Yes, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder but the beholder today needs an evolved lens.
The beauty and skincare industry has grown exponentially over the years. Perception towards skincare has changed and evolved in ways that were unimaginable some years ago. People believed that makeup and beauty was all about women. Products, formulations, advertisements and promotions were made keeping women in mind.
But in the past decade or so, things changed. As more millennials and post-millennials started talking about the importance of skincare for all genders, companies started noticing the demand and need.
There is now a growing skincare market dedicated to men. Makeup for men will take a while to reach that level but the journey has definitely started. The question that brands need to really answer is, do they know their customers well and are they ready to be gender-inclusive?
Some brands today value gender inclusivity and have taken steps to look beyond labels. The Bhima Jewellery “Pure As Love” campaign, for instance, is a good example of this. Did the brand make enough sales? We don't know. Did it become a conversation starter and make an impact? Definitely. In this digital era, opinions and verdicts happen in real time. The speed at which trends take shape, opinions get shared and go viral, if brands don't move along with the wave, they will sink. They might not even get a second chance to be able to learn to stay afloat. Every consumer and a potential consumer are sitting and judging a brand’s move on their fingertips, making it essential that brands make the right move in order to stay relevant and popular across demographics.
Of course, we still have a long way to go, but gender inclusivity is no longer just a trend. There is growing acceptance, lesser taboo and a stronger backing. Brands are launching unisex beauty and skincare products, collaborating with opinion leaders across genders to send out befitting narrative for consumers. The charm, however, will only last with consistency.
This unboxing mindset is the new standard that brands have to set in order to be perceived progressive. Safe to say, we’re just getting started.
Samir Modi is the founder-managing director of Colorbar.