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Cosmetics Vision launches the big debate, inviting industry to have its say

By Simon Pitman+

13-Feb-2014

Cosmetics Vision introduces The Big Debate, part of its eclectic programme of interactive discussion and best practice sharing. enabling top-level executives to consider and discuss the big issues confronting the industry today.

“We’ve worked with our speakers and our editorial team and identified three issues that, we believe, are the most pressing for cosmetic businesses.  And we are inviting our audience to submit their own contributions too,” says Vision Events Director, Christina Wood.

The big three issued already scheduled for discussion are:

Issue 1:  Doing more for the individual:  What’s the future for multi-functional and customised cosmetics.

New science opens up opportunities for personalised cosmetics, but how can the drive for personalisation be balanced against the logistical challenges of serving a mass market?  “Mass production doesn’t really enable the full customisation of products,” says Alain Mavon, skin Research Director of Oriflame.  “We need to get close to customers and provide products that meet specific needs – which include ethnic, cultural and lifestyle differences.”

Issue 2:  What customers will want tomorrow – how can formulators and ingredients suppliers deliver next generation cosmetics?

Annelie Streussman, Technical Director at Conusbat, suggests that animal testing bans and the market’s demand for substantiation of the claims made for cosmetics products will have dramatic impacts.  Alain Khaiat of Seers Consulting adds, “the next generation of cosmetics products depends on a better understanding of skin and hair physiology, much of which is developed by the suppliers for the formulators.”  He warns of the importance of constant adaptation and learning, “Adaptation has been the key to survival throughout evolution,” he says.  “Businesses that don’t adapt will die.”  For that adaptation to take place, suppliers and formulators must work together.

Issue 3:  Instore and online – where will the battle ground be?

The landscape is shifting.  Retailers that began by creating the in-store experience online are now working to bring the online experience instore, creating a truly integrated ‘bricks and clicks’ approach to cosmetics sales.  Will online be the winner or will the store, with its unique ability to deliver a sensory experience, continue to dominate in cosmetics?  “It’s not ‘either or’ but ‘and’,” according to Alain Khaiat.  He expects both to coexist but says, “I see e-shopping taking over for repeat purchases, while stores keep their appeal for first time purchases.”  Alain Mavon suggests that the future of e-shopping will depend on the ability to integrate advice from a consultant to the shopping experience.  “Our vision for e-shopping is that customers can shop easily and have the option to contact a consultant if they choose.”

In addition to these three, a worldwide call has gone out to the industry to nominate subjects for discussion.  High on the list are:

  • Efficacy claims – how efficacy can be proven cost effectively and how purveyors of false claims can be policed
  • Focus on ageing – slowing down the process for a global ageing population
  • The need for regulation – firmer, fairer and harmonised across markets
  • Social responsibility as the natural partner to sustainability – aligning corporate behaviour with product excellence
  • The impact of China’s slowing growth and the evolution of emerging markets

“Our aim is to make Cosmetics Vision an open forum for free and frank discussion on the issues that matter most,” says Christina Wood.  “We invite every Cosmetics Vision delegate to bring their challenges and share them with their peers."

The Big Debate will take place on the second day of Cosmetics Vision, which will be held in Cannes, France from 5 to 7 March.  For a chance to shape this debate live and in-person give us your opinions about the three big issues in this 2 minute survey your viewpoints could earn you a place at Cosmetics Vision.  The full Cosmetics Vision programme can be viewed at www.cosmeticsvisionevent.com

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