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Long Live the Trend

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: August 31, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

At the 2010 Cosmoprof North America, I moderated the “Look Back, Look Ahead, Look Within” conference tract in which Alisa Marie Beyer, founder and creative director of The Benchmarking Company; Virginia Lee, senior research analyst at Euromonitor International; and Brian Luborsky, chairman/CEO of Premier Salons, looked at macro trends, their impact on consumers and how these are changing the shape of the beauty industry. The data they shared was eye-opening, and each panelist’s unique perspective and expertise allowed the overall data to tell a powerful story for those forging a place in the market. I tend to look for patterns—I think it’s often where the most fundamental truths lie—so it was the commonality in their message that hit home for me.

As they spoke of global markets, the desires of today’s consumers, how brands should look to communicate consumers and business strategies to keep them buying what you are selling, the panelists all put a spin on making a distinction between a fad and a trend—and strategizing on the longer-lived trend. Now, maybe more than ever, that is critical to brand success. The concept was nicely illustrated in Lee’s presentation, which touched upon growth opportunities in the men’s market—metrosexuals equaled a fad; men’s desire to look well-groomed equals a trend. Sometimes, the fads shine so bright it may be difficult to look deeper to see the encompassing trend that fuels that light, but the ability to recognize the trend and its roots and causes is the ability to make the best decisions for your business.