In today’s beauty and personal care industry, new product development and innovation are happening as fast as consumers are posting about their beauty routines online. The industry has shown tremendous growth, with a
projected market value of
in sales by 2023.
One reason for such rapid growth? Cosmetics consumption — and new innovation ideas — are now born out of digital-first spaces.
Consumers no longer need to head to their local makeup counter to find new products. Beauty apps and subscriptions offer individualized care routines and products. Devices like L’Oreal’ssmart hairbrushcapture consumer data in the product itself. Social media and influencer campaigns offer brands with new options for direct-to-consumer sales online.
When consumers visit a store, the experience is high-tech too, with facial recognition displays, VR experiences and digital loyalty programs all continuously gathering personalized data.
This new beauty ecosystem means there are both fewer barriers for manufacturers to reach consumers and more ways to gather data to drive product innovation ideas.
Although consumer data and beauty sales may live in the digital space, what’s often behind the curtain in internal innovation and R&D processes isn’t quite so advanced. Today, the pressure’s onfor manufacturers to ensure thatNPDI processes work at the same speed as digital customer data insights.
Harmonizing Innovation Data From Digital Consumer Experiences
Maintaining competitive product portfolios in a market with such rapid change depends on how easily beauty manufacturerscan capture and capitalize on shifting consumer trends — and the data they create — in real time.
It can be overwhelming to manage all the innovation requests coming down the pipeline. Traditional stability testing processes and research and development are conflicting with rapid marketing timelines.
Brands can prime their innovation processes to respond to these customer data insights by:
• Ensuring that marketing and innovation portfolios can fully capture and store personalized customer data across digital channels.
• Running innovation data against calculations that incorporate many different factors, from cost information to compliance limits, to determine which products are viable and offer the greatest return on investment (ROI) on the market.
• Digitally sharing innovation portfolios with research and development (R&D) teams and product developers so only the most viable products are put into production.
• Integrating finished product data directly back into beauty apps and combining raw formulation data with purchase behavior to suggest personalized products to consumers.
This digital product feedback loop can be a big ask for manufacturers who may typically rely on spreadsheets or siloed systems to connect marketing, innovation and R&D groups. Opening up the innovation books, so to speak, will facilitate more rapid, transparent data sharing, collaboration and product launch timelines.
Agile Reformulation For Natural And Multi-Use Products
The digital feedback loop isn’t just impacting collaboration processes; it’s also changing innovation choices at the raw material and formulation level.
Consumers increasingly want reassurance that products include safe, natural, organic materials. They want to know that products were produced through cruelty-free processes and come in sustainable packaging. Arecent Nielsenreportdemonstrates that facial cosmetics products have gone from 43% paraben-free to 54%, and sales of products with “natural” claims grew by 12% in the last two years.
Minimalist formulations and gender-neutral products are also on the rise. New brands like Fenty have shifted the conversation toward inclusive product use, and many traditional brands areacquiringgender-neutralproduct lines.
Manufacturers who can act quickly by substituting raw materials, creating blended ingredients and reformulating at mass scale will continue to diversify their product portfolios for these changing customer preferences.
The ability to rapidly change formulation designs with minimal disruption to innovation, testing and manufacturing timelines, however, requires digital data agility, such as:
• Instantly finding where specific raw materials are used, down to small percentages, across all global formulations.
• Mass substituting ingredients in bulk with materials with more natural properties.
• Running checks against ingredients to demonstrate that they meet the thresholds for product claims and align with consumers’ values before production begins.
• Including more detailed questions when selecting suppliers to ensure their processes and materials align closely with consumer values.
When cosmetics manufacturers can match real-time digital consumer insights with real-time reformulation, they can more easily break away from the typical NPDI process limitations and create innovative products faster.
Priming Claims Registration Processes For Globalization
Gone are the days of testing products in small markets and slowly launching globally. When consumer trends can be collected and marketed using digital channels, products can be globalized from the start. In 2018, over half of the net sales of popular Japanese brand Shiseido camefrom non-Japanese markets. Major brand acquisitions like Natura’s purchase of Avon demonstrate this move toward global, multibrand product lines.
In this global launch structure, manufacturers who can implement comprehensive regulatory and claims data at the point of innovation, not a secondary workstream, can drastically reduce their time to market.
Having access to a current library of global regulations is key to assessing the viability of products in certain markets and the effort needed to meet distribution requirements for halal, anti-aging and other claims that vary by country, region and culture.
Integrating regulatory checks as part of an innovation process also sidesteps many compliance challenges. Manufacturers that can run regulatory limit calculations against experimental ingredient lists and directly generateINCI statements, SDS and other claims documentscan decrease the time and effort spent on regulatory control.
We’re also seeing manufacturers reducing product launch timelines by creating a master list of approved materials and suppliers for use in global formulations. With this data accessibility,brands can begin tailoringdifferent country registration packets for related formulas instead of creating entirely new formulas simply to meet country-specific requirements every single time.
The methods beauty manufacturers use to discover innovation insights are complex, cross-channel and increasingly digital-first. Customer data capture, product formulation and global regulatory claims processes are all changing to accommodate the complexity of digital customer data and buying trends. Cosmetics manufacturers that can digitize their internal processes in response will remain