Special Focus: Brand Innovation

Getting beauty brand innovation just right

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Getting beauty brand innovation just right

Related tags Social media Asia-pacific

We look at the biggest factors impacting new product development by considering the latest demographic trends, spotlighting what consumers really want and tapping into digital technology.

In the Asia-Pacific region mega trends such as skin whitening and brightening, anti-pollution and beauty from within have been amongst the biggest trends to drive category growth, but beyond that, there are also a number of underlying trend that are proving key.

This Special Focus piece takes a look at some of the most significant stories impacting brand innovation in the Asia Pacific region during the course of the last six months to help give cosmetic and personal care industry professionals some additional perspective.

Don’t miss out on Halal!

Along with the rise in the Muslim population across the region, halal certified products are in big demand, particularly in Indonesia, which is home to one of the biggest and fastest growing Muslim populations in the world.

But despite South Korea having a relatively small Muslim population, the country’s hugely successful cosmetic and personal care innovators have turned their attention to developing cutting-edge halal certified products​.

Indeed, speaking at the recent in-cosmetics Korea trade event, James Jangsuh Noh of the Korea Institute of Halal Industry outlined a proposal from Selangor State, Malaysia for a ‘Global Halal Hub’ to be set up in the country, in partnership with Korean beauty developers.

Watch out for indie beauty

Meanwhile the rise and rise of the indie beauty company in Europe and North America is starting to spark consumer interest in Asia, which could soon see this beauty revolution making a bigger impact on the Asia Pacific region.

One of the first signs of this is the fact that many Western indie companies are starting to make their first forays into the fast-growing Indonesian market, underlined by next year’s Beauty Indonesia event, to be held in Jakarta, next April.

This event will platform some of the biggest indie cosmetics names in the business, many of them from the U.S. market, which has proved to be one of the fastest moving and most innovative for independently owned small- to medium-sized players and start-ups.

Digital, digital, digital

And then there’s digital. Social media is where it’s at if you want to engage younger consumers, but it’s a minefield and the right type of engagement with the right type of tools is the make or break issue.

But staying on top of digital trends is a job in itself, as the technology develops at lighting speed to incorporate newer and ever-more imaginative functionality.

L’Oreal has been one of the biggest investors in digital technology and social media, and recently it announced plans to try and corner one of the newer social media players on the block, Snapchat.

Then there’s China, where a number of the leading social media platforms worldwide are actually banned, including the ubiquitous Facebook.

In this article we look at how a number of the big multinational players have been missing out on opportunities in the country​ because they are not familiar enough with the country’s unique social media landscape.

Giving consumers what they 'need'

But beyond these trends, it’s also important to establish what the customer needs. Although company’s may think they are giving the consumer what they want, is that really the case?

In this article, formulation expert Belinda Carli argues that what consumers say they want​ is not always what they are going to be most happy with.

Indeed, Carli argues that the best approach to innovative product development is to pinpoint what the consumers’ cosmetic and personal care needs actually are and develop products off the back of this premise. 

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