well as leave-in treatments, overnight treatments and hair masks to be used in the shower or bath, representing a massive change to the traditional two-step shampoo and conditioner routine. Furthermore, product innovation has increasingly focused on scalp health, using skin care ingredients for hydration. Other new product launches have been inspired by the anti-ageing trend, promoting hair thickening and damage control solutions.
Holistic products at the forefront of innovation
As consumers continue to look for ways to save time and money, more and more new products are trying to cater for these needs. This has resulted in an array of one-size-fits-all products in categories from colour cosmetics and skin care to sun care. While there are many products within colour cosmetics that follow this trend, from lip, cheek and eye all-in-ones to foundations with SPF and skin care properties, the product that has most epitomised this trend is the BB (blemish balm) cream. BB creams fall under ‘other facial make-up’, together with primers which was the second fastest growing category in 2012. As a result of BB cream’s success, it has now diversified into a product line in itself. From BB concealers and lip glosses to bronzers, the two double letters have made their mark in most colour cosmetics categories. While the BB cream was originally present in the East and then adapted and brought to the West, it has now been interpreted in every possible way by manufacturers. However, with the first CC (colour correction) creams being launched in developed markets in late 2012, the future looks dimmer for BB products as they are quickly replaced by the next letter down the alphabet.
Specialised treatments boosted by the need for individuality
Most crucially, during this current period of economic and financial uncertainty, consumers are increasingly focusing on their image, thus looking to establish their own identity and personal status. This has developed not only through the rise of social media, where everyone is building their own brand, sharing information from their lives as well as voicing their opinions, but also through increasingly seeking products, services and experiences tailored to the individual. From artisan and bespoke fragrances to exclusive launches in particular retailers or limited editions, the beauty industry has been introducing new products to cater for this demand. The strong growth of super-premium fragrances even in Western Europe in 2012 highlighted this trend.
Furthermore, the leading category, skin care, has been the main focus of the trend. Its evolution from simple products to devices and even diagnostic skin services that promise bespoke skin careshows consumers’ desire for personalisation. In 2012, skin care saw the introduction of even more targeted solutions, serums and even bespoke services tailored to the consumer’s needs. Adding to this mix has been the variety of offerings aimed at consumers of a specific age, such as the over 50s, over 30s, pre-teens etc. Recent product launches include lines from Shiseido, Mary Kay and L’Oréal, for example L’Oréal’s Age Perfect Renaissance Cellulaire. With consumers more knowledgeable and demanding than ever before, targeted offerings and services are becoming a vital tool to gain competitive advantage.
Desire for affordable luxury leads to nail polish boom
While the lipstick effect is known to have triggered lipstick sales during the Great Recession, in the volatile environment of 2012 nail polish benefited the most from the consumer need to cheer oneself up. Topping global growth for the second consecutive year, nail polish is expected to continue to be the best performer as consumers look to enjoy a bit of luxury in their lives.
Strong innovation, from nail art and anti-ageing in nail polish to water washable formulas, has boosted the category and helped it to flourish. Leaders in innovation, such as Ciaté with its Caviar Manicure nails and Azature with its diamond nail polishes, are helping the category to remain in vogue and continue its strong links with the fashion industry. Nail polish has been particularly strong for premium labels like Chanel as consumers seek a more affordable way to tap into their favourite brands. Nail polishes, with their accessible price platform as well as their feel-good element, have become the affordable luxury of choice for many consumers in developed nations.
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