December 4, 2017

Beauty Trends

5 Key Learnings from the Beauty Trends & Innovation Conference


A couple of weeks ago, our Qualitative Research Consultant Valmire attended the Beauty Trends & Innovation Conference in London. Why? To stay on top of our game regarding the latest developments in the beauty industry. She arrived back home with a lot of new beauty insights and trends, that we want to share with you. Curious to know what we’ve learned? Make sure to read on, then!

#1 Trend: Environmental Protection & Beauty

“A minor increase in pollution can increase age spots with 25%,” says Kevin Cureton of Solésence. This clearly demonstrates that for today’s consumer, more specifically for ‘the millennial’, the worry about aging is not one-dimensional anymore. Stress, UV exposure and atmospheric pollution all increasingly contribute to premature aging. The list of negative influences of these three factors is daunting, not to say scaring: hyperpigmentation, loss of the barrier function of the skin, dry skin, thinning of the skin, redness, loss of elasticity, … Hence, the rise of anti-pollution or environmental protection beauty: beauty products that protect the skin against the negative influence of the environment.

On top of this, consumers want to know what is inside the product. This is reflected in the fact that simple, raw cosmetics grew 13% last year, compared to the 3% of the overall market. Of course, this is not a new need in all markets. For example, in the Middle East where consumers rely more on DIY and homemade beauty products, this need was already more prevalent years ago. So, it’s all about how you can communicate it in an innovative manner.

For both marketing and R&D, it is very important to listen to this consumer need at an early stage. Because more and more brands will offer products to answer these needs. So, here are three key brand opportunities to act on today:

  • Use the active lifestyle element to drive your product message. Consumers can be active, outside and beautiful in the city, without worrying about UV, pollution and other stress factors that damage their skin.
  • Embrace hybridization and multifunctional products: products that protect and beautify are on the rise, like foundations with 50 SPF are on the rise. Beauty product need to offer multiple benefits.
  • Use innovation to drive product development.

Find out how qualitative research can help with your R&D challenges.

#2 Micro Biology as the Next Beauty Product Innovation

Talking about innovation… Environmental protection beauty products are not innovations in the true meaning of the word. They are just products that answer a consumer need. What will be the next innovation in beauty, you wonder? Well, it’s all about microbiology! Researchers are now looking into how we can use bacteria in beauty products. Of course, product development like this takes years of clinically testing. Also, the market must be ready. Would you use products that have bacteria as its main ingredient? Consequently, it’s extremely important to also test the innovation in the field and learn how you can best position and pack it in the market.

3# KISS: Keep it Simple, Stupid

Every self-respecting marketer knows this mnemonic. Yet, it appears that every now and then they need to be reminded of its importance. Keep. It. Simple. Find THE message that relates to the customers key concern and use it in a straightforward way. So, instead of listing 10 ingredients that are ecological, list the percentage of ingredients that are ecological, like Garnier demonstrates with its new Natural Skin Care range. Provide simple formulations, because less is more. In this regard, it’s also very important to state clear and believable product claims. To this day, there is no better way to do this then to – there we go again – test it.

communicating beauty

4# Beauty for Everybody by Removing Barriers and Unlocking Brand Potential

A prime example of how brands can create new business by removing barriers and unlocking potential, is L’Oréal Men Expert’s BarberClub. Why so? Because they looked at a trend, its barriers and the consumer’s need. The trend? Grooming for men – especially taking care of the beard. The barrier? Accessibility of grooming products. With BarberClub, L’Oréal Men Expert introduces a product range for men that perfectly fits this new need. What’s more, the range simplifies the routine for men by clearly communicating simple steps: clean, take care and style. The usage of cedarwood essential oil contributes to the sensorial experience around grooming that men also deserve and are looking for.

5# Truly get to know the consumer

Think about it: how did men take care of their beard before specific grooming products existed? Most likely with douche gel, shampoo or just plain old water. It’s a rather obvious example, but these insights into the life of the consumer most often aren’t that easy to find. Use exploratory research to truly get to know the consumer: think about observations, building personas and social data scraping.

Get to know the consumer and gain the right to be part of their lives.

Market research will not only allow you to discover what your product needs to answer to. When using Haystack’s Symphony Of Senses method, it will also allow you to discover what your product should look like, feel like, what texture and scent it should have. Because we believe that the future belongs to those brands that unlock their brand potential by turning their brands, products and services into congruent multisensory experiences that stick with the consumer for a long time. Third, it will help you to target better and, consequently, perform better. After all, why should the consumer care about you if you don’t offer what they exactly need? They will care about you if you offer that one, clear emotional benefit and translate it to all relevant (social) channels. In short, you can make them care about your brand by caring about their needs!

Want to know more about how Haystack can help you? Reach out to our consultants Valmire or Kaat.