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By: Jeff Falk
Posted: March 8, 2011, from the March 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 2 of 6
Here is the rest of our Q&A:
GCI: Brands are tending to target narrower and narrower consumer segments with very specific claims/positioning. Is that what has pushed formula customization or is it the outcome of formula customization?
Soontjens: To some extent, one could view the question from both sides. However, the starting point always has to focus on consumer needs. In other words, specific claims and positioning essentially respond to consumer needs and an inherent trend toward individualization. As a supplier of specialty silicones, when we strive to provide materials for customized products, we're responding to needs that exist or, in terms of developing or emerging regions, may be unmet.
Certainly emerging and developing markets are becoming more sophisticated, and consumers seek specialized products that reflect biological hair type, grooming practices, cultural fashion and technologies that can make better performing products. In this framework, silicone technology is a perfect example—the demand for high performance, and competition for differentiated personal care products continues to lead [brands and manufacturers] into new global territories, creating demand for specialty ingredients that push technology boundaries. That approach can serve as the starting point for new products that fill unmet-or in some cases, unrecognized-needs.
One driver of customization is the trend toward an all-around increase in hair treatments, including heat, chemical and other means. The result is greater opportunity for high performance ingredients and products that address hair protection and repair. We're seeing a greater focus on products created to enhance hair volume or to protect and strengthen color- and heat-treated hair. There also is a convergence of product functions, such as the use of conditioners to provide styling benefits. So although products for shampooing and conditioning of dry, oily or normal hair have been with us for decades, the global market keeps moving toward increasingly tailored hair care solutions.