“I attribute much of the boom of the cosmeceutical market to the rise of a far more knowledgeable and savvier consumer,” said Laura Verallo de Bertotto, CEO of VMV Hypoallergenics in a recent GCI feature (www.gcimagazine.com/marketstrends/segments/antiaging/132992463.html). “In our own experience, we’ve seen an increase in the complexity of questions that we get asked by our customers. They know so much more about ingredients and how claims are validated than even just a few years ago.”
Though use and acceptance of the term “cosmeceutical” may largely be confined to the U.S., knowledgeable and increasingly demanding consumers have no national borders – and the onus to live up to these demands is on both brand owners and ingredient suppliers.
According to research firm Kline & Company’s “Specialty Actives in Personal Care 2011: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities,” a growing consumer understanding of active ingredients in personal care products, driven by extensive consumer media coverage, is pressuring suppliers of active ingredients to produce innovative products (“innovative” and “active” are the hallmarks of cosmeceuticals). When seeking out personal care, consumers want the new and exciting, while their expectations for and of functional and efficacious ingredients and products grow.
In addition, as a result of global economics, consumer frugality has become the new normal, and this, too, plays a role in what consumers expect from the performance of their products. Consumers will continue to spend on beauty products, but as their spending power decreases, they’re ever quicker to move on from a product they deem as not living up to its promises. Consumers set the parameters and will continue to seek out the most effective beauty products for their needs – and value is determined first on efficacy.
On the face of it, reaching today’s consumers and winning their buy for the long term seems an ever more daunting proposition, but their quest and hunger for ever more efficacious and intriguing products actually translates to more opportunities to innovate for new unmet needs. Turning innovation into success, though, will truly depend on an open and honest conversation with consumers – listening to their needs and being as clear as possible about claims and the potential for any given product. Brand owners must convey the value of new ingredients, formulas and products through clear language, with explanations of benefits based on scientific studies or other trials. Backing good ingredients and products by developing smart marketing campaigns that are able to convey appropriate expectations from the use of products will foster a significant connection with consumers – and that translates to the growth of business.