Changing buyer behaviour is (inevitably) changing the
Lexicon of Beauty 2015-2025
Beauty classifications re-organised to
suit buyers' needs.
New beauty lexicon reflects the function of beauty.
Crucial beauty regimes missed because they
do not slot into any industry category.
Consumers are drawing maps of the world of beauty.
This development is changing how people buy and is
impacting on the entire beauty supply chain – from
formulator to retailer to to consumer.
This new map better reflects how hair and skincare
consumers look at the world. They are interested in the
- not the traditional categories - of hair and skin care products.
The change is taking place because the beauty industry
and consumers are out of sync
conceptualise beauty in terms of their needs. They
always focus on the outcome, for example,
to achieve a “younger” or a “fairer” skin and clean
and/or manageable hair. The universal starting point
for everyone is “me” and “my problem”
This is quite a different lens to that used by the
cosmetic chemists in the research laboratory or
their colleagues in brand or category management.
Beauty consumers are far less concerned with the
“wrapping” – the category classification,
the technology, the channel, the segment.
Dissatisfaction with the usefulness of traditional product
categories goes back a long time. Our research
archives show that even in the late 1990s consumers in the
USA and Europe were increasingly focused on the
function of hair and skincare products. That could not
have developed into a popular movement
internet and social media which facilitated and
accelerated this trend globally.
Today, many millions of beauty buyers around the world
are talking to each other using a different language
This classification is outside
the control of the industry which still conceptualises
in terms of legacy
A different buying journey has begun.
An enormous market is at stake. We are talking about the
needs of the billions of consumers – whether new consumers in emerging markets or changing beauty needs (by gender or age) in mature markets.
The rewards for matching needs with products are great.
A historical sweep of our research reports shows a
consistent trend: companies successfully enter the market
by focusing on buyers' problems. These small (but agile)
players now account in aggregate
for a significant
share of sales. Crucially, many minnows are strategically
positioned for future market expansion.
The common market entry point is the uncommercialised and
unbranded products / regimes
which exist in the
consumer- but not the industry - lexicon. Massage
is the most striking example. It revolutionised skincare
and represents a new mass treatment category - still largely unconsolidated.
But massage was ignored and cold-shouldered for years
because of the widespread (industry) observance of the
square pegs and round holes rule.
This new beauty taxonomy may seem a tad complicated
because it is a bottom -up exercise. But for many years
we have been compiling intelligence on consumers'
beauty regimes and practices worldwide which did not
otherwise fit in.
The new lexicon of beauty is fully developed in our
Global Skincare: Consumer Behaviour/Regimes and Market
. Contact for details
A 35 minute webinar
this lexicon accessible by explaining different beauty needs,
cultures and regimes is available. Contact for details.