For the longest time, Indian consumers have had to adjust to global beauty standards dominated by the West. Considering skin tones to seasonal needs, homegrown brands are finally reclaiming the personal care space to cater to the needs of consumers in India.
Climate plays an important role in skincare and haircare. As a result, beauty and personal care brands must keep in mind that India is a country of varying seasons with an audience that is diverse. It's imperative to understand how different hair and skin types react to different atmospheres because besides hair and skin type, seasonality directly impacts buying behaviour. From finding the right sunscreen to the shade of foundation, Indian consumers have had to adjust to Western beauty standards for a long time. It's exciting to see how homegrown brands are finally rising to the occasion and catering to the needs of people in our country in several ways. Be it with innovative products that cater to specific requirements, an ingredient-centric approach, niche marketing, content creation, or all of the above, brands are addressing this gap with unique solutions in the market.
Product innovation is the development of new products or services, or the improvement of existing ones, which simultaneously benefit consumers and companies. When it comes to seasonality and different skin and hair types, product innovation can be the single most important factor that makes your brand stand out. For instance, brands are moving beyond the limited categories of oily, dry and combination to include aspects such as extremely dry, acne-prone, very oily, or pigmented skin. The modern consumer seeks products that are qualitative and meaningful. Developing new products that cater to such specific needs of consumers is one way to lead product innovation. However, idea management is crucial before the development of a new product because only one out of seven new product ideas are likely to be viable and work out. According to a McKinsey survey, 25 per cent of total revenue profits come from the launch of new products.
According to Future Market Insights, the value of the global organic beauty market is expected to increase from US$ 20.5 billion in 2023 to US$ 33.7 billion in 2033. The projected growth can be attributed to the increasing awareness about skincare, a shift in consumer mindset towards planet-conscious products and sustainable practices, among other things. People are more thoughtful than ever about what they put on their skin-they are wary of parabens, sulfates, and other harmful chemicals. With changing seasons, a lot of people tend to turn to natural or home-made remedies for hair and skin. It's a beautiful, cultural nuance in India and Asia. Inspired by this tradition, brands are inclined to offer ingredient-forward, organic products that appeal to the Indian consumer. Natural superfood ingredients such as saffron, goji berry, Kakadu plum and argan oil attract a lot of customers. In a trend that's fairly new, called 'skinification', a lot of the commonly used skincare ingredients are making their way into haircare ranges; Moroccan argan oil and hyaluronic acid are two perfect examples.
It does not matter how good your product is if you're not selling it right. With seasonal products, it's all the more crucial to make sure that they're visible and available in the market in the right way, at the right time. A great technique used by brands is sampling-make new or seasonal products available as samples or small portions before the season. It's an effective way to let the consumer know what to expect, get feedback, and maximise product sales. Product discovery is key to product innovation. So, it's important to tap the consumer's attention when in the discovery phase-think how most of us are on the lookout for great moisturisers just before the onset of winter. Understanding seasonal conditions such as acne, eczema or dandruff is always a plus when it comes to making your products reach the right audience. In this era of digitalization, influencers and social media marketing cannot be ignored. To stay relevant, brands are focusing a great deal on the kind of conversations they start on social media. In fact, in the beauty and personal care industry, consumer awareness is largely driven by experientials and recommendations shared on social media. When done right, it's one of the best ways to educate your audience about seasonal products.
The modern consumer seeks a holistic approach to lifestyle. As much as they need perennial hero products, they need products that are niche or specific in their offering. It's an exciting time for the beauty and FMCG industry, seeing how many homegrown brands are emerging and the kind of products they're offering. While online platforms and the young consumer's experimentative state of mind allow new DTC brands discovery, ultimately, brands and products that are climate-smart and are careful about consumer needs are those that make the difference.