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Game Changing Ideas, Tech, and Trends Shifting the Beauty Industry Paradigm

This article first appeared on BeautyMatter. Kelly Kovack is principal of Brand Growth Management, CEO of BeautyMatter and co-founder of award-winning, niche fragrance brand Odin New York.

The beauty industry has seen a fundamental shift in the business paradigm that has changed channels of distribution, consumer expectations and branding. This category evolution has been driven by the state of retail, advances in technology, sociological shifts, and changes in consumer preferences. The confluence of elements has resulted in profound change. These are no longer trends—they are the new beauty business paradigm.

Bespoke Beauty: “Any time you order a coffee from Starbucks or buy a new car, you’re participating in customizing a product for yourself,” says Adrienne Anderman, the head of marketing for the bespoke shampoo and conditioner brand Function of Beauty. “In the millennial era that we’re living in, with the apps and technology we have, it’s only natural that we should have customizable beauty products.”

Instabait Packaging: “Brands are really designing their products with how they’ll capture attention in the newsfeed on Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. Competition is now intense in the beauty space. Influencers have their pick of hundreds to thousands of products, and new products are launching every day. If there are two highlighters whose quality is relatively similar but one is going to look amazing on Instagram, most influencers will gravitate toward the eye-catching one and feature it in a post,” says Mae Karwowski, founder and CEO of influencer-marketing firm

Skin Tone Inclusiveness: “It was the obvious thing to do [launching a 21-shade foundation range],” says Nicola Kilner, co-CEO of Deciem, The Ordinary’s parent company. “Brands at large have ignored [their] audience profiles. The Ordinary took steps to shake up the industry, and the demand for the brand—through to the foundations—grew entirely out of the passion and word-of-mouth.”

Direct-to-Consumer Beauty: “Traditional beauty brands move through the basic ladder of producing products and selling them to customers at a high markup in order to make a fat profit,” explains Isaac Rami, founder of direct-to-consumer makeup brand Karity. “There are sales agents, traditional marketing costs, wholesale distribution costs and finally the retail markup in order to purchase space on shelves.”

Beauty Meets Wellness: “I do think there’s a collective shift toward embracing ritual, and a recognition of the role of energy and vibration in looking and feeling our best,” says Cindy DiPrima, co-founder of natural beauty and wellness shop CAP Beauty. “After yoga, meditation, organic groceries and good nutrition, it seems like this is a natural next step. We want more than just taut skin. We want luminosity. That can only be achieved through deep self-care.”

Mass Sustainability: “The role of the largest, most established companies is crucial as they can leverage their scale to make a larger positive impact. Our sustainability efforts can initiate a powerful chain reaction among all of our stakeholders, from suppliers to consumers, and introduce innovative solutions at a global level,” says Danielle Azoulay, Assistant Vice President of CSR & Sustainability for L’Oréal USA.

Beauty Beyond Gender: “People are more complex than their gender. I think it’s refreshing to see different options in packaging, formats and formulas in beauty. We didn’t come into the market with the intent to be branded as unisex, it’s just who we are,” says Milk Makeup co-founder and COO Dianna Ruth.

Incubators and Accelerators: “Open innovation is a win-win strategy that fosters disruptive thinking and pushes forward our digital leadership in beauty. We’re able to support them by providing time, capital and resources while giving them an opportunity to make a global impact.” says L’Oréal Chief Digital Officer Lubomira Rochet of the company’s Founders Factory collaboration, which functions as a mentoring and support system for early-stage startups.

Traditional Retail Meets Lifestyle Beauty: “For plenty of retailers, it’s a smart bet, creating a revenue cushion and a way to draw new shoppers into stores,” according to Fashionista.

In-Store Tech Experiences: “AR has become very mainstream in the beauty industry,” said Parham Aarabi, Founder and CEO of ModiFace, the go-to provider of AR tech for beauty giants like Sephora, CoverGirl, and Bobbi Brown.

Read the full article in Fashionista.

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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