Cosmetics NPD In 2020 Is All About Inclusive Beauty

How To Maximize The Trend (+6 Examples)

5 min read - By Cedric Desmedt, Account Architect Haystack Consulting

The 2020 cosmetics market will continue to be shaped dramatically by the era of diversity and inclusive beauty in product development—even as the COVID-19 crisis threatens a global recession.

Consumers may be switching their cosmetics shopping to online, but the overall trends are still clear. Inclusive beauty is the future. And everyone knows it.

For many, that’s a problem.

It has never been harder for cosmetics NPD teams to validate concepts and create products before your competitors beat you to market.

You have Fenty Beauty to thank for that. The company’s record-breaking 2017 launch revealed the untapped opportunity of products for diverse, underserved communities. Since then, brands of all sizes have pivoted to reach these newly recognized markets, growing the global cosmetics product market from USD 532.43 billion in 2017 to an estimated USD 805.61 billion by 2023.

We’re seeing it over and over again at Haystack Consulting.

Marketing and insights teams are pulled every direction, unsure where to responsibly direct energy and resources. The wrong choice means watching a competitor launch a product that should have been theirs—or risking precious resources in a time of uncertainty.

We’ve also seen how cosmetics brands can identify winning ideas with confidence, accelerate R&D with a clear vision, and take the lead in emerging categories.

Despite a potential recession, the power of innovation to propel a cosmetics brand forward remains strong, and in many cases, crises can be a catalyst for success.

We’ll share how you can out-innovate your competitors, but first, let’s explore a few product innovations that demonstrate what makes a winning idea.

1| Perfume Goes Gender-Neutral At Calvin Klein

In January 2020, Calvin Klein released their new CK EVERYONE perfume, the company’s first gender-free fragrance. The brand has declared its campaign “a celebration for those unconstrained by boundaries, gender norms and definitions.”

Gender-neutral products have a history going back to Calvin Klein’s original 1994 CK One campaign, but the new language of “gender-free” represents a new evolution in both the culture and the market. As Gen Z, in particular, ushers in a world where non-binary gender pronouns are recognized, the growth of the gender-free segment is inevitable.

2| Halal Cosmetics Zone Makes Products Accessible To Millions

The UK’s Asda supermarket launched its own line of Halal cosmetics, Halal Cosmetics Zone, in 2017. It marks a first for a large supermarket chain in the UK carrying halal-specific cosmetics products—and it’s no wonder why.

The halal cosmetics market is one of the fastest-growing cosmetics segment in the world, driven largely by Asian consumers. The global halal cosmetics market size is projected to reach USD 52.02 billion by 2025 registering a CAGR of 12.3%, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.

3| Forget Haircare, Bald Men Need Skincare

Men who are bald know it’s just as important to maintain scalp skincare as it is haircare, but they’ve historically been restricted to using generic cleansers and moisturizers. Mantl saw this as a perfect opportunity to meet the needs of a growing, but underserved, community.

The last few years have seen a boom in men spending on personal care and cosmetics products—an up-and-coming segment that’s expected to grow to $166 billion by 2022. Mantl arrived early, but more bald-driven brands are sure to come.

4| A Cosmetics Line That’s Safe For Chemotherapy Patients

In 2017, 17 million people in the world lived with cancer. That figure is expected to double by 2030. In the UK, 55% of patients receive chemotherapy, leaving patients with skin that’s sensitive, dry, and prone to infection—and without skincare products made just for them.

In 2019, London-based startup Gen.u.ine crowdfunded the world’s first cosmetics line that’s specifically developed for chemotherapy patients. According to their Kickstarter campaign:

 “Gen.u.ine is not about glamour or vanity. It is about giving people the chance to feel like themselves again, not a cancer patient.”

Though the campaign raised a modest £2,185, it’s inevitable that brands will reach out more and more to people living with ailments that affect their skin health.

5| CBD-Infused Wellness Products Go Mainstream

Clothing manufacturer American Eagle Outfitters recently entered the cosmetics market with the launch of MOOD, a brand of CBD-infused wellness products, eager to join the multi-industry CBD trend.

The market for cannabis is surging globally, expected to surge to USD $166 billion by 2025. To the surprise of many, skincare is one of the main drivers of the trend’s explosion.

Euromonitor International’s Zora Milenkovic writes in her report that…

“Euromonitor International expects skincare … to be the main driver of cannabis beauty growth, tying in with current holistic and health-aligned beauty trends of repair, protection, and therapy.”

6| Personalize Deodorant To Your Free-From Needs

Consumers may be more brand loyal to their favorite deodorant than toothpaste, shampoo, or hand soap, but Nala believes their new personalized deodorant will win the market over by allowing consumers to create formulas just for them. The “free-from” approach allows customers to avoid ingredients they might find in other mass-market deodorants.

Mila Juristovski, co-founder of Nala, told Cosmetics Design

“We believe that all of us have unique needs, unique body chemistry, unique lifestyles, and our own unique taste. Personalization of deodorants, body care products, and medicines is the future.

Personalization has disrupted many industries, beauty included. But it’s not only a matter of preference—people pay more for the privilege because they can customize products to meet personal needs they believe are underserved.

A Faster GTM Strategy: From Idea To Full Concept In 2 Weeks

Brands that want to compete using standard R&D strategies may see success, but they’ll take so long creating products that they’ll rarely be first to market. Inclusive beauty as a trend is no secret—everyone is racing to the same customer segments.

For cosmetics innovators who want to lead these emerging categories, we suggest an alternative approach.

We call it the NPD Hackathon.

Using online ethnography, we’re able to follow the routines and goals of leading edge consumers. This unlocks unusually-deep insight into the daily behaviors and underlying concerns of target consumer segments over a period of two weeks.

When the social listening period is complete, we hold a cross-department hackathon where we go from raw insights to complete product concept in one day. By bringing together our experts, marketing, sales, R&D, and CMI—along with some leading edge consumers—we’re able to co-create products in a way that would have never been possible in an office environment.

It’s the fastest way to get a profound look at a market’s lifestyle and needs, then create a consumer-validated product concept that’s ready for development in two weeks.

*COVID-19 Note: Getting stakeholders together virtually may sound like a nightmare, but we have a proven system for maintaining effective collaboration and communication.

We go into detail in our NPD Hackathon Case Study. Read it and discover…

  • How our unique online ethnography process uncovers profound consumer insights
  • Why getting stakeholders together for a one day workshop generates incredible results
  • Next-steps for turning your vague ideas into powerful products fast

Ready to become a leader in cosmetics product development?

💬 Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. I would be more than happy to hear from you - 

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Agile consumer immersion and co-creation during early stages of the innovation process"