As self-medication becomes more common, targeting regimes will become increasingly important as a greater number of consumers adopt regular routines to maintain their health and beauty, according to a report by market analysts Datamonitor.
The report suggests that successful targeting will require effective segmentation of the market to identify which consumers to target. A focus on the beauty aspects of regimes is also necessary as the appearance conscious consumer seeks to delay the effects of ageing.
The health and beauty market is a segment displaying high growth. According to the report, from 1997 to 2002 sales of goods used as part of health and beauty regimes (HBRs) substantially outperformed the level of growth seen in the markets in which they were found - including skincare, haircare and nutraceuticals. Players in these markets, advised the report, should reassess their strategies for targeting regimes.
Both broad social changes as well as more specific drivers are causing consumers to take on HBRs with two factors in particular of importance to the EU and US HBR markets.
First is the growth of the total well-being (TWB) concept. Driven by media attention, consumers today are increasingly aware that three aspects of their health - physical fitness, beauty and mental well-being - are interrelated.
The second broad change is the trend towards consumers 'self-insuring' themselves - through more responsible action about their own health - against ill health and healthcare costs in later ife.
In addition, consumers are looking to use beauty regimes to hold the effects of physical indulgences at bay. Older consumers have increased expectations about what they will be able to do later in life and are maintaining their health in order to fulfill these expectations, claims Datamonitor.
The increased popularity of HBRs - caused by these two drivers - has profound implications for players in the market, highlights the report. Firstly, consumers will increasingly seek to purchase goods as part of a regime. They will be on the look out for products that combine together thereby meeting the needs of their regimes, and prompting them to opt for co-ordinated ranges of items.
Consumers will also want specific functionality from their wares. Manufacturers will therefore need to offer more variants within their product ranges in order to effectively provide 'regime solutions' to consumers.
Datamonitor suggests that manufacturers will have to offer these solutions, as the second implication of the growth in regime behaviour is that non-HBR sales will be cannibalised by HBR sales. As such, manufacturers will need to assess their overall brand and portfolio strategies in order to ensure that they account for the changing balance of consumer demand for regime, and non-regime, goods.
Thirdly, non-HBR goods will be increasingly used for specific functions only, that regime goods do not cover. They need to be offered in smaller pack sizes with distinct functions that resolve specific, and often unusual, needs, such as breakouts of spots and irritations in facial skincare.
Furthermore, despite the fact that women are more likely than men to follow a regime, Datamonitor suggetst that the male HBR market is currently primed for growth.
Natural products are also a must as consumers turn towards a holistic approach to wellness and show an increasing interest in natural offerings.
So what is the key to sustained success in the HBR market? According to the report, effective segmentation of the market by age, gender and ethnicity, together with tailored products and marketing campaigns for each segment, could be the answer.
The full report 'Functional health and beauty regimes 2003' can be obtained from the Datamonitor website.