Designing the future of cosmetics: the next 10 years of macro-trend influence

Mariel Brown, Director of Futures, Seymourpowell, will lead a session at in-cosmetics North America on ‘Innovating for tomorrow – The next 10 years of macro-trend influence in the beauty sector’ on Thursday 24 October at 11:45 in the Marketing Trends Theater. The session will explore two key factors disrupting the beauty industry; the environmental crisis and advancing technology. It will examine the polarities that are inherent in these forces of change and highlight the unique challenges and innovation opportunities they present for the future.

To find out more ahead of the show, Personal Care spoke with Mariel:

PC: Do you foresee much change in macro-trend influence in the near future or will they remain fairly static?
MB: Some macro-trends will remain constant, whereas others, such as political and economic, will be much more volatile. In my talk I’ll be exploring two macro trends whose influence will remain strong, if not increase, over the next ten years - climate change and advancing technologies. Both trends are creating complex challenges and exciting opportunities for the beauty sector that will require preparation if we’re to face the future with confidence. 

PC: What would you say is the single biggest factor likely to influence trends in the next 10 years (without revealing too much from your talk!)?
MB: Without a doubt climate change is going to have a huge impact on the beauty industry over the next decade. Beauty brands will need to find a way to innovate rapidly to avoid an untimely demise. Currently the public and political focus is on the packaging, and it is not hard to imagine plastic taxes becoming a reality in the near future. Beyond that, people will wake up to the fact that the lion’s share of a personal care products carbon footprint lies within the formulation itself. From re-thinking ingredient sourcing and water use, through to distribution channels and packaging lifecycles, every aspect of the product needs to be explored. 

PC: The way we buy products is changing as quickly as the products themselves. How much will this continue to influence the market?
MB: Advancing technologies open up new retail experiences in the online world. We’re only just starting to explore the AT opportunity in terms of allowing consumers to try new products before they buy them. Over the next decade we’ll see technologies such as haptics expanding the interface, allowing the sensory qualities of products to be explored at a distance. 

PC: What else will we discover in your talk?
MB: In my talk I will highlight the dramatic challenges that beauty brands will face in the future, but I will also explore where the potential answers may lie. One of the joys of looking this far forwards is that it gets us on the front foot for the future. We can either wait for the changes to be imposed on us, or we can be pro-active and shape our future. The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

For more information on the in-cosmetics North America 2019 education program, visit: https://northamerica.in-cosmetics.com/