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As young beauty entrepreneurs like Kylie Jenner and Zoella prove, the teen cosmetics market is now worth big money. In fact, Mintel’s team of global beauty and personal care analysts has developed an acronym to identify this new generation of beauty consumers: aged 16-20*, they are Approaching adulthood, Video driven, Influencer aware and Digital natives, or ‘AVID’.

  • Approaching adulthood: This group is gaining independence, whether by entering the workforce or choosing higher education. They now have money and responsibility to make their own decisions.
  • Video driven: Their beauty education is ongoing and never ending. They grew up with video tutorials on every kind of beauty look, which has encouraged them to be more creative and experimental.
  • Influencer aware: While previous generations grew up with magazines and celebrities for beauty inspiration, along with social media, these pop culture elements are now combined with influencers – aspirational but accessible figures that connect with consumers on a variety of platforms.
  • Digital natives: They are naturally ‘internet smart’ – cautious over data sharing, aware of hacks and concerned about how brands are tracking them. This affects what they share online: mistakenly associated with the ‘selfie generation’, they are actually less likely than their Millennial counterparts to post pictures online.

Charlotte Libby, Global Beauty Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Technology has a strong impact on AVIDs’ lifestyles. Besides traditional teenage-related struggles, this generation is facing a new set of negatives that the beauty industry would do well to address. A distorted image of beauty, thanks to constant use of photo filters, has been exacerbated by the dominance of social media. AVID consumers are, therefore, placing greater importance on the fun aspects of beauty, not only the appearance-altering ones, and are drawn to brands that offer creative, entertaining and multisensory products and retail experiences.”

Helping AVIDs define their beauty needs

AVID consumers may be young, but they are already very engaged with the beauty market, as 80% of UK consumers aged 16-20 have bought beauty products in the last year. However, AVIDs don’t know yet what they like or want, but they are eager to learn. Indeed, most 16-20s are interested in having their skin/hair analysed (61%) or in taking a personality quiz to identify their beauty needs (60%). Meanwhile, 58% like to watch videos of other people using the beauty/grooming products they own. Mintel research shows that only 10% of AVID consumers have bought a customisable beauty product in-store or online, highlighting that they may lack confidence in knowing their specific beauty needs.

Fun retail experiences play a crucial role for this generation: over half of UK AVIDs (53%) show an interest in attending a special event at a beauty retailer, such as an exercise class or an expert talk. Meanwhile, 37% of UK AVIDs are interested in using vending machines for beauty products.

“AVIDs’ beauty knowledge is still growing and their tastes are constantly changing, so they need guidance and expertise to help them navigate the beauty market. Brands that are able to take teenagers by the hand and help them in their journey of self-discovery can win these young consumers’ trust and earn their loyalty in the long run. However, learning has to be a fun and pleasurable experience. We’re increasingly seeing retailers turn stores into beauty playgrounds where consumers can experiment with products and new technologies. For example, to celebrate its 20th anniversary later this year, Sephora will host ‘Sephoria: House of Beauty’ in the US. The two-day beauty convention will bring together brands, consumers and influencers and offer a range of social media-friendly experiences in interactive rooms.” Charlotte continues.

AVIDs want products that stimulate the senses

It seems that the way to AVIDs’ hearts might be through exciting and unique product concepts that appeal to the five senses. Mintel research shows that 64% of UK AVIDs are excited by beauty products that are ‘fun to use’. For instance, ‘special effects’ resonate with this age group: 38% of UK AVIDs are interested in colour-changing or texture-changing products, while 28% are intrigued by heat-activated products. Moreover, 24% of UK AVIDs are interested in products that include music playlists to accompany usage, compared with 11% of all UK consumers.

Andrew McDougall, Global Beauty Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Capturing the attention of AVID consumers is no easy task: they are hard to impress, they have a short attention span and they have seen it all before! They demand a product that works, but also one that is stimulating. For example, we’ve seen companies bring new music elements to engage with teenagers. This includes music streaming services partnering with beauty brands and recommending products based on consumers’ musical tastes, or playlists of just the right length for consumers to listen to while applying skincare. Meanwhile, the link between food and beauty is getting stronger, for example, Lidl has launched a do-it-yourself face mask maker that uses fruit juices and other food-based ingredients.”

*born between 1998-2002