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Marketing Matters: Are You a Trend Watcher?

By: Donna C. Barson
Posted: August 28, 2008, from the February 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In addition, the driving force behind the male grooming market increase is not who you think—a mid-20s urban hipster—but senior men. Research indicates that it is senior guys who are responsible for the fastest-spending growth in both American and European markets—a rate of 3.9%.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is the much ballyhooed metrosexual trend. Frankly, metrosexuals are so yesterday that they’re practically prehistoric. Not only was the metrosexual image too feminine for most men, but actual metrosexuals constitute only about one-fifth of all guys. And the metrosexual’s evil twin brother—the retrosexual—is not the target male. The man who the personal care industry needs to reach is the one who falls right between those two.

Another trend that has been coming on like gangbusters and will continue building strength in 2007 is the organic/“green” trend. The advance signs for this trend were everywhere, from the price of gasoline kick-starting the hybrid craze to Wal-Mart announcing that it was going to carry more “green” clothes to the rise in the amount of organic foods carried in supermarkets.

Sometimes a trend can be ascertained by studying foreign markets, and this is certainly the case here. Research indicates that the European market for natural and organic cosmetics is growing at 20% annually.

That brings us to another trend for 2007, and that’s the continuing rise of mineral makeup. Women are increasingly buying makeup based on ingredients. The category is poised for enormous growth, and companies with a mineral-based cosmetics line, such as Jane Cosmetics, are ready to jump into the mix. Even nonpersonal care companies, such as organic chain Whole Foods Market, are getting into the act.