While the excitement of experimenting with new beauty products is something we all cherish, it’s important to recognize that innovation goes beyond mere enjoyment. Innovation plays a pivotal role in the success of any brand, especially in an ever-evolving market like the beauty industry. To stand out in this bustling sector, beauty brands must differentiate themselves.

According to NIQ’s BASES report titled ‘Building a Modern Innovation Ecosystem,’ 60% of leading innovators place strong emphasis on innovation as a critical corporate priority. Given the constant shifts in consumer preferences, it has become more vital than ever for brands not only to innovate for the benefit of their customers but also to maintain relevance within the beauty space.

That said, NIQ’s research reveals a concerning 19% decline in new innovations within the beauty and personal care industry over the past three years. However, those who persevered in their innovation efforts during this period reaped substantial rewards, being 2.9 times more likely to experience sales growth compared to those who scaled back their innovation initiatives. In the face of change, it’s clear that evolution is a lasting principle, and companies that prioritize innovation appear to be leading the way.

To stay competitive alongside these trailblazers, here are some of the top innovations and premiumizations NIQ has identified within the industry:

Clean & Sustainable

In the beauty sector, products that are clean and sustainable are collecting quite the following, even in the face of increasing prices. According to NIQ’s Green Divide Report, 65% of global consumers say they’re willing to choose a sustainable option even if they have to pay more. Consumers are actively searching for brands that boast attributes such as being “free-from” harmful ingredients, cruelty-free, vegan, plant-based, offering reusable or refillable packaging, producing low-carbon footprint products, and more.

With this, 77% of global consumers have zero tolerance for greenwashing and will reject brands if found guilty. The ‘clean and sustainable trend’ is no longer a trend, as consumers are beginning to take the climate crisis more seriously. To show consumers that brands are taking their social responsibility seriously, they should consistently assess their product formulations and packaging, in addition to conveying their commitment to sustainability and their clean credentials.

Ingredients & Desired Results

The beauty industry is undergoing a profound transformation as consumers increasingly seek products tailored to their precise preferences and requirements. Rather than simply searching for products that claim to suit their skin type, hair type, and so on, consumers are now arming themselves with knowledge about the specific ingredients that can effectively address their concerns.

As consumers become more attuned to their individual needs, they recognize that a universal, one-size-fits-all solution is inadequate. They appreciate that various ingredients can be instrumental in achieving diverse desired outcomes. With this, brands should capitalize on investing in ingredients that will benefit consumers more than other brands and products.

Trusted Representation

Establishing a trustworthy persona linked to your brand can significantly influence consumer perceptions. Employing reputable representatives like celebrities, healthcare experts, and social media influencers can instill a sense of assurance in the product.

Celebrities and influencers, particularly those with substantial followings, excel in this role. They have cultivated relationships with their followers, who place faith in their judgments and endorsements. This not only extends the brand’s reach but also adds an element of prestige.

Healthcare professionals also hold a special place in consumers’ trust hierarchy due to their expertise and credibility. Their endorsement provides shoppers with the confidence that the product is dependable and effective.

Personalization & Inclusivity

The trend of personalization and inclusivity has evolved, now delving into previously avoided subjects and catering to specific consumer requirements. Brands are increasingly embracing and expanding their offerings to address topics like menopause, aging, men’s cosmetics, acne acceptance, and more. This approach to personalization and inclusivity is finely tuned to the individual user, rather than targeting a broad mass market. These novel products also introduce an element of transparency and comfort, leaving consumers with the impression that their unique needs are being prioritized.

Moreover, there is a growing demand among consumers for complete transparency regarding product ingredients and their associated benefits. This heightened awareness has led to a surge in customized products designed to cater to each shopper’s particular requirements.

As a new year approaches, brands that embrace innovation are better poised for long-term success, while those resistant to change run the risk of ceding market share to more agile competitors. In today’s dynamic consumer landscape, it is more critical than ever for beauty brands to prioritize innovation in order to remain pertinent and competitive. For brands eager to get their voice heard on the type of research reports they would like to learn from, take this short survey so that your concerns can be considered and addressed.