*Cosmetics Vision Special*

The Big Debate – where industry professional see the future of the industry going

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

The Big Debate – where industry professional see the future of the industry going

Related tags Cosmetics Cosmetics design

One of the programme features for last week’s Cosmetics Vision event was the Big Debate, which involved not only three top-level industry panelists, but also the audience and the Cosmetics Design readership in shining a light on where the industry is heading.
Will Smith
Will King, founder of King Of Shaves

The three debate topics saw a wide range of responses that served to indicate how rich and varied the industry is and how polar opposite opinions can be on the same matter.

Perhaps the most diverse response came from our readership, who were questioned as a part of a completion to win a place at the event. We were inundated with responses and it seemed that everyone was on a different page, but that makes a good start to a debate!

The panel included the charismatic Will King, founder of King of Shaves, Robert Pessikoff, founder of marketing company Brand Keys, and Dr. Helen Knaggs, vice president of global R&D at Nu Skin, who were bought in to debate on three topics :

  • Customistaion and multifunctional cosmetics
  • Next generation cosmetics
  • The future of E-Shopping

Customisation and multi-functionality

Helen Knaggs
Dr. Helen Knaggs, VP of global R&D at Nu Skin

One of the hottest topics in the industry right now, this fact was reflected in both the readership response, as well as the panel response to the question.

Will King was first to respond on this topic, which is close to his heart, given that he has just launched a new razor that taps into the trend for customisation – Hyperglide, which is billed as the first ever blade designed to incorporate a lubricant into the blade, negating the need for shaving foam.

“This trend is about choice. It’s about giving consumers what they want and the type of products that fit into their lifestyles. Gone are the days when manufacturers gave consumers what they thought they might want to buy, now it is the consumer that calls the shots,”​ said King.

However, the response from the Cosmetics Design readership was really not on the same page. In a nutshell, some readers thought that  either one or both of these trends were mere fads, and were not likely to be sustained, whereas other respondents stated their belief that these trends would define the industry’s future.

Next generation cosmetics

All three panelists agreed that the future of the next generation of cosmetics lay in the fact that innovation is crucial to the industry and is what makes or breaks companies in the cosmetics field.

“Coming from the research and development field, I know how vitally important this area is to the next generation of successful cosmetic products. New products have to be stretch the boundaries of innovation and technology, and then equally important to this is to validate them,”​ said Dr. Knaggs.

Robert Passikoff
Robert Passikoff, founder of Brand Keys


Again, the readership response was diverse, with some pointing to the natural and sustainable trend as being vitally important to the next generation of cosmetics, while others pointed to cutting edge technologies such as nanotechnology and biotechnology as the way forward.

Interestingly, a number of responses also underlined a belief that harboring technologies such as biomimetics could be a means of harbouring natural-based but more sustainable formulations by tapping into scientific advancements.

E-Shopping vs stores – where the battle will be most fiercely fought

Our readers were asked to vote on this topic as to which retail channel would most likely win out, online or store? This is the result of that survey:

  • 45% of survey respondents said the fiercest battle would be the online retail channel
  • 23% said they believed that the store retail channel would be the most competitive
  • 32% expressed their belief that battle would be heated in both retail channels

“Undoubtedly the competition is going to be incredible in the cosmetic retail channels in the future, but it is likely to evolve in a way that each product category is likely to find the niche that is best suited to the marketing and sale of specific product types,”​ said Robert Passikoff.

“At the luxury end of the cosmetics spectrum, consumers are most likely want to go for the personal shopping experience, whereas for mass market products, online is probably more suitable.”

The second Cosmetics Vision is already in the planning stages for next year, and should again take place at the Martinez Hotel in Cannes during the month of March. Exact dates and programme details are set to be released in the Autumn.

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