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Trend Horizons

By: Abby Penning
Posted: December 6, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

In a 2008 GCI magazine trends feature, the editors wrote about the “swiftly changing retail scene and a new way of doing business that is friendlier to the environment.” In 2010, the retail scene is still evolving, with a heavier dash of social media flavoring the retail stew, and sustainable/green business methods becoming the norm and no longer being the exception.

But though the trend horizons of both 2009 and 2011 have their commonalities, 2011’s has taken on a new hue—thanks, in many ways, to the global recession. Consumers—and, subsequently, brand owners—have reassessed what they value, and how they spend. The horizon was darkened; though not necessarily bad for the future, the approach to forging ahead is definitely more cautious.

Making a distinction between a fad and a trend—and strategizing on the longer-lived trend, is more than ever, critical to brand success. Three such trends are offered here, and another four are included in the online version of this feature.

Ethnic Markets on the Rise

As noted in “The Imperative Relevance of Ethnic Hair Care” by Liz Grubow and Elle Morris in the July 2010 issue of GCI magazine, the ethnic-specific beauty market is currently experiencing a growth surge. With the U.S. population’s number of ethnic consumers increasing to 30% by the end of 2010—and showing no signs of abatement—the ethnic market is now hardly a market beauty brand owners can afford to ignore, as it is expected to have a combined spending power of at least $4.2 trillion by 2013.

What’s more in regard to ethnic beauty is that it needs solutions, formulations and products independent of the beauty and makeup tools traditionally created for Caucasian consumers. Ethnic consumers—whether they are of African, Asian, Indian or Hispanic heritage—face different beauty challenges in skin care, nail care and hair care than Caucasians do, and therefore need products created to specifically address these needs in order to obtain product satisfaction.