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Marketing Matters: Savvy Beauty Marketers Can Thrive in Challenging Times

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: April 30, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Those who choose the natural route are part of a growing movement of demanding choices that they deem better for their bodies and for the environment. While there still remain no real guidelines or definitions for many terms used in this segment, companies continue to develop products across all categories.

The antiaging category is the newest natural segment to gain real attention. Botanicals, specialty teas, herbal extracts as well as vitamins, antimicrobials, minerals and a sea of marine-based organisms have found their way into skin care and cosmetic products.

They promise revolutionary antiaging results using ingredients that have been available since the dawn of time. Successful brands will be those that work. Even the most dedicated environmentalist will pass up a natural antiaging product if she does not see real results.

And not since the U.S./Soviet space race have there been more scientists and R&D departments working harder. In the case of antiaging brands, companies are trying to find the perfect formulations that promise to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and other general aging concerns. This will continue to be a trend, but developers beware—the products will have to be efficacious to be distinguishable among the countless antiaging products out on the market. This is non-negotiable—the products must work and cannot make unsubstantiated claims.

2. The End of the Shopping Stigma

No longer are department stores the primary destination for beauty product shopping. Beauty dollars are being spent across multiple outlets—including the Internet, TV home shopping channels and infomercials. Various factors contribute to this shift, including the ever important feature of convenience, but one important reason that cannot be ignored is that women demand to be educated about the products they are purchasing. These mediums have a private, captive audience. Now the consumer can hear directly from the founder, dermatologists and other professionals discussing the products, ingredients and benefits at length, turning passive audience members into buyers. These nontraditional retail outlets have certainly been legitimized and are here to stay.

3. Skin Care is Manly