Consumers old enough to collect pensions are doing it, as are teenagers and every other age in between. What really defines this generation is that their preferred means of shopping is online.
Cosmetics Design caught up with Sarah Jindal, Senior Global Analyst for Innovation and Insights Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, ahead of her presentation at in-cosmetics North America, which will give lots of insights into the newly identified consumer group.
What are the main characteristics of the C Generation with respect to beauty?
I think what's interesting about GenC is that while they are digitally-driven, they span the generations. They are creating and consuming content on a regular basis and take an active role in curating what they see and how they are seen. They value the reviews and recommendations of their peers more than any other source.
What is the best approach for beauty brands to connect with C Gen?
As we know, using tech is the go-to for brands these days as a way to engage consumers but with this group in particular, that tech better serve a purpose. It can't be tech for tech's sake, it has to add value, solve a problem, streamline the process in some way or it is seen as pure gimmick and a waste of time.
As C Gen is not defined by age, should there be different approaches to resonate with different age groups?
From a product and overall message, sure there will be differences based on age but I think, generally, all of these consumers feel the same way about being put in boxes and labeled or being pandered to. Honest campaigns featuring real people that don't make grandiose promises will touch any of these consumers. The education piece is important as well; brands have relied too long on third-party (influencers, websites) to share products with consumers. The brands need to take back ownership of that so it becomes more authentic.
What kind of beauty and personal care products is C Gen looking out for?
I think it is a mix of things but those problem-solving products will strike a chord. Again, it’s this idea that these consumers are in the know, they are researching everything so they won't fall into the trap of the 'miracle cure-all' type product. They are looking at and for certain ingredients that they know will get the job done and they are looking for those ingredients they don't want as well. Multi-functional products will take on a new definition- rather than being that cure-all, they will be able to serve multiple purposes (a moisturizer that can also be used as a mask for example).
How do you see C Gen evolving in the future as beauty consumers? How might this group’s buying patterns change in the future?
Because these consumers are so comfortable with tech, they will absolutely continue to be those early-adopters jumping on board and trying new things. Will their current buying patterns change? Perhaps they will in a way that focuses on functional products that really get the job done and less so of falling into the trap of buying the newest things to hit the market. That education/information piece becomes even more critical for these consumers in order to get that engagement. Give me the details, teach me something new, that's where the value comes in.
**Sarah Jindal will be giving her presentation, titled The C Generation, at 1:45pm in Theatre 1, on October 17th, during the in-cosmetics North America event, which is taking place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center from October 17th to 18th.**