The personal care industry has been affected by modern consumerism like almost no other industry out there. Online retail, social media, and a new generation of customers have so fundamentally reformed the way we connect with brands that many companies have stumbled trying to adapt.
Of course, any brand can experience difficulty navigating new markets, and we often see big names struggling to sync their old workflows to the new. Those who appreciate these dynamics and welcome out-of-the-box thinking are often the ones setting the ground rules moving forward.
Here are some things major brands are watching out for right now in personal care.
Established consumer goods companies might have the advantage in infrastructure, but emerging brands are gaining ground in innovation, new ingredients, and the ability to appeal to new audiences. They are proving themselves to be significant disruptors to the status quo by offering new approaches to old ideas.
The overall market is experiencing fluidity, as smaller brands are gobbled up by larger, well-known names. These companies can offer the innovativeness of a start-up with an enterprise workflow. At the same time, cash-flush organizations are investing heavily in their own internal R&D, hoping to incubate the next great start-up.
Luxury beauty products have seen some of the most impressive increases in market share since the economic recovery. U.S. sales in prestige personal care is expected to come close to $4.5 billion in 2019 and with a CAGR of 4.1%, this number will only increase. Skin care alone has posted a strong 6% increase according to beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group.1
Major CPGs are putting an emphasis on prestige largely due to its high profit margin, and the fact that consumers are more likely to remain loyal to their beauty care regiments when higher-end products are involved. These companies also have a huge advantage in the R&D infrastructure they already have in place.
As AI integrates itself into everything we do, consumers are expecting personalized experiences on all levels. This includes the product itself, the marketing used to sell it, and the ordering process required to buy it.
Companies like Proven — a company born out of the Skin Genome Project — offers an algorithmic approach, recommending products based on an in-depth questionnaire. After answering some basic details, Proven pairs a cleanser, SPF moisturizer, and night cream for a quick, out-of-the-box skin care regiment.
Once a purchase is made, shoppers are offered the convenience of automatic order placements every month. This worry-free approach practically ensures brand loyalty and offers some stability in product supply while offering additional upsells through à la carte add-ons prior to shipping.
The Internet’s most popular toothbrush company, Quip, makes sure that a 90-day supply of toothpaste arrives on your doorstep exactly when you need it. Amazon pushes customers towards renewal purchasing by offering discounts for products designated with ‘Subscribe and Save’ pricing.
These services have the potential to expand audience reach in compelling ways. According to Forbes, 15% of online shoppers have signed up for these types of automated services.2
To round out these personalized experiences, brands are able to more cost-effectively brand the presentation of their goods when it’s shipped. Printing on demand allows brands to reinforce messaging on and inside the box. In the end, the entire experience of receiving a product in the mail is a case study in brand loyalty and messaging.
These custom designed, custom-tailored packages extend the brand recognition and consistently reinforce why the user purchased the brand in the first place. Stylish graphic design, high-quality construction, and a user-centric approach add a layer of distinction to a product’s reputation.
It’s hard to meet someone who hasn’t integrated Prime’s 2-day shipping into their day-to-day life. With only a few simple taps, that refill bottle of sulfate-free, ultra-moisturizing shampoo is on its way. Amazon is an incredible pipeline to consumers, but companies have to play by their rules.
In trying to balance appropriate inventory, a lot of onus is placed on companies to figure out how they can leverage their in-house packaging operations to fulfill on-demand orders. Walmart, Target, and other big-name retailers are making plays to compete with Amazon, so this will only continue to grow.
With our social communities bringing ethical questions to light, brands are in need of reformulations in order to accommodate modern expectations. Hawaii made a strong statement in banning oxybenzone and octinoxate in sunscreens, and charities around the world are bringing to light the effects of using too much palm oil in the world. Ingredients, source of supply, ethical manufacturing all play a part in how personal care products are distributed throughout the globe.
Personal Care will of course continue to adapt, then evolve, and adapt some more. As our marketplace becomes more global, more digital, we will see outside forces continuing to shake up the landscape. Brands will continue to jockey for market share and test experimental, new ways to solve yesterday’s problems.
Companies that exceed in reading the tea leaves of personal care understand that in order to execute on strategy, they need a product supply that can adapt to today’s economy.