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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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