After five weeks of in-depth discussion into the clean and ethical beauty movement, we are rounding up the series by inviting two forecasting experts to share their unique perspectives regarding the future of the sector.
Clean equates to lean
We kick things off with Helga Hertsig-Lavocah, senior futurologist at Hint Futurology who predicts that reductionism will become a big theme of clean and ethical beauty moving forward.
“Clean is going start to mean lean. It’s about being lean and being honest. The issue is that my clean isn't the same as your clean. You could say that's a problem or you could say that's an opportunity,” she said.
She expects the clean and ethical beauty movement to stop focusing so much on ‘free-from’ claims and start zeroing in on the good that is inside the products.
“Clean is bigger than what's not in the product. We're going from a no to a yes mentality… Yes means ingredients that are there will need to be absolutely perfect.”
In turn, this will drive the demand for more testing in the industry, which may mean less emphasis on certification.
“Testing is going to be normalised we're going to be testing more and more. We are already doing testing for DNA and customisation therefore it’s not big step to expect or anticipate that a small segment of consumers will start to do their own home testing. It will go mainstream. “
Hertsig-Lavocah highlighted that we are already seeing this in the CBD beauty space.
Prepare for the inevitable, don't just be reactive
Later, we speak to Dave McCaughan, founder and storyteller at Bibliosexual, who said companies needed to be prepared for the inevitable, rather than just be reactive to the situation around them.
For instance, he brought up Hindustan Unilever’s recent decision to change the name of its lucrative Fair & Lovely brand to Glow & Lovely, noting that the company should have already identified and acted upon the problematic name and positioning of brand.
Given the circumstances of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis today, McCaughan said that there are some obvious things that clean and ethical brands should be working on, such as the implications of e-commerce and the ‘come-to-me economy’.
“That has created other ethical things you have to think about. If you are using a delivery service and you are an ethically based brand, are you using delivery services that are not helping to destroy the environment?”
McCaughan also brings up possibly one of the most overlooked trends in the market today – the implementation of 5G.
“Because the big word for 2020 is COVID-19, we've forgotten that the big word for 2020 was supposed to be 5G. In many countries around the world, this was the year 5G was supposed to launch and for many countries it is launching.”
He highlighted that with 5G, the depth in which consumers and business will be able to use Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence technologies will dramatically grow and change the dynamics of what sellers and marketers should be thinking about.
“Because of that, it’s become inevitable that you have to think about... what sort of documentation you have, how are you going to have track and trace? What's your strategy to show the impact of your products on beauty, on the clean input and output, ethical sourcing…”.
Catch up with the rest of our Clean & Ethical Beauty video series if you missed the earlier episodes! Episode 1 considers 'why it matters'; Episode 2 gives a deeper understanding on what brands are up to in the space; Episode 3 provides insight on formulating in the lab; Episode 4 takes a deeper look at important regulations and marketing tools for clean and ethical beauty brands; and Episode 5 considers clean and ethical throughout the entire supply chain.
Clean & Ethical Beauty: The experts
Helga Hertsig-Lavocah wanted to be a forensic scientist, but lacked the patience to perform lab work, so now she tracks down trends (instead of criminals). She’s been freelancing since 2004, before that she worked at a fragrance house and in advertising. Helga grew up in England, is half Danish, part many nationalities including French, Portuguese and Indian. She lived in the Netherlands for 24 years, and is now based in Dublin, Ireland. This mix of passions, education and cultures is the perfect basis for a futurologist – trend forecaster: open-minded, curious and never settled, yet grounded in the reality of FMCG. She supports multinationals in food and non-food in their innovation process, with idea and concept generation.
Currently based in Bangkok, Dave has spent nearly four decades advising some of the world’s biggest brands on their advertising and marketing strategies for Asia Pacific. He began that life in Sydney in 1986 when he joined McCann Worldgroup, one of the world’s largest advertising and communication companies, where he built the Strategic Planning function. He stayed with McCann for 27 years based in Bangkok, Hong Kong and a decade in Tokyo leading regional strategy and communication campaigns for development for clients including Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Nestle, Cathay Pacific, Sunstar, Hitachi, Johnson & Johnson and many others. In 2015 Dave established his own brand storytelling consultancy, Bibliosexual, and then in 2016 also became a founding partner in Ai.agency, a virtual market research agency that discovers, explores and tracks the narratives behind brand stories.
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