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Developing a Beauty Brand in 2021

Developing a beauty brand in 2021 – what are the opportunities? At the close of last year many of us breathed a sigh of relief – the year that rocked the world from the ground up was finally over. This relief was short-lived, as 2021 rolled around it started to look remarkably similar, and the savvy amongst us have embraced technology as elementary to our success.

So with beauty evolving, how do you develop a beauty brand in 2021 and what are the growth opportunities?

Some people are talking about this as the evolution of retail, but in truth retail evolved a long time ago – in fact with the start of online shopping – certain industries and countries have just taken longer than others to embrace online shopping.

The pandemic accelerated what was already inevitable, to survive you had to adapt quickly. 2020 was the year we learnt to live and work online – from Zoom, to Teams, webinars, and online events. Whether your business was a bricks and mortar business, a spa, a salon, a hairdresser or for that matter a distributor, one thing was certain, a good website and a strong online marketing strategy were essential.

It was interesting to observe how well-established spa brands needed to reinvent their sales and marketing strategies. Accustomed to selling in-store through independent spas and salons, they now needed a new way of marketing and selling their products online – from their websites to Amazon and third-party marketplaces.

Building a Digital Footprint

Building a solid online footprint requires a great digital marketing strategy. From creating relevant content to drive your SEO, to building Facebook communities, running regular Facebook and Instagram Lives, webinars and events, creating Podcasts, online competitions, and quizzes to educate your customers and introducing consumers reviews to build loyalty and trust.

Beauty is renowned for being resilient – Leonard Lauder coined the phrase the ‘lipstick index’ as a good economic indicator, it was known that in times of uncertainty, women turned from purchasing high ticket items to lipsticks and cosmetics. This pandemic is different – with a constant round of lockdowns affecting the retail and the professional sector, and testers being permanently removed from stores, there has been a decline in the sales of cosmetics. That does not mean to say that beauty is not performing.

Over the past few years, health and beauty and fitness and wellness have all merged, with some interesting trends on the rise. If you run a beauty or wellness business, or you are about to launch one, consider these as opportunities.

The Trends for 2021

Unsurprisingly with hairdressers being closed for a number of months the most searched terms in the beauty industry in 2020 were related to our hair – from cuts to colouring, styling and treatments – we have become obsessed with how to care for our hair. Products that treat hair loss and scalp health are on the rise for 2021. We are learning to care for our hair as an extension of our skin.

With a necessity to wear a mask, and with many of us confined to working from home it is understandable that we are using fewer cosmetic products. Rather than investing in a range of lip products, our emphasis is on stay fast foundations and our eyes – from eye pencils, to mascaras and brow products – we are still wearing cosmetics, but less is more.
Skincare has seen a steady growth throughout 2020, and we have become a lot more skincare savvy, with a greater understanding of ingredients and the benefits they offer. Cult Beauty gathered the most Google searched beauty ingredients for 2020 – niacinamide, a form of vitamin B was amongst these as was bakuchiol, a form of natural retinol.

We have also becoming increasingly more interested in Vitamin C and the science behind a brand, in 2021 it is vital for brands to substantiate the claims they are making through clinical research and consumer trials.

Sustainability is critical, with a new term emerging – conscious consumerism. From packaging to organic and natural ingredients, and upcycling, clean beauty has become an industry standard with many retailers making this part of their ethos. Self-care treatments were prevalent in 2020, with many of us creating an at home spa experience. 2021 will continue to see the launch of products for at home spas and facials, as well as the launch of a number of beauty tech tools.

Now is the time for beauty brands to enter the supplement market through focusing on beauty and immunity. Based on a Covid-19 Recovery Survey conducted by GlobalData published in July 2020, UK consumers have shown the greatest interest in purchasing more vitamins and supplements following the onset of the pandemic, with Generation Z and Millennials being the most proactive, along with Europeans already leading a pescatarian and vegan lifestyle. Veganism is also on the rise – what was once considered niche is now becoming mainstream, according to Google Trends veganism increased seven-fold between 2014 and 2019 and it now receives more than four times the interest of vegetarianism and gluten free. This is about more than just your diet, or beliefs, it extends to your lifestyle and embraces mental wellbeing and spirituality encompassed by the overarching term ‘wellness’.

Thanks to technology consumers are savvier regarding the benefits of taking supplements, and how they can be taken to address everything from our health, to our wellbeing, sleep, anxiety, and sexual health as well as improve the condition of our skin, hair, and nails. This is a category that requires educating consumers, taking supplements is a long-term commitment (and not a quick fix with instant results) combined with following a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Beauty is evolving in a positive manner – more and more research is being invested into how closely linked our gut health is to how we look and feel. Inside out beauty is the new way forward.