I was delighted to be asked to participate in the recent Pegasus Healthy Beauty Forum and present my latest research into what’s shaping the beauty industry today. It was a great opportunity to share my findings and insight into the marketing potential in targeting women over 50 and, in particular, why I believe that anti-ageing is a word that needs replacing by more positive terminology.
I shared the stage with some eminent beauty influencers, including:
- Catherine Forrest, Google Mobile specialist.
- Anna-Marie Solowij, who’s co-founder of BeautyMART and
- Leading beauty blogger Jane Cunningham (britishbeautyblogger)
This was the first year Pegasus staged such a forum for beauty journalists, bloggers and industry commentators. The speakers shared a wealth of information that I’ve summarised into 6 key trends that beauty professionals need to know.
- Mobile technology is driving the beauty industry
Catherine gave some fascinating facts on how consumers are using their mobiles on average 1 hour 52 minutes per day and checking them for 2-3 minutes each time.
“It’s important to understand what they are looking at in those micro moments. They are there for the capturing,” she said. “Big companies have big budgets, but small brands can be the ones to answer somebody’s question. They can connect with consumers in ways big brands do not and create so-called “Inform me Moments”.
She added: “You Tube is also a clever way to leverage your brands.”
- Beauty Pacifics: the source of all that’s interesting in beauty
Companies in the West are eyeing up the APAC region – South Korea, Japan, Australisa and New Zealand for new beauty trends.
China, too, is a huge source of inspiration and has a large domestic market.
These countries are leading the way in terms of innovative technology, formulations and packaging.
Anna-Marie summed up the trend as: “niche thinking, global reach”.
Australia and New Zealand have a potent mix of products that are rich in indigenous plant ingredients and brands inspired by lifestyle and attitude with a strong design ethos. Container, based in Australia and Shanghai, is an influential custom pack designer and supplier, that’s leading the way in modernist packaging. Brands include:
Original Mineral (O&M)
Some of the more outlandish beauty trends hail from Japan and include face shaving, eyelid tape and bubble nails.
- K-Beauty New Trend Products
Korean Beauty, aka K-Beauty, is the second biggest industry sector after technology, with a huge influence across the world.
SoKo Glam , an e-commerce destination retailing popular Korean beauty products stateside, is recognised globally and influencing wider market trends, eg cushions, beauty waters, sheet masks. It has also normalised the idea of a 10-step skincare routine.
Anna-Marie identified some of the latest beauty products we can expect to see on our shelves in the future:
- Cleansing sticks containing pressed rose petals (su:m)
- Cushion blushers (peripera)
- Sheet masks with designs printed on them (it radiant)
- Fermented peeling pads (Bio-Peel +)
- Anything in cute animal packaging (Tonymoly)
- Multinationals look for Asian acquisitions
With so many successful Asian brands to choose from, the multinationals looking for acquisitions that can help them keep several steps ahead of the competition in Western markets.
- L’Oreal has acquired Magic Holdings Ltd, the largest face mask brand. China is the third largest market for the brand.
- Estee Lauder is rumoured to be looking to acquire two K-Beauty brands.
- Times are changing for blogger/brand collaborations
Jane was one of the first beauty bloggers and by adapting, has kept ahead of the ever-increasing pack of bloggers who are joining the online community.
“It’s important for brands and bloggers to have respect for one another. This means that brands want something back for giving out product.” Impartiality is key, though Jane is proud to have paid for content on her blog as this enables her to carry on with her work as a blogger.
With so many new social media channels emerging, it’s important for bloggers to pick the ones that work for them. Jane was late to Instagram, but loves using it, and her latest fave is Periscope, that allows followers to look inside her world.
“The blogger landscape is only 8 years old in the UK, so it’s hard to predict what changes lie ahead. I think that eventually having a blog will be a bit like having a mobile. The really good ones will become more precious.”
- Older women are the future in beauty
By 2020, half the UK population will be aged 50 or over. Not only will this signify a dramatic social change, but represents an enormous opportunity for beauty brands which currently focus on a much younger demographic.
In my presentation, I suggested that a new vocabulary is needed when addressing women’s age-related skin issues.
“Instead of using negative terminology such as anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle, age defy and skin correction, brands should use words that are more in tune with the way women over 50 feel about themselves.”
Pro-ageing well, youthful ageing and fit skin for life are some of the product descriptors used by smaller nicher brands who are connecting more positively with mature women than the large multinationals.