4 October 2018
Last Wednesday, the great and the good of the beauty industry gathered at London’s One Great George Street for the annual Beauty Trends & Innovations conference.
For the second year running, we were one of the event partners. So Shane and I were there all day to greet people on our nice big stand, which took pride of place in the main entrance hall.
It’s always a brilliant day, meeting up with familiar faces and getting to know some new ones too. And, of course, enjoying many interesting talks on hot topics dominating the sector right now.
So what did we learn from an agenda packed full of speakers from Shiseido, Benefit Cosmetics, Space NK and many more?
1. BEAUTY CONSUMERS AREN’T BRAND-LOYAL. THEY’RE PRODUCT LOYAL
In the first talk of the day, Isabella Rogers, Head of Corporate Comms for Shiseido EMEA delivered a powerful ‘state of the union’-style summary of where the beauty industry is at.
Her talk was packed with insightful commentary. Particularly when she urged brand owners and marketers to ditch the idea of the traditional purchase funnel, and instead turn their attentions to the bow-tie funnel.
But one of her most pertinent points was to emphasise that today’s beauty consumers simply aren’t loyal to one single brand. Instead, they are highly product-loyal, reserving dedicated spots in their personal hauls for specific products across a range of brands.
The message: Resist the urge to constantly cross-sell, or be all things to all men (and women). Instead, focus on creating great products that meet specific individual needs.
2. PASSION POINTS OVER DEMOGRAPHICS
Another of Isabella’s (many) salient points was around the rejection of demographics-based segmentation.
Beauty consumers, she said, are a hugely diverse crowd. As such, they have widely differing needs that simply don’t correspond to age or social status.
What does bind certain groups of consumers together, however, are the things they’re passionate about. Hone in on these, and brands stand a far greater chance of connecting with their audiences on an emotional level.
3. THE ‘THIRD MOMENT OF TRUTH’
Next up was Aveen Redjep, formerly of P&G and Coty. She gave us a tantalising glimpse into some of the frameworks both organisations use to examine consumer behaviour.
Delving back into that traditional purchase funnel, Aveen explained that previously, consumers typically experienced three ‘moments of truth’ during their initial assessment of new products:
- The zero moment of truth (or ZMOT): where they encounter the product (online or in an ad/magazine etc) but haven’t touched or tried it
- The first moment of truth (FMOT): where they experience it physically for the first time
- The second moment of truth (SMOT): where they use it and establish whether it’s right for their needs
These occurrences tended to happen in fairly linear fashion as people went from researching to purchasing to using the product. But in today’s fragmented and non-linear purchase journey, there is – wait for it – a THIRD MOMENT OF TRUTH. Yes, you’ve guessed it – also known as the TMOT.
This refers to the reviews, social posts and blogs/vlogs that many people crank out following their all-important SMOTs. Crucially, TMOTs feed back into the overall purchase journey, as they have an influence other people’s decision-making.
4. AUTHENTICITY HAS NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT
A panel session on social media and influencer strategies threw up another significant takeaway – purely in terms of just how many of the panellists mentioned it when each of them spoke.
The word ‘authentic’ must have been uttered two dozen times during the session. Hardly surprising, given that this is essentially the influencer’s big USP.
But in a world where fake likes and views can still be purchased at the touch of a button, and many posts still aren’t flagged as ads or partnerships when they should be, it is very much front and centre at the moment.
Jane Killingworth of Neal’s Yard Remedies talked about the success of an initiative to invite fans of the brand to be the face of their Age Well Revolution campaign. Thousands applied, from a myriad of backgrounds, and those who were selected became powerful ambassadors because of their real, authentic love for the brand.
And Tom Stone of L’Oréal Men Expert spoke about the importance of developing authentic relationships with influencer partners. Demonstrating a genuine commitment to the partnership, not simply treating them as a billboard, fosters a deeper bond that shines through in the content.
5. THE NEW TRENDS ON THE HORIZON
It wouldn’t be a conference about beauty trends without a session focusing on hot new trend predictions.
A panel of luminaries from L’Oréal, Unilever, The Hut Group and Beauty Bay took to the stage to let us in on a few trade secrets. Here are the highlights…
- NEW WELLNESS: We are already starting to see products and treatments that focus on wellness trends like better sleep. As this develops, expect to see it permeate into areas like circadian rhythms and meditation.
- OLDER CONSUMERS: It’s 2018, and older people still don’t feel like the beauty industry speaks to them or meets their needs. We were reliably informed that this is finally set to change – mainly due to these generations getting much more up to speed with digital technology.
- DNA MATCHING: Personalisation will step up a notch, as the process of creating products based on individual genetic needs becomes easier and cheaper. Although this won’t be truly mainstream quite yet, it will definitely develop into a full-blown industry of its own in due course.
Exciting stuff! We’ve also been looking into the most interesting trends in the beauty industry, as it happens. Check them out here.
So, another great Beauty Trends & Innovations Conference done. We’re already looking forward to next year.