Customers in emerging markets demand specific formulations to suit their unique hair types and skin tones, and this is key to cracking these markets.
According to new research by Diagonal Reports, consumers want products formulated ‘for me’, which is described as ones which not only take culturally specific concepts of beauty into account, but also allow for other key factors such as climate, pollution and, critically, purchasing power.
“The Africans and Asians who are entering the consuming middle classes represent one of the biggest opportunities in global business,” says the research firm.
“Increased demand for products and brands here will drive growth and compensate for sluggish sales elsewhere.”
Diagonal Reports has been researching changes in product demand and consumer behavior in emerging markets for over 15 years, identifying the different skin and hair care demands.
In Africa and the Middle East especially, the economies have grown very strongly, which has opened up a number of new consumers with spending power.
Diagonal points to Nigeria and Saudi Arabia as two countries that present a good opportunity due to their large populations.
“The populations of these countries and regions are very young and – if the beauty houses win them now - guarantee a consumer base for many years to come,” it continues.
The research firm is finding that the young and working women are now becoming wage earners and consumers who are behind these exponential growth rates.
This means that cosmetics manufacturers need to target their specific demands based on climate and culturally-specific concepts of beauty.
Gaps in the market
When it comes to identifying specific market gaps, Diagonal says that hair care presents a huge opportunity in Africa, as Africans spend proportionally more per capita on hair care than their American or European counterparts.
“Their unique and complicated hair styling regimes require a wider range of products,” states the Diagonal research.
“Damage is also a major issue with African type hair and with Saudi Arabian women because of products used and the practice of covering their hair with veils.”
These consumers also want products formulated for skin lightening and pigmentation and pore problems.