The perception of the public relations sector is often glamorous. Those of us in the industry know the truth: well, yea, sometimes it is! And what’s more glamorous than working in beauty marketing? The free product alone…
Putting the fun beauty tools aside for a minute, this is a market that only continues to grow, and something our team here at PadillaCRT immerses ourselves in on a daily basis.
Just last year, Global Cosmetic Industry predicted that the U.S. beauty sector would be worth $90 billion by 2020. Even more impressive: that number would represent a nearly 45% gain in just 10 years.
Though, with all this growth, comes major transformations within the category. Why should beauty brands pay attention? Consumers have become accustomed to (and in some cases expect) the rapid pace with which beauty evolves. If brands can’t get on board quickly, they may miss the boat completely.
With that in mind, I asked the team to make some observations about changes or challenges in the beauty industry. Below you’ll find some occurrences we’re observing in 2017, from both a brand and third-party media perspective.
On the Media Side
- I’ve described ways in which the total earned media landscape is evolving, and the beauty media are not immune. Magazines steeped in beauty news that shut down last year include Lucky, Self and More, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see more close this year.
- The question is, where will all those beauty writers go? Actually most are shifting their attention to freelance duties and even directly to the brands. Parents’ Tracy Perez went to IT Cosmetics, Latina’s Amanda Flores shifted to L’Oreal and Fitness’ Eleanor Langston even founded her own uber successful nail studio Paintbox. These are highly qualified, content-generating beauty gurus – brands should take advantage of their perspective.
- Traditional “beauty” publications are also challenging staffers to think about coverage differently and consider some “real” issues. Take Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca’s piece on Trump for instance; it gained widespread support for throwing the status quo out the rose-colored beauty window, and elevated the magazine’s position as a serious news organization.
- Traditional beauty media have new competition: influencers. Though more costly, in some cases influencers have proven to show greater reach and more direct ROI, putting media outlets in an difficult position. We foresee those outlets tapping into the competition to help generate content and extend the reach of their traditional print and online platforms.
On the Brand Side
- Natural products are no longer the niche sector — they’re the expectation. In fact, Target just announced the expansion of its natural beauty shelves/brands due to tremendous growth last year. According to WWD, Target experienced double-digital growth in natural skin-care alone. Skin-care brands will be expected to deliver products rich in botanicals yet free of all the worrisome chemicals – and call it out front and center in their messaging.
- Greater ingredient transparency is also a must have. In just the last few years major brands and retailers have led the way in transparency policies, including Target, P&G, Walmart, Unilever, J&J and more. You can expect brands to be held to a higher standard by the retailers making sweeping changes, and potentially forced to reformulate.
- Mobile is becoming the cornerstone for beauty innovation. Beyond the product pipelines, brands like L’Oreal are leading the way in providing exciting and modernized innovation through mobile. Case in point: the Smart Hairbrush; or The My UV Patch; or the Color Genius App. Are you catching my drift?
The above are a few examples of the many current trends we’re seeing in the beauty marketplace. What have you noticed? And how are you reacting to some of the challenges mentioned above?