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Forecasting 2007: Colorful Inspiration

Posted: August 28, 2008, from the March 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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There seems to be no hard and fast rules of where to look in trends analysis. Generally, contract manufacturers take note of everything—looking to other industries, studying consumer behaviors and examining the impact of colors on various markets. The absorption of larger, cross-market trends is followed up by discussions with consumers and field studies with industry professionals.

West Coast Cosmetics analyzes trade magazines and books that discuss up-and-coming trends, considers fashion forecasts and discusses the direction those fashions are taking. Looking at trends 12–16 months ahead, the colors the company will then formulate are designed to complement fashion trends.

According to the company, it also goes out in the field to interview cosmetic specialists such as makeup artists and consultants. In addition, the company holds discussions regarding the previous years’ successful product lines with specialists from department store counters. Samples of new formulas and shades are then submitted to existing clients.

Verla International’s color and trend tracking process gathers information through research on a broad range of areas and factors that influence behavior, preferences, work styles and lifestyles—including the evaluation of the impact of trends and colors on market segments. These trends are tracked one to two years forward, depending on the market category.

“This information is presented in the context of product, packaging and presentation boards—including multidimensional consultations that may include the identification of trends, indicators and shifts, idea generation, color and material concepts,” said April Vignone, manager, Verla International.