In just over a months time I will be flying out to Paris to attend In Cosmetics Global. It’s a glorious 3 day event that attracts beautypreneurs from all over the globe. It’s a riotous clash of founders, suppliers and thought leaders. My favourite part of the event is their educational program. Throughout the whole event you can attend talks and presentations from some of the biggest names in the industry, talks on formulating, legislation, trends and the future of indie beauty. I always come away full of ideas, totally in tune with how the industry is evolving and really fired up and excited about the future. In Cos is FREE so if you can get over to Paris do and let me know you’re going so we can meet up! As I’ve been preparing to go I remembered an amazing talk I went to last year by Mariel Brown, the Director of Futures at Seymour Powell. It was an inspiring and challenging prediction of the future of indie beauty looking forward to 2020. I dug my notes out, had a re read and was so excited I decided to blog about it today.
Mariel’s insight was an expose on why the future belongs to indie brands. By interviewing a global panel of beauty consumers she identified the changing attitudes and perceptions of beauty, went really deep on the role beauty plays in people lives and warned as a result of dramatic shifts in consumer attitudes brands need to wise up and adapt.
The thing that stood out most for me was that everything she said aligned with the values I see indie brands promoting every day. Her talk was a magnificent celebration of the future of indie beauty. I felt excited, empowered and motivated and as I share it today I hope you feel the same and pick up loads of tips and guidance on how you can shape and grow your brand.
Here we go, hold onto your coffee cups and enjoy! Let’s talk new beauty behaviours!
Mariel kicked off by explaining that beauty consumers expect and want a complete re think of beauty norms. They refuse to be talked AT and SHOWN HOW THEY SHOULD LOOK. This old school approach, still used by many of the heritage and legacy brands, is no longer acceptable.
Instead consumers want beauty brands to embrace them as they are and where they are.
They expect brands to be more accepting and less critical.
And she predicts that the future of beauty will be categorised in 2 ways.
OWN IT – consumers will use beauty products to elevate their own unique and personal identity
CREATE IT – consumers will use beauty to channel their creativity, creating styles and looks that stand out in this social media world
Let’s get into the detail.
Beauty consumers are really excited about the future of beauty and the possibilities it presents for them.
They want future beauty to help them unlock their individuality, allow them to develop a signature look, improve their confidence and make them stand out and get noticed.
They see their beauty regime as a way of gaining control over their lives and they are looking for products that add value and simplify.
Beauty will become less about just the face and more about the whole body.
Uniqueness will become an asset and novelty will trump normality. Just check out @Sophiahadjipanteli on Instagram as she rocks and embraces the mono brow as an example of what’s to come.
The widespread connectivity of social media is diversifying beauty norms and you will need to adapt to this change if you want to survive.
Consumers are looking for brands that help them reclaim ownership of their identity and break free from past conformities.
In this new beauty reality brands should support and enhance personality and individuality.
Consumers are focusing in on the artistry of beauty. They want to use beauty to explore their alter egos. They want to be novel, original and authentic.
Consumers are hugely confident creatives. YouTube videos have taught them all they need to know to become home experts, explore and play.
Brands are going to have to work hard to create stand out content that matches the quality of influencers and educators who are already out there on YouTube and Instagram.
Check out The Beauty Boy for an insight on just what you have to compete with content wise.
We will see a move to more and more extreme beauty routines. Social media is making consumers much more relaxed and casual about harsh rituals and services like injectables. As a result consumers will also be looking for more and more restorative and protective formulations to balance things up.
DIY will continue to be big with an emphasis on fresh, reactive and responsive recipes.
Men are looking for so much more than black products with bold writing. They want to move beyond the barber shop image of the last 10 years and go far deeper into the world of beauty.
There is plenty of space for brands who are prepared to help their consumers navigate their ranges.
This was a really challenging presentation and at times it made me feel uncomfortable. Images of Korean girls adding over 20 colours to their hair in order to stand out, young people happy to inject themselves with chemicals to enhance themselves. But on the flip side I was motivated and excited about the originality, empowerment and acceptance beauty is destined to encourage.
The main messages you should take away are
- be authentic
- be and encourage individuality
- be brave
- listen to your consumers
- engage in conversation
- ensure your customers and their lifestyle are absolutely central to everything you do
- work hard to create quality social media content
- involve your consumers in your content as much as possible
The future of indie beauty is changing fast and the growth of individuality, authenticity and novelty puts you at the centre of it all. I have long been saying that this really is the moment for indie beauty and all I heard in this presentation affirmed and backed this up.
So, be brave, be bold, be original and get cracking!
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