Brands are wasting their time trying to hook younger consumers in for the long haul with anti-ageing claims, according to industry experts speaking recently at a roundtable discussion on the topic hosted by CosmeticsDesign.
Alice Hart-Davis, beauty journalist and founder of skin care brand Good Things, joined fellow journalist and industry professional Imogen Matthews, and trend forecaster Antoinette van den Berg, in suggesting that the industry is mis-stepping in targeting teens with anti-ageing products.
The panellists called out the industry for its focus on consumers in their teens and early-twenties, which they consider to be misdirected, with van den Berg noting; “our beauty ideal now is the age between 20-30”.
“The industry is obsessed with youth,” observed Matthews, going on to state that this fails to reflect consumer demand. “There’s a gap between images brands are putting out and what the consumer actually wants,” she said.
Hart-Davis agreed that the increase of anti-ageing products is being driven by brands rather than consumers, noting that “the younger they are, the less [consumers] care about the future.”
“The younger demographic are inherently fickle and deeply disloyal; there’s no point trying to ‘catch’ them for long-term brand loyalty,” she stated.
Brands looking to target teens should instead focus on the emphasis the demographic places on consumer sharing and recommendation, suggested Matthews.
“Peer-to-peer communication is very important – positive messages from peers like bloggers works incredibly well in the make-up area. It’s a potential way forward for skin care,” she said.
Sunscreen in focus
The panel pinpointed the skin care importance of sunscreens, picking it out as one category with anti-ageing benefits which is relevant for younger consumer groups: “It’s all about education,” noted Matthews.
“It’s comparable to the education on drink driving,” van den Berg agreed. “In the same way as people now say, ‘I don’t drink while I drive’, if you don’t take skin care precautions, you’re out.”
The discussion was moderated by Simon Pitman and Andrew McDougall, Senior Editor and Deputy Editor respectively for the CosmeticsDesign online journals.