Beauty Innovation & Future Forecasting
The Beauty Trends & Innovation Conference September 2016
Following a fascinating day at the Beauty Trends & Innovation Conference last week we took some time to reflect on some overarching themes that emerged throughout the key note speeches, panel discussions and the all important coffee conversations (http://www.globalinsightconferences.com/).
Before delving into specific consumer trends, there were some strong innovative business approaches seen throughout the day in response to ever changing consumer needs & consumer behaviours:
Business Approach 1. Speed Up
Product launches take too long to get ideas to market. In a beauty world that is becoming faster every day products must get to market quickly before the idea is no longer relevant. Rather than spending R&D and Marketing budgets on 18+ month qualification programs, there was strong advocating of grass roots ‘real world’ research methods as shown by Tory Wilson in the NalisInc. nail bars or Nicky Austen with Frugal / Rapid Innovation programs.
Business Approach 2. Social Media Scouting
With millennials watching a minimum of 1 beauty video online a day and then discussing it, there is a wealth of consumer insights available for very little to no cost. Reviewing what people are talking about, particularly fashion & beauty bloggers such as @SamanthaRia, yields countless insights that are up to date and on trend.
Business Approach 3. Small Start-Ups Are Gaining
While beauty used to be the domain of big brands such as Pantene or L’Oreal, the smaller, more entrepreneurial brands are gaining pace. Often unconstrained by heavy innovation management processes, these brands are moving nimbly and getting fascinating products to market much faster than their larger counterparts. Watching & learning from these brands is strongly recommended.
Moving on from the business approaches, as expected, there were references to the prevailing winds of the current consumer macro-trends that seem to continue to dominate the beauty conversation:
Consumer Macro-Trend 1. Total Wellness & Technology
The world of beauty is part of an ever increasing matrix amongst a total consumer life approach e.g. beauty ingredients inspired by superfoods & diet, the importance of exercise and its impact on beauty and the technology interface between the digital world and beauty decision making. Beauty remains just one part of a much more complex consumer need and resulting business opportunity.
Consumer Macro-Trend 2. Personalisation
In a world where consumers are more skeptical and tired of the 1 global solution, they crave inspiring experiences and differentiated products & services that reflect their individual needs and desires. Digital beauty solutions are strongly capitalizing on this trend as they tailor offerings to different needs and bespoke consumer goods brands such as Boucleme are quickly gaining traction.
Consumer Macro-Trend 3. Multi-Step Processes With Premium Results
With the consistent look to the East for beauty inspiration, multi-step regimes for high quality results continue to multiply. There was much discussion regarding finding the balance between product systems with noticeable end benefits vs. meaningless regime proliferation that consumers ultimately reject. Both Nude Skin Care and Glossy Box shared interesting insight on getting this approach right.
Consumer Macro-Trend 4. Speed & Simplicity
The counter-trend to multi-step processes, simple & quick solutions continue to be big ideas for time-starved consumers. Winning products such as PaintCan by NailsInc. for the fast fashion consumer and products from the ManCave brand bring this trend to life beautifully with business results to match.
If you want to find out how to harness these beauty trends to design inspirational product experiences with your consumer, we would love to hear from you!