Our co-founder, Manoj Kumar was the moderator for a fantastic webinar along with a great panel that consisted of Subodh Marwah (CEO, Strides Consumer), Stanislas Vandier (CEO, Wired Beauty), Jayant Khosla (Group MD & CEO, VLCC) and Shikha Jain (Co-Founder, Neev Handmade Herbal Soaps) on 'Beauty Meets Wellness In The New Era' hosted by Creative and Cultural Businesses Programme at IIM Ahmedabad.
Watch it here incase you missed it. Here are the key takeaways by Anaka Narayanan from Creative and Cultural Businesses Programme.
Contexts change, but it often takes a while for human behaviour to align with the new context. There are also some behaviours that are just human, and people will always have a tendency towards these traits (such as finding kindness attractive). What does have to do with beauty and wellness? We set out to chat with leaders and trailblazers in the beauty and wellness industry to find out if behavioral patterns pre and during lockdown have changed drastically, causing business leaders in the beauty and wellness industry to re-think their strategies. Here's what we learned - shifts have been taking place for a while. Smaller brands have already sprung up because they're in touch with the consumer dialogue, larger brands need to catch up. The current consumer is more aware and curious about what they purchase . They want transparency and "clean" products (fewer and quality ingredients and no chemicals).
"Brands need to tell consumers why this product is good for them - and not just from a manufacturer's standpoint, but from a neutral standpoint". - Subodh Marwah, CEO, Strides Consumer
An Ipsos survey (done across 27 countries including India) revealed that people regard these as the attributes that make someone beautiful: Happiness, Kindness, Dignity and Confidence. Makeup and cosmetics ranked towards the bottom at 19 and 20. "It's a good message, it means that beauty comes from people not products" - Stanislas Vandier, CEO, Wired Beauty. Brands need to involve customers in product development, and place their customer at the centre of their approach. Customer's today care about trust and inclusivity. If you're thinking of starting something new in the beauty and wellness space, think of it as one holistic well-being field. Subodh Marwah sums up the shift well - "No longer is the brand and the manufacturer the authority figure and the expert. That's why we see smaller brands coming up faster, they don't have the legacy of big brands talking from the top." So, if you want to start something new, make sure you stand out from what's already out there.
Self care and feeling beautiful is for all people, men included. Beauty, due to various sociological factors was considered something that was for women. But as the shift moves towards inner beauty and well-being, this creates opportunities to listen to what men want. "In skin treatments, the wellness offering is moving away from beautiful skin and towards healthy skin". - Jayant Khosla, CEO, VLCC. In the past it was about looking youthful. Today youthfulness is in reference to enthusiasm towards life (an attitude), and looking beautiful is about looking vibrant, healthy and well at whatever age you are. Have a lifelong relationship with your customers. No matter what your scale aspiration is, have the soul of a small brand by constantly staying engaged with your customers, staying nimble and being responsive.
Also, scale isn't everything. It's also fine to choose a path of organic growth, while you take time to listen to your customer and fine tune what they want over a course of time. Remember, it's about building trust and providing something that brings goodness to the customer's life. "Small is beautiful. There's sustainability in being small, and since e-commerce has brought democracy to the market, it's possible for small brands to do well". - Shikha Jain, Co-Founder, Neev Soaps.
The pandemic has accelerated new trends in beauty and wellness. Inner beauty is the focus. "Wellness is seen as a large, holistic, all-encompassing well-being, which includes new drivers like social and financial wellness", says Manoj Kumar (former Managing Director at P&G for many years). Home, Digital and Sustainability are becoming new drivers for change. Businesses must recognize these opportunities and build capabilitiess to succeed in the new era.