collage by Sammy Slabbinck

Beauty & Personal Care in 2018

In 2017 we saw a lot happening in the beauty and personal care world. It brought us the rise of the ecommerce brands, (looking at you Glossier), a deeper concern over UV protection, and the use of technology in the beauty world. According to Mintel’s 2018 Beauty and Personal Care Global 2018 report. In this upcoming year, we’re going to be seeing:

Viva la Research.

Consumers are doing their homework to know what’s in their products and what it means for their skin and the environment. Long gone are the days where people will accept complicated ingredient names with little to no explanation. It’s 2018 — consumers are aware of the developments that are happening in the skincare world and expect to see them manifested into their products. On another note, consumers are choosing to shop locally, which has become a lifestyle choice over a trend. Mintel tells us “These efforts appeal to those who want products that reflect who they are and where they live, and that instill a sense of pride and guardianship for ingredient sourcing and production, as well as manufacturing processes.”

What this means for us

Be as transparent as possible. Explain what ingredients mean and what benefits they bring to the consumer. If you’re leveraging new technologies in skincare, tell that story in a way that feels relevant and approachable to your audience. Your packaging and ecommerce experience should reflect that story to be cohesive and succinct. Remember, when it comes to educating your consumers on what they’re putting on their skin, more is more.

Beauty for All.

People are complex — their skin, hair, and beauty routines reflect that every day. Mintel confirms, “In the past, brands had sole control over what defines beauty; however, perceptions of beauty based on age, gender, skin, hair, and body type are changing, and control has shifted. Now, the consumer dictates what beauty is to the brand.” By putting the power back in the hands of the consumer, its forcing brands to adapt their presentation and the conversation that they have with their audience, showing more body, age, and skin diversity. This also extends to product — we saw this through Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line that launched with a wide range of foundation shades. The line not only provides users with options, it also helps to guide them to the right choice for their skin.

Glossier’s Body Hero campaign features women of all shapes and sizes.

What this means for us

Beauty comes in all shapes and forms, so show it. Choose photography and models that feature a range of faces, body types, and ages. When it comes to web, it’s not enough to show the products, you need to help guide users to the right products for their skin or shade. There are several ways to do this — like having having filters on a collection page that let users sort by skin type, allowing users to upload photos that will match them to a shade, or even icons that help users with wayfinding and understanding benefits. Overall, don’t rely on typical beauty standards to help tell your story, go a step further to help capture the essence of your consumer.

Fenty Beauty provides a wide range of foundation shades and a way to easily find one that’s right for you.

Brands That Give Back.

In 2018, we’ll be seeing more beauty and personal care brands that have a cause behind their brand. The products we buy as consumers say more about who we are as people than they ever did before. A brand’s marketing and initiatives will start to be more focused on causes that matter to their consumers. The report states, “It will be imperative for brands over the next three years to have a personality that is genuine, a viewpoint that clearly communicates their positioning, and initiatives that go beyond corporate social responsibility and truly give back to society.”

What this means for us

The key here is authenticity — being true to your values and what matters to you as a brand. Don’t try to support or speak to a cause or stance for the sake of appealing to your audience because it will feel force and in turn, you’ll lose trust and credibility. If your brand does choose to back a cause, do it wholeheartedly. Quantify what you’re doing to tell a full story. It’s not enough to just mention a charity or partnership — you need to tell your audience exactly what you’re doing, why it matters, and how the other party is benefitting.

Technology Meets Beauty.

We’re already beginning to see the rise of technology in the beauty industry in places like Sephora where consumers can try on lipstick through AI and find their perfect shade of foundation through a pantone match. It’s no shock that this trend will continue into 2018, with brands leveraging ”consumers’ faces not only as canvases for their products, but also as a way to track their likes and dislikes, and guide them through the shopping experience.” This will also help consumers to make more educated decisions by recommending specific products based on their actual metrics.

What This Means For Us

It’s time to get smart with the data that you collect about your consumers. It’s not enough to simply integrate technology — it should have a purpose to elevate the experience that your audience has with your brand. Take technology integrations a step further by collecting data to suggest products and construct a narrative that will resonate with your consumers.

Sephora’s mobile app allows users to test shades of lipstick and easily add them to cart.

Is your ecommerce experience doing all it can to communicate your values to your consumers? Are you connecting with the right consumer? Talk to SMAKK, we love this stuff.