Diversity and transparency highlighted as key to success in today’s beauty market

Being inclusive, transparent and viewed as authentic is key to success in today’s beauty market, according to market analyst Nielsen.

In a recent report on the US beauty market, the information company highlighted the importance for brands of connecting with consumers. “More than any other fast-moving consumer goods category, cosmetics shoppers want to identify with brands,” the Nielsen report stated.

The company went on to add that: “The brands that have been most responsive, building more inclusive product and messaging with a wider range of skin tones and colours, for example, are winning.”

This demand from consumers has seen a 22% growth in the number of shades available in facial cosmetics over the last five years. This rise in the variety of colours available is seven times faster than the overall rate of new product development for the cosmetic sector.

Nielsen also underlined the growth in online cosmetics sales, stating that “consumer spending on beauty products has shifted online faster than nearly every other packaged goods category”.

Nearly one in every three dollars spent on cosmetics products in the US today is spent online, the company revealed. In the last year alone, US consumers spent $12 billion (£9bn) on online beauty and personal care purchases.

The online marketplace also represents new and increased opportunities for a greater number of brands, Nielsen said. In traditional cosmetics retail, the top 20 manufacturers command a 96% market share.

Online, however, the roles are revered, with the top 20 manufacturers having a market share of just 14%, and other brands making up the remaining 86%. 

The Nielsen report also emphasised the importance of brand perception and reputation in today’s beauty market. The report commented:

"Consumers are as focused on the transparency of the company and their practices as they are on what goes into the products they make. The beauty brands that will be successful will be authentic and true, flexible enough to be relevant to a wider array of consumers."