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With the beauty industry under increasing pressure from a constrained economic environment, consumer perceptions of exclusivity, luxury, and well-being are changing the shape of the industry. According to Euromonitor International, today’s message is functionality rather than indulgence, but what are the effects on personal care as it heads through and beyond the economic crisis?
As consumers tone down and become more frugal in their spending habits, they are substituting indulgence purchases with those driven by functionality. This is opening new opportunities for innovation that are focused not only on status and premium positioning, but increasingly on lifestyle and functional benefits, and, most importantly, value. With per capita spending on premium cosmetics projected to contract by 3% in 2009, according to Euromonitor, and as the acceptance of "masstige" luxury becomes increasingly pronounced, investment focus is being redefined.
With the change in consumers, marketing strategies are also changing to focus on establishing a greater emotional bond. More personalizd marketing and brand awareness through successful online interaction is becoming crucial in an environment where consumers spend more time at home and research their purchases more carefully.
Alongside the changing meaning of luxury, the concept of beauty has escalated to a new level. While traditionally associated with image and fashion, beauty is gradually converging with the medical, health and well-being, and food industries. As the beauty industry becomes more medical and scientific in nature, surgery treatments become more cosmetic. The acceptance of drastic beautifying measures in search of the ultimate beauty solution is giving rise, not only to a greater number of minimally invasive treatments on offer, but also to beauty devices to be used in the home and to higher priced antiagers claiming technically advanced formulations.
As the quest for staying young, healthy and physically fit continues, demand is growing for products that help maintain personal appearance and general well-being. Products with beauty positioning are gaining increasingly important roles in stimulating sales across the whole product range, offering supplementation from vitamins and dietary supplements to fortified and functional food products. What will be the next major success story of supplementing? For products to remain competitive and credible, however, pricing and distribution strategies, as well as ingredient formulations need to be focused on conveying strong messages about efficacy, quality and value.