Beauty Disruptor Series: Innovation in Europe, Middle East and Africa

September 2019

Beauty innovators generally have the power to disrupt markets, predominantly through route to market and the brand value proposition. The case studies or “beauty innovators” selected by our in-country analysts, are newly established local businesses launched between 2012 and 2018, and typically formed by entrepreneurs who identified a gap in their market and decided to supply the demand through a product or service.

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Key findings

Leading global players are increasingly under threat from fast-growing insurgent and local brands

Recent changes in consumer behaviour have opened up new opportunities for smaller brands, who tend to be more agile and responsive to trends than multinationals. Simultaneously, local businesses offer greater consumer centricity, having a deeper understanding of what local consumers really want. Disruptors will often put an individual group of consumers at their core, and shape their offering to meet this, whether that is customisation, natural, sustainable etc.

Western European disruptors competing directly with major players, through unique product propositions

Western Europe has seen a wave of disruptive brands enter the market recently, particularly as barriers to entry weaken and consumers adapt their preferences towards natural products. Markets such as Germany and Scandinavia have been at the forefront. These brands tend to be well trusted through their “authentic” and transparent messaging, and stand out by tapping into niche beauty segments.

Eastern Europe ripe for disruption as consumers increasingly draw towards natural and indie brands

Somewhat behind Western Europe in terms of disruption, Eastern Europe is slowly changing as consumers develop more flavour for natural and indie brands, making the region promising for new innovative brands to enter. However, this remains market dependent, with some countries such as Russia and the Ukraine still characterised by price-sensitive consumers due to economic instability.

Middle East and Africa dominated by domestic players, as variations among sub-regions hinder market penetration

Besides the Middle East, the region’s infancy in internet retailing acts as a barrier to global insurgents, as the rate of disruption tends to be fuelled by technology. Instead, the market tends to be dominated by local players, particularly in Africa, many of which resonate with domestic consumers through their use of familiar local ingredients. However, the number of emerging brands is expanding as the region sees higher disposable incomes and growing young urban consumers.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

What is Disruption?

From improving what consumers do today to reinventing behaviour
Renovation and innovation are often wrongly identified as disruption
For a company to disrupt they must focus on four areas
Who has the power to disrupt?
Home-grown brands trade on local knowledge
Local brands can be a direct contrast to global brands

Regional Overview and Case Studies: Western Europe

Sales of “Others” in Western Europe pick up in 2018
Skin care ripe for disruption
Online fuels growth prospects for small innovative brands
Value for money and high-quality features remain important
Austria: First Skinlab
Belgium: JYB Cosmetics
France: Même Cosmetics
France: ODEN
Germany: Bilou
Greece: Nioti
Ireland: Spotlight Whitening
Netherlands: Boldking
Norway: Skin Camilla Pihl
Spain: Lesielle
Sweden: Beard Brother
Switzerland: Valeur Absolue
UK: Beautonomy
UK: Ordo

Regional Overview and Case Studies: Eastern Europe

Value for money niche brands growing in Eastern Europe
Opportunity for natural skin care brands to prosper in Eastern Europe
Online grows, but faces fierce competition from drugstores
Value for money remains consumer priority across the board
Czech Republic: [n] fibrecare
Czech Republic: Onest
Poland: One Ingredient
Poland: Ministerstwo Dobrego Mydla
Russia: Beauty Bomb

Regional Overview and Case Studies: Middle East and Africa

Economic climate benefits local players in the Middle East and Africa
Strong prospects for personalised brands in hair care and skin care
Reliance on store-based retailing limits growth of insurgents
Suited to skin and hair type are important features for consumers
Egypt: Joviality
Israel: FRÉ
Israel: Promise
UAE: The Camel Soap Factory
Nigeria: ORÍKÌ
South Africa: Portia M
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