"2018 will be the year of Gen Z", report reveals

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

"2018 will be the year of Gen Z", report reveals
“Hello Beauty” from The Big Now’s research unit, Low Team, reveals the latest insights, trends and predictions to hit the global cosmetics market.

Young audiences, namely Gen-Z in 2018, the rising impact of influencers and the increasing preference for ethical and customised products are all set to grow this year.

Tipped to reach $430 bn (€349 bn) by 2022, the global beauty market is the subject of analysis and review to explore the leading trends, strategies and techniques.


The Big Now’s research unit, Low Team, specialises in beauty, luxury and fashion, coordinated by Massimiliano Chiesa. Through its research, Hello Beauty discovered that the digital market now enables consumers to “purchase anything”.

While style has been established and shaped by the mass market and globalisation — with Asianification relating to specific trends coming from Asia — the online environment extensively opens search opportunities.

Today, “what individuals want is usually determined by influencers”. ​These influencers affect consumers’ purchasing decisions through their “charisma and knowledge related to specific themes or areas of interest”.

In 2017, the relationship between fashion and beauty intensified ​with fashion brands opting to launch their own make up and skin care likes​, often utiliising the power of celebrities.

Brandless companies

However, the report also revealed how “today’s market segmentation is actually seeing the negation of ‘brands’, making people more inclined to get closer to a single product rather than creating a bond with a brand”.

This now results in “the birth of the first brandless lines, good quality unbranded products at a good price”,​ it added.

Millennials and Gen Z similarities

Millennials is a buzzword in 2018 as the 18-35 age range is a key demographic for many brands.

That said, “consumers no longer feel represented by their age, nor by their gender or body type”​. Keen to “self-determine themselves”​ this will be to the “disadvantage of brands that will no longer be able to tell them how they’re supposed to feel”.

The Gen Z generation, who were born between 1995 and 2010, has also been identified as sharing these “new millennial values such as equity and individuality”.

Millennials are proving “a difficult target for classic cosmetic brands which are part of large groups like Estée Lauder or L'Oréal”​, the report found.

Communication and choices

This is largely due to the notion that “communication on social media or the use of influencers is perceived as a forced act, unlike younger brands that are more accustomed and credible when using these methods of communication”.​ As a result, more and more brands are looking to enter into acquisitions.

When it comes to seeking information from brands, this primarily comes from social media or apps, instead of traditional websites. Fun, bite-sized content is displayed on social media channels and helps to grow awareness and following. 

Today’s beauty consumers care far more about brand attitudes and its values rather than purely the quality and specifications of the product itself.

Personalisation, honesty and instantaneous effects

Transparency, inclusivity and instant guaranteed results are among three of the core descriptive aspects of this key demographic.  

 With customisation such a force of nature in the cosmetics sphere, apps such as those created by Japanese name, Kanebo, offer tailor-made recommendations. 

Complete with an inbuilt sensor and smartphones that evaluate skin hydration, these can influence everyday beauty routines. The database that is then built as a result of this interaction assists brands to develop personalised items.  

For more information on 2018 cosmetics trends, view Big Now’s recent report.

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