Jensen begins by reminiscing about the days of encylopedias, card catalogs and by-mail letters, noting that nowadays, "Email and texting eliminate any wait time for getting your message across. And the Grand Poobah of immediate gratification, Google, provides you with millions of matches within nanoseconds for any topic of interest you desire. The days of spending hours to search through volumes of heavy text books or miles of index cards in tiny drawers are now a distant memory."
This, as Jensen points out, just goes to show how much the world has changed in relatively few years. And it has an impact of the expectations of consumers from their beauty products. "There is no question, the world has changed. And so has our desire for immediate gratification. Do you need more information on that random thought that came into your head? Just 'Google it.' Technology has made us ridiculously impatient. We demand instant results in life, so why wait for a brightening serum to deliver brighter, more even skin over time when you can have the immediate effect of brighter, more even skin with an alphabet cream? You end up with the same result, but without the wait. Prestige dollar sales reflect this switch in consumer psyche. Brightening serums experienced a 20% decline in 2013, while alphabet creams enjoyed triple-digit gains."
And facial masks, Jensen writes, are excellent for immediate, if not long-lasting, results. "Do you need the illusion of perfect skin for just a few magical hours?" she asks. "Facial masks are the skin care equivalent of Spanx; you get instant, albeit temporary, results. Of course, masks will eventually improve your skin over [time with] consistent use, but the immediate fix is what may be fueling their success. Many top selling facial masks use language such as 'immediate,' 'instant' and 'quick fix' to market their benefits. As a result, facial masks have experienced accelerated gains over the past three years, and 72% dollar sales growth in 2013."
Jensen concludes, "One day, maybe Google will be able to deliver smaller pores, smoother skin, and fewer wrinkles in one click. How nice would it be to just think of a skin care issue and have the immediate fix at your fingertips? I’m sure that day is coming; the only question is how fast will it get here? Maybe I’ll Google it to find out."