Avon: ‘Science as a saviour’ and ‘staying on the cusp’ of consumer trends key NPD priorities

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Avon will continue to pivot R&D efforts on science and consumer needs - an important blend to plug today's beauty opportunities [Getty Images]
Avon will continue to pivot R&D efforts on science and consumer needs - an important blend to plug today's beauty opportunities [Getty Images]

Related tags: Avon, Consumer trends, Npd, Innovation, Science

Global beauty major Avon will continue to invest in scientific proof and clinical trial data and work hard to react to fast-evolving consumer trends as it edges forward with NPD in 2022, says an exec.

The global beauty major recently identified three key trends to watch as 2021 came to a close: beauty as therapy, skin health and the return of colour.​ But how exactly did the brand plan to tap into opportunities within these spaces and plug consumer needs inside these movements?

Michelle Chavez, global trend expert and forecaster at Avon, it required some clear-cut innovation focus and priorities, relevant also to the wider beauty industry.

Science as a saviour – bringing breakthroughs to the masses

“I think the priority areas for Avon are really going to be around this trend of ‘science as a saviour’,” ​Chavez told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

“Consumers have really come to understand the importance of science during the pandemic, their reliance on what science can bring forward and their believe in the credibility of science,”​ she said.

In beauty, therefore, they wanted to see the proof and science that products worked, and so this would remain “at the very heart”​ of Avon’s NPD planning over the next few years. Working across its six global state-of-the-art R&D facilities, the brand would focus on creating “credential- and clinical results-driven products”, ​she said.

Avon’s Protinol serum was one strong example of how the brand had already brought a science-forward product to consumers, Chavez said. The formula worked to boost the production of type I collagen and type III collagen in the skin – a feat never previously achieved via a topical, she said. Working closely with the UK’s University of Manchester, she said Avon had tested the product to understand the benefits and what the ingredient could do in skin, resulting in a “breakthrough”​ that the brand was “really proud of”.

“We’re focused on these breakthroughs driven by science and bringing it to the mass market in a really democratised way so it’s available to women all over the world,” ​she said.

Back to Science ​was one of 15 key global beauty trends for 2022​ identified by CosmeticsDesign's editors, especially important for the APAC region. You can watch the full video HERE​.

Shifting behaviours – reacting to consumers a fresh challenge

Avon was also carefully and closely following the shifting consumer behaviours and patterns across the beauty space – “one of the biggest challenges” ​for new product development projects and innovation planning, Chavez said.

“Being able to stay on the cusp of consumer shifts and being able to react quickly, I think, is important,”​ she said.

And a sharper focus on these shifts would be needed for some time longer, she said, given how COVID-19 was continuing to evolve and affect consumers, making trends harder to predict.

“I do believe that we’ll be able to get back into those [trend] cycles eventually, but I don’t know that they’ll manifest in the same way because I do think some priorities have shifted and they will be cemented. Some of these consumer behaviours will remain, like frugality and really looking for added value in products,”​ she said.

Staying “very, very close” ​to consumers would therefore remain a priority for Avon moving forward, Chavez said, working to understand what women worldwide were going through, what tensions they had and what kind of products they were looking for or felt they needed. Particularly as the brand aimed to plug important opportunities in beauty as therapy, skin health and the return of colour, she said.

Consumer research 'most important' in the future of beauty

“Consumer research is one of the most important things we do here at Avon, to really understand the need and innovations that not only fill the need but add that angle of delight to make [consumers] love the product,” ​Chavez said.

“…We’re focused very much on the future of beauty: what’s happening currently, consumer shifts and how does beauty fit into that as we look into the future,” ​she said.

Experience-first ​was another one of 15 key global beauty trends for 2022​ identified by CosmeticsDesign's editors, especially important for the EMEA region. You can watch the full video HERE​.

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