The integration of the Internet and social media into our popular culture has made the cosmetic industry world a very different world than it used to be. People are not only enjoying more access to the things they like; they are paying more attention to the products and companies in the industry and are able to absorb much more accurate information about the companies than they used to. The ethical demands of the market are ensuring that companies shape up in their processes and practices, or else risk getting left behind.
Customers are increasingly demanding complete transparency into the way beauty and cosmetics companies create their products. The standard for best practice guidelines has been rising over the last decade and is continuing to rise, as the companies with more health-conscious ingredients and fewer harmful chemicals become increasingly preferred over the competition. This also applies to the processes by which the companies make their products and how environmentally friendly the processes are; with this growing standard of transparency, those who use processes that do more to repurpose waste and byproducts and to preserve the Earth’s natural resources are rising above the competition, and setting the standards for the future.
“Simple and Clean” is a phrase used within the Food & Beverage industry to describe a trend of ingredients becoming less complicated and better for you. The same trend is happening in the cosmetic industry – companies are being rewarded for their attention to a healthier attitude towards their customers’ lifestyles and towards their practices, and being rewarded for showing their customers exactly how they are doing it.
A Specialized Market
Back in the 1960s and 70s, television shows were much fewer and farther between than there are now. There were only a few networks on which a show could reach the general public at all, and each show had to appeal to many millions of people in order to be economically viable. Today, there are many, many more ways for a TV show to reach an audience, and a show can survive by appealing to a specialized, passionate group of consumers that make up only a fraction of what a mainstream TV audience used to be.
A similar trend is starting to happen in the cosmetics industry. The infinitely increased access that consumers have to the players within the industry and the inner workings of their business means that smaller players can reach people that they wouldn’t have been able to reach 1 or 2 decades ago – and they retain those customers if the customers like what they see. When these more independent players deviate from the norm in pursuit of higher standards in environmental and physical health, they are, lately, rewarded more and more by a customer base that prefers good moral standing and transparency over mere brand recognition.
But the diversity and specialization of the industry is growing in other ways too. Because of the way we are all becoming more and more interconnected, the importance of our diverse and individual preferences is growing as a factor in the market. The artificial intelligence consciousness present in the Internet is learning about us at a super-high speed – and is able to use this perceptiveness to show us, on a case-by-case basis, exactly the products that we want. One individual with a smartphone could have access to thousands, even millions of players within the cosmetic industry around the world, and as we make our shopping choices we tell our technology what it is exactly that we prefer in our products. This may compound the “TV industry” effect as time goes on – companies may be able to thrive by finding an extremely specialized group of customers, and the industry may become more and more diversified.