Targeting a diverse customer base has never been more important, with better connected millennials driving the push for more representative beauty and companies that offer authentic approaches to embracing diversity.
We’re seeing wellbeing and ethical production as the leading megatrends defining the rising interest in products that cater to greater diversity, with these relevant to halal, male grooming and multicultural beauty.
Here’s my analysis on the leading players and products to keep an eye out for in this space.
Find our article on ingredients players leading in responding to demand for diversity here.
L’Oréal: a case study for the good and the bad
L’Oréal offers a great example of what you can get right when it comes to a meaningful, genuine attempt to offer better diversity and representation as a beauty company - and what you can get completely wrong.
The global beauty giant has certainly been making a high number of attempts to present itself as a company invested in an idea of diverse beauty; however several its effort have been beset by setbacks and controversy.
It became the first to use a transgender woman in a major campaign, with the appointment of Munroe Bergdorf last summer.
However, the company then had to promptly drop Bergdorf following public pressure related to her previous Tweets on the topic of racial inequality.
A similar story played out when the first model to wear a hijab in a major campaign, Amena Khan, promptly stepped down after the news was announced this January, when she met criticism for 2014 Tweets that some criticised as ‘anti-Israel’.
Embracing gender: equality focus & male grooming
Nevertheless, when it comes to L’Oréal successes, it has proved an industry leader in the push for gender equality in the workplace.
In November, the company was awarded a French prize for commitment to gender equality: the arès de la féminisation des instances dirigeantes des grandes entreprises françaises.
While clearly doing well comparatively in this area, L’Oréal itself only has women making up 33% of its Exec Committee, suggesting even the leaders in the industry still have a significant way to go.
On male grooming, it became the first beauty player to use a male model in a major colour cosmetics campaign in 2016, and it proved one example of a campaign within L’Oréal’s wider push to represent diversity to meet with success.
Meanwhile, other smaller players are making impressive strides with male grooming. Bulldog, a British player, is forging forward with a global presence.