Editor's comment: why individualism is the trend you need to embrace in 2018

Personalisation has been a beauty buzzword for a long time, but in 2018 it’s set to move beyond products and treatments that work on specific skin or wellbeing issues to encompass branding that speaks to an individual’s sense of self.

Hyper-personalisation is a difficult trend for salons to embrace. While segmentation by factors such as age, gender and purchase history is commonplace in marketing, this new wave of personalisation requires a subtler approach. Check out our 2018 trends feature in the January issue of Professional Beauty for more detail on how and what people are buying and how to cater to a changing consumer psyche.

With big brands and some mainstream media supporting movements such as gender-neutrality, and a concurrent backlash against the constraints of a growing right wing presence in the UK and US, consumers, particularly younger millennials and gen Z, are rejecting brands that seek to pigeonhole them into a specific market sector by using what they perceive to be clichéd language and imagery.

So, while it may be impossible to market your services separately to each individual, a good starting point to appeal to younger clients may be to drop the idea of pink, sparkly manicures for girls and “face MOTs” for men. That’s not to say these clients don’t want such services, they just don't want to be told that’s what they want.

In fact, there’s a growing dissatisfaction among consumers about being told how to live their lives at all. While the wellbeing movement, encompassing nutrition, exercise and mindfulness, is still going strong, some analysts believe we have reached “peak wellness”, and are likely to see a rejection of the preachy tone it can sometimes take.

Social media is creating unrealistic images of clean eating, yoga-obsessed people with perfect bodies that the “normal” consumer can never achieve. Like anything, wellness and beauty has to be both aspirational and achievable, and that is the balance that salons and spas should be looking to strike this year. 

The January issue is out now. A digital version can be bought online for £1.49 – or it's just £9.99 for 12 issues. The print edition is just £37 for an annual 12-issue subscription. Make sure you’re always the first to read the news and trends by subscribing online.