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Personal Care Insights

Brands connect to the consumer’s states of mind


Brands are shifting from responding to the consumer’s need states to also understanding her mind states. What you put on your skin or in your hair is a reflection of you. And you want the brand to come talk to you in a personal way. It’s a matter of brands talking to individuals. People want brands to talk about relevant topics and be meaningful to them, and for them to understand you as not just a consumer, but a human being.


Vicki Watson

Business Director, Media Planning






Increase in variants adds personalization and inclusiveness


There is a definite trend around the idea of brands serving individuals. Technology and innovation enables the brands to be much more personalized. The number or variants is increasing. For example, a brand may offer 50 different shades of foundation to make sure its catering to every type of skin tone. From a targeting point of view, brands can reach women in a personalized way. We’ll see more of this inclusiveness, with brands attempting to be close to me as an individual, rather than creating a brand image that I aspire to become.




Category responds As people modify lives and values


In a world where every product we use is a reflection of ‘brand me’ we expect more of our personal care products – functional benefits just don’t cut it. The category understands this and we are seeing changes to reflect shifts in behaviors, such as creating products for an always on, super busy lifestyle – think the rise of dry shampoo. However, some of the more interesting changes reflect shifts in values – we see this in the rise of eco paper products (fem care, diapers, etc.) and organic ingredients in beauty products. The question remains if these shifts will be enough to protect brands against the subscription model which is severely disrupting the category.


Avra Lorrimer

Managing Director, Consumer Packaged Goods

Hilll+Knowlton Strategies





Like appearance, feeling good inside is part of beauty


‘The steady trend towards health and wellness is significantly impacting personal care and beauty and haircare in particular. The belief that beauty comes from the inside is gaining traction. This is manifesting in a growth in tonics, superfood ingredients, friendly bacteria and a focus on probiotic or hydration properties. Consumers are embracing healthier and more active lifestyles. The rise of active beauty and ‘athleisure’ cosmetic brands such as Tarte Cosmetics are fueling innovation in the ‘no makeup makeup’ look. These brands solve rough edges for active women such as sweat-proof make up (Sweat Cosmetics) or gym proofing your hair. Products that save time or solve problems will always be valued.’


Aisling Ryan

Chief Strategy Officer - Global Clients

Grey / WPP





Multinationals seek to buy small brands and fast track them


The multinational companies are constantly looking out for emerging brands to acquire. There are two sides to this phenomenon. First, is these big businesses buying up the smaller brands and then being able to absolutely fast-track them. Second, and on the flip side, the challenge is that the big businesses have stricter regulations about the products they market, so some of the smaller brands will fly because of this ownership opportunity, but others will fail.


Anna Hickey

Managing Director






Mobile enables personalization at significant scale


Personalization at scale is critical today. It requires being able to use consumer data to target communications at particular needs or purchase habits. It’s an opportunity to drive growth and, more importantly, to increase loyalty. It’s difficult to accomplish with traditional media, but the proliferation of mobile makes personalization more possible. Instead of communicating a few broad messages in a traditional campaign, personalization at scale would deliver 10 to 15 targeted messages to specific groups identified by behaviors, attitudes, or demographics. The message becomes more relevant.


James Vancho

Senior Vice President

Kantar Millward Brown




Brands shorten journey from initial interest to purchase


In personal care, the amount of time people spend in active purchase consideration is quite short, sometimes less than a day. To that end, we often counsel clients to short circuit the traditional purchase journey. Mobile makes it possible to trigger people with a piece of relevant communication, allowing them to easily transact and purchase directly from that communication.  For the beauty category in particular, it’s important to make everything shoppable, so if a customer is triggered by a mobile ad that sparks her interest, she can swipe and be diverted to the brand’s website - or to Sephora or Ulta, where she may prefer to transact to gain loyalty points.


Mason Franklin

Managing Partner, Executive Director

Strategic and Communications Planning