Insight | Naturalness
In the personal care category globally, there is a shift from outward appearance categories, like male shaving and fragrance, to products that that enhance naturally, like conditioners and lotions. In oral care, people are brushing and flossing more, generally taking better care of their teeth. Men are shaving their faces less frequently, but they are adding moisturizing occasions. Men and woman aren’t wearing fragrance every day.
VP, Group Director
Kantar Millward Brown
Insight | Shopping
Brands need more
data to understand
Brands need to wear two hats—physical and virtual—because the majority of sales are still being driven through brick and mortar, although Amazon is taking a growing share. Given this complexity, brands are showing a greater interest in how consumers are shopping the category, both from an online mobile perspective through to the store, so they can optimize their relationships with their bricks and mortar partners. The brands don’t have a true understanding of what’s going on at the shelf, however, because they lack complete data. In addition, their competitors used to be other big brands. Now they’re up-and-coming niche brands.
Insight | Survival
for a Disruptive Time
Despite the relentless disruption, I wouldn’t consider the personal care category down for the count. To stay relevant in a rapidly changing environment will require a willingness to challenge and change entrenched ways of doing business; the next generation of personal care products will come from collaboration, integration, and anticipation. Collaboration means working with entrepreneurs, retailers, and tech partners to find new solutions to existing challenges, and even more exiting, new problems to solve. Through vertical integration, personal care companies will have more control over the path to purchase; winning consumers through cost and time effective ways to buy. Anticipation is about looking at the wealth of insights personal care companies have about consumers’ buying and usage behaviors. This will enable them to deliver the perfect products that we never knew we needed. With bold investments and brave decisions, the personal care sector will not only survive the deluge of disruption but thrive despite it.
Insight | Innovation
New concepts circumvent the beauty aisle
Historically personal care companies have been obsessed with the aisle. Of course the aisle as point of sale still matters, but it’s the ability to circumvent the aisle that’s both exhilarating and scary – and beauty brands that are really leading the way. BeautyPie is a totally digital approach that offers high quality products without having to pay for the expenses, typically associated with packaging and marketing a traditional beauty brand. Since you can’t touch and try the products, you become reliant on the community of beauty aficionados and their ratings and reviews. BeautyPie is powered by peer-to-peer recommendation and takes the aisle or the counter out of the conversation.
Strategist and WPP Fellow
Insight | Identity
In a world where we recognize more personal identities, fluidities, and unique needs than ever before, it is surprising that true personalization in the personal care category is only just starting to emerge. But emerge it is; today we are seeing brands fuse creativity and light biohacking to create potent products tailor-made for individuals. Consider Function of Beauty, the haircare brand that formulates bespoke shampoo and conditioner. Their lab in downtown New York is open for expert consultations and there are 12 billion potential combinations—nearly two for everyone on earth. Or Care/of, the personalized supplement brand tailored not just to a person’s goals and needs, but also to their geographical location and their level of trust towards different global approaches to health. At a time when we as marketers are challenging ourselves to see individuals and sides of people, and not segments and types of people, it is inspiring to see new brands taking a deeply holistic approach to understanding the people they serve and in doing so, truly injecting the personal into the personal care category.
Chief Strategy Officer
Insight | Identity
The film Black Panther struck a cultural chord for many reasons. One which is pertinent to personal care brands is the growing preference among African Americans to wear their natural hair. For too long black women have felt marginalized and disparaged for wearing their natural hair and forced to conform to westernized beauty norms. In the US and South Africa, women and young girls were even being sent home from school or reprimanded at work. We highlighted this issue with Pantene last year by introducing the new Gold Series range, but there’s far more that needs to be done. The challenge is how brands can be authentic and central to these kinds of conversations - not just to sell more product, but to genuinely meet customer needs.
Consumer Insight Director
Insight | Consumers
Although much of the conversation in this category is about the influence of social media and the efforts to appeal to younger people, in fact, older people still generate the majority of sales in personal care and grocery. While it’s important for future growth that personal care brands understand and reach younger audiences, it’s also important that they don’t ignore older customers by focusing on social media without reaching young families and older people
Managing Partner, Director Multicultural Marketing Analytics
Insight | Activism
American consumers are no longer okay with the status quo. These consumers, from diverse backgrounds, reflect America’s multicultural heritage and take both vocal and silent approaches to challenging societal issues. While some find power in speaking out, others use their wallets to make an impact. Whether it is an end to purchasing brands that do not align with preferred social causes or other small acts of resistance, this silent activism is a weapon to promote a change. More importantly, these consumers actively look for brands that support a cause. With 57 percent of consumers more likely to buy a brand because of its stance on social or political issue, and 67 percent of consumers saying they purchased a brand for the first time because of its stance on a touchy social issue, it’s a trend worth watching because it impacts how and why people are buying.
EVP and Brand Practice Lead North America
Insight | Choice
Shoppers still seek out in-store inspiration,
but increasingly want edited on-line choice
The mass retailers are not out of the game, but online choice has shifted the market dynamics. Easy online access means that consumers will go into a brick and mortar retailer occasionally for inspiration: to open the lens, feel and see what’s out there, browse and explore. Or they’ll shop mass if a store is geographically desirable/ part of their routine for regular purchases (e.g. on the way home from work…) But given the growth of one-click options for refill and the fatiguing nature of routine shopping, the less inspired shopper is increasingly likely to narrow his/her lists and shop on Amazon.
Insight | Simplification
A key threat to brands comes from the changes in how consumers are using personal care. Year-on-year, around the world, we are seeing consumers simplify, using fewer products and using them less often. In the UK, the average person now has four fewer personal care moments every week compared with five years ago. This decline in usage creates a delay in replenishment trips, which hits brands' top line. As consumers reduce their repertoire, the window of opportunity for a brand to be used narrows and creates an even more competitive space. Time pressures, a desire for a more natural look, more flexible working conditions, and less strict workplace dress codes have all had a negative impact across personal care categories, particularly those categories that are beauty and grooming related. Despite having more simple routines, consumers are still as demanding as ever and want brands to provide them with the solutions to their complex needs. Brands need to engage consumers with solutions that fit in to their busy lives and address their individual needs if they want to stay within the consideration set.