Retail Innovation Blog 4 Lessons on What Makes a Successful Personal Care Brand Sarah Hillel June 23, 2020 4 Min Read Evolving consumer demands and digital connections have transformed personal care into a dynamic and thriving industry. Today, personal care brands must constantly innovate and deliver highly personalized experiences. This is not only to serve consumers’ diverse expectations and lifestyles, but is also a critical quality in remaining competitive. Here are four key approaches that are leading personal care brands to success. 1. Addressing conscious buying behaviors Health consciousness is booming. More than ever before, consumers have considerable awareness of the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals, harsh sunlight, pollution, allergens, and more. As sustainability and healthy lifestyle trends take center stage, personal care shoppers seek accountability and transparency from brands. They look for natural, organic, or eco-friendly products that were produced sustainably and ethically. From luxury to everyday essentials, brands that can address what conscious consumers are looking for are winning. For instance, direct to consumer brand Drunk Elephant differentiates their products with their own “Biocompatible” philosophy. Image source: Drunk Elephant website 2. Diversifying products and communicating inclusiveness Consumers are becoming accustomed to using several products at a time. As a result, some brands are introducing multi-functional ingredients and multi-product lines that optimize personal care routines. By then targeting specific segments across gender, age, and skin types, these brands are able to successfully accommodate the varied needs of the consumer. An example of this is Dollar Shave Club and their awareness of the growing men’s personal care market. In 2019, the estimated men’s personal care market was valued at approximately 20.75 billion U.S. dollars and was forecast to reach approximately 27.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. Dollar Shave Club is taking advantage of this growth by optimizing their diverse product offerings to cover every aspect of the men’s shaving routine. Image source: Dollar Shave Club Instagram Another beauty brand that grew by being inclusive is Glossier. They claim to design products with “your real beauty in mind,” and that beauty happens when “you’re a part of the process.” Usually, there are lines to get into their NYC flagship store and popup stores. 3. Delivering digital and in-store experiences that are worth sharing Almost half (44%) of consumers today cite social media as a popular source for product inspiration. Personal care shoppers research products online, read reviews, and make purchase decisions influenced by user-generated content and online personalities. According to Gartner, within the personal care industry, “skincare brands have 40% more engagement than color cosmetics brands and have 44% follower growth as well.” Social media plays a huge role in the growth of personal care. Beauty hauls, product reviews, and skincare tips are popular on every social network. With shoppers participating in the conversation, brands benefit from the organic community and engagement. For in-store experience, the best examples are personal care brands based in South Korea. They are known for their exhibition-like store layouts that they sometimes change seasonally. See below how the Dr. Jart+ flagship store looks as of June 2020. Image source: Dr. Jart+ on Google My Business 4. Using technology and innovation to personalize shopping journeys Consumers consistently demand higher-quality and customized products. As a result, personal care brands must always innovate with newer product subcategories, creative packaging, and upgraded basics. Another way that brands use technology in personal care is by understanding consumer preferences. A particular retailer that shoppers adore almost around the world is France-based Sephora. In fact, it’s known for its seamless and intelligent integration across all channels—web, mobile, email, and in-store. Delivering excellent customer experience, Sephora topped the Personalization Index Retail list developed by Sailthru. One way the beauty retailer personalizes the online experience is by recommending the right products based on a questionnaire. Image source: Sephora website By 2023, the market volume of beauty and personal care is expected to hit $498 billion, with an annual growth rate of 4.9% from 2020. In personal care, Statista forecasted user penetration rate to grow from 16.2% to 25.2% in 2024. Without a doubt, the personal care market is accelerating. Consumers worldwide are putting more value into health, cleanliness, and wellness. In combining innovation and personalization across the shopping experience, brands will discover brand new room for growth and an opportunity to serve even more segments of the industry.