In a recent blog for the company, senior trends consultant Richard Cope explained that this shift is making transparency essential for winning consumer trust in the region.
The ‘toxicity’ of recent political and related media campaigns across Europe and in the US, according to Mintel, has directly contributed to a situation of a severe lack of consumer trust.
“Just 53% of UK consumers trust the food and drink industry to ensure food and drink is safe for consumption, plummeting to 39% amongst beauty and personal care consumers,” explains Cope.
Transparency is certainly increasingly crucial within beauty and skin care, as safety concerns continue to drive the demand for natural products, and we see a rising focus on sustainability that goes beyond superficial ‘greenwashing’.
Proving provenance: one solution?
Being able to prove the provenance of beauty and personal care products, and their individual ingredients, is one way the beauty and personal care industry can offer consumers this transparency.
This would tap into demands for ensuring products are safe and natural, and also allow companies to demonstrate that their sustainability claims and efforts are genuine. DNA biomarkers have been put forward as one solution to this demand, along with convincing and sincere brand storytelling, that makes use of social media and digital solutions.
As Mintel’s blog notes, however, we’re beginning to see what looks like the resurgence in trust in the wider context of media consumption, thanks to the efforts that companies and brands within the industry are making.
There has been, he notes, ‘a resurgence’ of professional – that is paid for – journalism, with the Wall Street Journal (+25%) and New York Times (+46%) both enjoying an increase in readers in 2016, whilst the Young Turks online news agency recorded 3 million subscribers (that’s more than CNN).
Cope also points towards the emergence of services like the US’s Digital Democracy, a searchable platform for state legislature hearings, and Facebook’s launch of its own fact-checking tool that warns users of disputed content.
With media companies taking the lead in winning back consumer trust with active efforts towards transparency and reliability, it may be that the beauty and personal care industry needs now to take similar steps.