Why personalisation is the future of beauty

October 14, 2019

As consumers increasingly seek out beauty solutions suited to their specific needs, there has never been a greater need for personalisation in the category. Presenting at London’s Personalised Beauty Summit, Roshida Khanom, Category Director for Mintel Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, looks at current trends shaping personalisation in beauty.

Personalisation in beauty – who is it for?

The concept of personalisation in beauty is far from saturation. An influx of information online and on social media has educated consumers on their beauty needs. They know their skin, hair and body best; they also know that everyone is different and want their individual requirements to be catered for. As they realise that one-size does not fit all, customisation offers a credible solution.

As highlighted in Mintel’s 2018 Global BPC Trend ‘My Beauty, My Rules’, beauty is being redefined on a daily basis by consumers. Perceptions of the ‘beauty ideal’ based on age, skin, hair or body shape are changing. Brands should focus on people’s behaviour instead of simplifying complex human beings into a demographic. Consumers are more than just a ‘generation’, ‘age group’ or ‘gender’ – they are individuals. Ultimately, beauty personalisation should allow them to express their unique character, while offering clear benefits.

At the same time, personalisation can also be used to reach those consumers who are unsure of their requirements and want brands to be a source of inspiration or offer suggestions and assistance. This is the case for teenagers: their beauty knowledge is still growing and their tastes are constantly changing, so they need guidance and expertise to help them navigate the beauty market. However, learning has to be fun and pleasurable. We’re increasingly seeing retailers turn stores into beauty playgrounds where consumers can experiment with products and new technologies – from simple diagnostic quizzes to sophisticated technology that measures skin tone and recommends the right foundation shade.

Serving the underserved

Personalisation can also be used to reach consumers who have previously not been catered to by the mass-market, such as the haircare needs of women with Afro-Caribbean hair – which have traditionally been neglected. Indie brands like Form Beauty offer premium haircare with customised regimens for women with curly/textured hair.

Credit: Form Beauty

Men also present opportunities for personalised treatments, with Mintel data showing that 40% of British male beauty and personal care shoppers think it’s difficult to know which products are right for them, rising to 56% of 16-24s. Geologie is a male skincare subscription service that offers men a personalised regimen determined using a quiz that asks a range of questions, including ethnicity and location. As outlined on the company’s website, the focus is on simplifying the purchasing process without overwhelming consumers with over-complicated ingredients information: “Your skin deserves the best. But you don’t have time to learn what retinol and niacinamide are. That’s where we come in: we set you up with a simplified, personalized routine so you can focus on what matters and stay looking sharp.”

Source: Geologie

Put customisation in the hands of the consumer

Consumers want to be involved. Bringing them into the customisation process can drive their attachment to a product, as it becomes a reflection of their individual identity. Co-creation can happen in-store, with booths and pop-ups where people can mix and match ingredients first hand to design their perfect product. The studios of cult facial brand FaceGym, which offers face ‘workouts’ in New York and London, feature Make It Bars where customers can create their custom serum based on their lifestyle and skin needs, with the help of the staff.

Source: Face Gym

Equally, store-bought products can also incorporate personalisation elements: Living Proof’s Body Building Hairspray is powered by a customisable nozzle that allows the user to decide how much hold they want. Boosters can also be added to skincare or haircare products, allowing consumers to personalise their routines according to their needs.

Credit: Mintel GNPD

Roshida Khanom is a Category Director for Mintel Beauty & Personal Care, analysing beauty products from across the globe and writing key reports in her sector. She is kicking off London’s Personalised Beauty Summit with the presentation ‘Drivers & Trends in Personalised Beauty’, on 30 October 2019 at 9 am.

Roshida Khanom
Roshida Khanom

Roshida Khanom is Director of Beauty & Personal Care Insights, EMEA.

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