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What will make a beauty brand work in 2022?

The trends in the coming year will redefine how labels look at the business of cosmetics and skincare

The new age consumer is eco-conscious and demanding cleaner, PETA-certified and environment-friendly products.
The new age consumer is eco-conscious and demanding cleaner, PETA-certified and environment-friendly products. (Unsplash)

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The pandemic has been a time of introspection. The $500 billion global beauty industry, comprising skincare, cosmetics, haircare, fragrances and personal care, was not immune to the virus outbreak, with brands forced to close physical stores, compelled to reinvent and rethink business strategies. 

The $11 billion Indian market, for instance, continues its makeover with brands finding ways to tap India’s young consumer. Expected to become $30 billion by 2025, the Indian beauty business is betting big on multi-brand online stores, driven by key trends, including the increasing number of smartphone users, penetration of Internet, the rise of India’s young, aspirational workforce. Post-lockdown, consumers are spending money on small indulgences and moving towards revenge spending, contributing to the growth of the market size of the beauty and skincare industry. 

Also read: Why influencers are guiding your beauty routine

Beauty brands will increasingly bank on their global learnings but tweak them to suit the uniqueness of developing markets. Brands that will succeed and deeply resonate in the coming years will be the ones that emphasise on personalisation, big data analytics and research to connect with customers.

The global beauty sector is pegged to reach over $800 billion by 2023 and will be shaped by some specific trends particularly those expected from developing markets such as India.

Beauty business goes online

A recent research report by Accenture suggests that consumers are now four times more likely to purchase their make-up and personal care products online compared to pre-pandemic times. In India, over 500 million people are now using smartphones, a 15% increase from 2018. With the Indian smartphone market soon expected to reach 180 million units more people will have purchasing power, driving the business for multi-brand online stores in the category, particularly tier II and tier III cities. Interestingly, digital first brands are expected to command $10-15 billion of the overall category of the Indian beauty and skincare market in the coming years. 

Celebrating technology

The real trendsetters in the beauty business will be brands offering hyper-personalised experiences to consumers. It is the focus in AI and AR technology, and skin and makeup diagnostic tools that will set the growth of the beauty business. Personalised packaging, name engraved on a lipstick, for instance, will be a trend to watch out. Moreover, brands in the coming year will go increasingly phygital, ensuring both online and offline experiences.

Keeping it clean 

Globally, the clean beauty market is estimated to reach $22 billion by 2024. The new age consumer is eco-conscious and demanding cleaner, PETA-certified and environment-friendly products. These clean brands will contribute anywhere between 5-10% to the overall category of the beauty and skincare business in India. Given the emerging trend of ‘skinmalism’, to use lesser but more quality- conscious products, consumers will continue investing in ethically created organic products built on sustainable practices.

Beauty becomes neutral 

The marketing of beauty and skincare products is becoming increasingly gender fluid and inclusive, moving to social- and livestream-selling through social media influencers. Global brands are signing more diverse models and actors, K-pop stars, social-media influencers, promoting products that are gender-neutral or genderless. Expect more communication in the coming year from beauty brands that will be bespoke, personalised but not hinging on any specific gender.

Ritika Sharma is the founder-CEO of House of Beauty and

Also read: Is clean beauty really clean?


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