Betting on Future Consumers

According to market researcher Canadean, international beauty company Shiseido is investing in getting consumers interested in cosmetics at an early age through the launch of beauty salon stores for children in Japan this summer. Reportedly, the company’s beauticians will offer an in-store makeup camp, as well as skin care and nail care lessons.

However, Canadean notes, this is not the first time the company has turned its attention toward younger consumers, having already run interactive tutorials for children on its website. According to Catherine O’Connor, senior analyst at Canadean, “Shiseido’s move illustrates that while aging populations across the globe are causing many brands to shift their focus to the needs of older consumers, younger demographics also present opportunities.”

Shiseido’s initiative targets a growing global consumer base of children, where even the youngest consumers are proving increasingly interested in beauty products. Kids aged nine and under are responsible for 9.5% of makeup and skin care consumption globally, according to Canadean, which also reports that 10- to 15-year-olds are not far behind, with 7.1% of global consumption. Combined, their consumption was worth over $13.8 billion globally in 2013, Canadean notes, and this figure is set to hit $18.1 billion by 2018.

O’Connor explains, “To encourage parents to buy products for their children, brands need to present offerings that are specifically formulated for the young. In our survey, parents reported that finding age-appropriate products was key when buying cosmetics products for their kids, driving over a third of the overall consumption.” Additionally, she noted, “Parents also said that their kids favor products that offer individuality, making personalized products a way through which brands can meet the needs of the young.”

However, brands will have to be careful with the ways in which they target children, Canadean notes. “Cosmetic products for youngsters must be positioned around concepts such as having fun, teaching children to take care of their skin, and allowing them to express their individuality,” O’Connor says. “Marketers must be careful not to promote their ranges in ways that could encourage self-image issues among the young or teach them that physical beauty is a goal they must aspire to.”

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