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Changing demographics have affected consumer purchasing behaviors in different economic sectors (Hellsten & Kulle 2017). New trends and interests among young buyers have also forced companies to adapt to new tastes and preferences in product development and marketing. This trend is especially true in the cosmetics and skincare industry, which has been influenced by a rise in the demand for authentic and safe products (Lee 2018). This marketing report highlights the key features of this trend with the goal of understanding its implications on the cosmetics and skincare industry. The information is mainly descriptive in nature, and it explains the origins of the trend, its characteristics, affected parties, and its implications on the industry. These pieces of information will eventually be used to predict the future of the movement on the growth and development of the skincare industry.
This analysis is not only valuable for understanding changes in the skincare industry but also vital in reviewing existing opportunities to meet consumer tastes and preferences in the industry. Implementing some of the recommendations of this report could also increase corporate revenue because satisfied customers are loyal clients. In other words, the findings of this study may be helpful to both cosmetic companies and consumers of beauty products because they aid in identifying a compromise between them.
Characteristics of the Trend
The global skincare market is experiencing changes in consumer taste and preferences because there is a demand for honest and transparent marketing from younger clients (Hellsten & Kulle 2017). Notably, this trend has been advanced by millennials, who are typically people who were born between 1982 and 1997 (Hellsten & Kulle 2017).
Consequently, legacy skincare brands are increasingly repositioning their brands to align with this trend. For example, in 2017, one of the world’s most iconic beauty brands (Allure) announced that it would change the marketing slogan for its beauty brands from an “anti-aging” focus to one that appreciates the different stages of aging (Lee 2018).
In the United States (US), the trend has been gaining momentum because emerging beauty brands, such as Glossier and Milk Makeup, are also replicating the same marketing philosophy by embracing authentic marketing techniques to appeal to a young demographic that values “real” marketing campaigns, as opposed to sensational ones (Del Ruson 2018). Strivectin is another company that has changed its product marketing strategy by moving away from unrelated television campaigns about skincare to more authentic Instagram posts (Modern Salon 2017). Part of the shift has been the replacement of terms, such as “anti-aging” with more authentic ones like “age better” (Modern Salon 2017). The origins of this trend are discussed below.
Origins of the Trend
Advancements in media and technology have been the leading causes of the demand for authentic marketing among millennials (Hellsten & Kulle 2017). Mainly, the growth of social media and the popularity of the smartphone has provided a new set of infrastructure, which companies could use to reach their target market (Smith 2018). Consumers have more power than companies to dictate the agenda in these platforms because they define the raw materials that should be used in their products through the demand for increased accountability and safety in product development (Sharon 2016). The need for authentic products has also improved on this platform, and it is informed by the power that consumers have on virtual sites and social groups (Abidin 2016). Furthermore, social media has created a platform where people could meet and discuss significant issues about their lives (Schwemmer & Ziewiecki 2018). This trend affects the goods they want to buy and, more particularly, the beauty products they apply to their skin.
Broadly, social media has directed the attention of young buyers towards specific ideas or agendas about authenticity in marketing (Boateng & Okoe 2015). The push for authentic marketing has also been informed by advances in technology, which had equipped consumers with the skills needed to interrogate marketing campaigns more effectively than they did when they were only advertised on television (Hellsten & Kulle 2017). Stated differently, the opaqueness of television advertisements in the pre-social media age gave consumers minimal options on how to interrogate or review their purchases. Therefore, they consumed advertisement campaigns as packaged. Nonetheless, the social media age has changed this trend and transferred the power back to the consumers to dictate the marketing narrative around beauty product marketing (Bartoletti & Faccioli 2016). Therefore, the origin of the current trend for authentic marketing is social media advancement.
Where and Whom the Trend Is Affecting
The trend highlighted above is global in nature (Junaid et al., 2013). However, countries that have substantial social media activities are the most affected for the reasons highlighted above. Therefore, many developing countries, which have educated youthful demographics, are witnessing the highest demand for better products (Mcaulay 2017). Companies are mostly affected by this trend because it is targeting their production processes (Junaid et al., 2013). Stated differently, the demand for authentic beauty products is aimed at increasing the pressure on beauty companies to make better quality products that appeal to current consumer trends. Therefore, these companies have to rethink their product design processes and similar value addition strategies to meet this demand. Government agencies and regulators are also affected by the trend because there is an increased need for better regulatory control by these agencies to protect consumers from false or misleading advertisements and defective products (Mcaulay 2017). Collectively, these developments are designed to empower consumers to have more control over the manufacturing and production of beauty products.
Implications of the Trend
The demand for authentic beauty products in the cosmetic industry has created fear and mistrust among consumers about the chemicals used in their manufacture (Chan, Chalupka & Barrett 2015; Wischhover 2018). This outcome has been fuelled by increased consumer education about global corporate practices, which have in the past not appealed to consumer interests (Chan, Chalupka & Barrett 2015; Wischhover 2018). Therefore, clients for cosmetic products are increasingly aware of the extent that companies could go to make a profit at the expense of their health (Wischhover 2018). Therefore, many young people are keen to make sure that such practices are discouraged (Wischhover 2018). Mistrust and fear have been the outcomes of this trend.
Another effect of the trend is increased regulatory oversight. This outcome has been advanced by cosmetic companies, which are concerned by the increase in the number of cases of copyright infringements and counterfeiting (Bartoletti & Faccioli 2016). Other firms are alarmed by the high rates of misleading advertisements, which are developed by competitors who claim that their products have superior qualities that outwit their rivals (Bartoletti & Faccioli 2016). In reality, these claims cannot be substantiated. Without proper regulatory control, companies that are engaging in authentic advertising are losing businesses to those that develop false advertisements to satisfy the growing demand for organic and original beauty products (Chan, Chalupka & Barrett 2015; Wischhover 2018). Therefore, the analyzed trend has an effect on the competitive landscape of the cosmetics industry.
Likely Future Development and Growth
The demand for more authentic advertisements and beauty products is likely to evolve into a more significant push for more transparency incorporate advertising and marketing. In this regard, there could be an increased push by consumers to demand more information from beauty companies about the raw materials they use to make their products and the nature of the practices they engage in to support their global distribution strategies. In addition, there could be more legal developments in regulation to eliminate the confusion that exists in the industry regarding the use of specific marketing terms such as “clean” and “natural” (Bartoletti & Faccioli 2016). This trend may increase the development of product safety standards in the beauty and cosmetics industry (ET Contributors 2017). They are also similar to the revolution in the food and beverage industry, which has been characterized by strong demand for organic foods.
This marketing trend report has shown that there is a growing demand by millennials for authentic advertising and safe beauty products. The skincare industry is particularly affected, and companies in this sector are adjusting to this trend by abandoning the anti-aging brand philosophy for a more genuine and relatable concept of appreciating the beauty of each stage in life. This trend has been informed by the growth and development of social media marketing because it has given consumers more power to demand better products from skincare companies. Increased consumer education has also contributed to this trend because younger demographics are wary about the effects of the products they use on their bodies. This trend has had an impact on the skincare industry because it has increased fear and fuelled mistrust between consumers and companies. In addition, it has intensified the push for better regulatory control in the industry. In the future, it may change how companies manufacture their products or force policymakers to update their policies for better regulatory authority.
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