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In seeing the volume of products released into the market, the real question is how they can find a niche for themselves. It’s incredibly difficult for consumers to navigate the nuances that make these different.
The marketing and campaigns that back products may allow for a single purchase, but the real thing that dictates longevity in a consumable is the integration of a product into your routine as indispensable.
Most new products choose buzz words such as anti-aging, age-defying, and ageless- it only takes a few weeks of use to figure out that most of these products work by excess hydration of the skin to make fine lines and wrinkles less apparent- but still present. This disappointment leads to brand distrust.
Too many confusing and overlapping product niches in the same line also create a scenario where salespeople have no clue how to navigate the choices for consumer questions. You know the scenario- a customer is staring at a shelf of products and a salesperson asks if they need help. In their desperation to understand the choices, the salesperson pulls out about 3-5 products and creates a routine for them to follow. They use lots of great catchphrases like ‘love this’, ‘can’t do without it’, ‘this helps your wrinkles go away’, ‘this gets rid of dark spots’, and ‘this hydrates your skin’. They leave with a few hundred dollars sunk in a bag of products that they get home and have no idea what to do with them. This customer isn’t coming back- except maybe for a return based on regret.
Sustainable product lines are ones that understand the daily routine and design products as steps to achieve results. The rest of the lines will come and go or reach a market max based on a relatively few faithful customers that just like their stuff.
Much of the bubble I believe is created by private label manufacturers that are creating similar products for multiple brands. The lines that find a focus and marketing niche will survive. The influencer marketing and celebrity push is driving much of this. My suspicion is that cosmetics based on various pigments and not claims to aging or acne will survive, albeit in a progressively limited capacity based on the color popularity of palettes and lip/nail color. The lines will progressively thin out.
The growth still has some time left in the cosmetic market. Brands have only recently begun to understand a huge segment of the population that has limited choices based on the hues available. I still find myself only finding one color of lipstick in each brand that I can use without looking mismatched with my color given my south Asian ancestry. I can find plenty of colors in Asian brands, just not at Sephora! There is a huge market that has yet to be explored!!