If something defines the concept of beauty, it is its capacity for mutation and its continuous movement. The standard of beauty has always been linked to different cultures, to their historical events and, above all, to the movements that have arisen in these societies.
Today, in our westernized space, we are witnessing the beginning of a new change, perhaps the most disruptive of those seen so far. It has come this far recovering some of the values of the past such as authenticity, creativity and its important role in raising people’s well-being and happiness, but it has added new demands that defend the imperfect, the indefinite, the instantaneous, the pleasure of symbolic play, diversity, commitment, responsibility, collective awareness, self-care but also global care.
And this new definition is the seed of a series of profound changes that will alter the way in which consumers and manufacturers will relate to each other in a future that is already here.
The consumer does not wait
The consumer is mutating throughout the world, spurred on by the insecurity that has been installed in their lives as a result of recent events: pandemics and the consequent personal crises, economic and job insecurity, climate alerts and an absolute belief that we are depleting the planet In which we live.
And it began by mobilizing in favor of sustainability, recycling, more natural ingredients and non-polluting packaging, but has already moved towards more global aspirations such as the protection of water, air, animals, forests and diversity, understanding the importance and the impact these issues have on the well-being of people and the planet.
This new awareness is producing a drastic change in their consumption patterns, implanting, more and more, the philosophy of less is more in their purchase decisions while developing a very critical thinking towards the industry and its impacts, to end up verifying that their movements today have sufficient strength to promote a change in the way companies operate and make them more in line with their concerns and personal goals.
Additionally, the shopping movement, forced by the pandemic, towards online channels has increased the need for brands, in general, to personalize and improve the user shopping experience. A movement that has spread rapidly, to the world of beauty and fashion. The leap in just a couple of years has been quantum. The advancement of technology has facilitated the creation of virtual identities, brand ambassador avatars, intelligent interactive programs and, above all, a parallel space (metaverse) in which the consumer can create different selves, enjoy, relate, interact with brands, use them virtually and dramatize, in a safe space, their different personalities, to the point that there is already talk that the true identity is going to be the sum of our physical selves and our different virtual selves.
Speed, the new watchword for manufacturers
The challenges of the industry, in this context, are great. The usual basics are no longer enough, the history of companies is only the initial step to gain momentum.
Companies have to win back the trust of their customers by demonstrating their proactivity in completing the new list of requirements. The race is fast, time is now the enemy of brands that are risking permanence on the field or being relegated to oblivion in the mind of the new consumer.
This makes it necessary to work simultaneously in many directions. We are talking about changes that encompass the reformulation of products, the approach to packaging, care for the supply chain to ensure its transparency and fair treatment of its producers, the redesign of production processes to make them more sustainable, respect and the development of the internal and external people of the organizations, the investment in their communities and the effort capacity not to have a negative impact on the environment.
Brands have resolutely joined the sustainability movements by providing solutions that not only minimize waste but also avoid waste and help use resources more responsibly.
The second step in which the industry is immersed is to improve consumer well-being by facilitating their care routines, simplifying their lives and reducing their stress. Here hybrid products, dual treatments and above all rituals and the experiential world come into play.
The third will be to demonstrate the care of the rest of the actors (employees, suppliers, community, etc.)
Finally, new ways will have to be found to connect and communicate with consumers, in all their diversity and in their different real and virtual communities, and that is why brands are beginning to experiment in the metaverse, creating their own digital ecosystems with avatars, virtual products and experimentation spaces that allow you to test and use your products in a creative way, reflecting the personality of your brand and making interaction as easy as possible. It is, in short, that the consumer experiments and learns in the metaverse and then materializes the solutions in the real world.
New times, new challenges, a lot of speed and a fascinating future for a sector that is redefining and reinventing itself, always adapting to the evolution of a prepared and increasingly demanding consumer who seeks to consolidate its identity in a global, diverse and solidary.
Amparo Morales Sánchez | Business Development Manager | COSMETICA COSBAR, S.L.