Top 3 trends to watch in 2018

Brands that make consumers ‘feel their best’ will grow the most in 2018, according to The NPD Group.

The global market intelligence company reports that eight in 10 US consumers purchase beauty products because they make them feel their best “in how they look, how they interact with beauty, and the emotional connection they feel when purchasing the products”.

NPD industry analyst Larissa Jensen says that with consumers now “at the helm”, the brands and retailers who are adjusting to meet their needs will grow the most in 2018.

I once read that 90 percent of the decisions we make are emotional, and thinking about what will drive the beauty industry’s growth and change in the year to come, emotion is at the forefront. After all, what can be more emotional than beauty?”

NPD therefore confidently predicts that 2018 will bring “more change, more emotional connections and more growth” to the beauty industry with three trends at the fore:

Experiential retail
Brands will continue to develop alternative ways to connect with their consumers. In prestige specifically, department stores have struggled to create meaningful consumer engagement as foot traffic and dollar sales experience a slowdown.  Despite this challenge, the brick-and-mortar space in retail remains an important component for driving sales growth. As beauty brands look for ways to enhance interaction with their consumers in-store, the number of pop-ups, pop-ins (store-in-store concepts) and experience stores will accelerate, especially in high volume cities.

Taking a stand
Eighty-four percent of young people believe brands have more power to make change than governments. It should come as no surprise, then, that consumers are looking for brands that parallel their principles. Therefore, brands should be looking to increase growth not through traditional means such as unique products, but rather through strategies aligned with values and practices. Partisan branding will become more commonplace as consumers increasingly expect brands to take a stand and align on issues that are important to them. Whether it’s the environment, community, animal rights, or anything in between, brands that find ways to connect with consumers on these ideals in an authentic way can expect continued growth.

Redefined luxury
In recent times we have seen the cornerstones of luxury – service, exclusivity, and personalisation – being challenged in retail, product and experience. We can expect more of this in 2018. The fact is that consumers no longer need to pay the high price tag to receive many of the perks of a luxury product. This is not to say that traditional luxury is obsolete, but it will change. Within the luxury price-point specifically, new trends will continue to emerge that showcase consumer values in a bigger way.

Larissa however concluded that the biggest and most definitive trend in the beauty industry is “change”.

“While this has been a catalyst for many brands and retailers in beauty, it has left others in a space of uncertainty,” she said.

“But as the past few years have shown us, our industry is especially adaptable to change.

“And it is because of change, and all the emotion we tie into our decisions, that beauty has been at the forefront of growth across many industries, and will continue to succeed in the year to come.”

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