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2017 Beauty Outlook, Part 4: Atop the Hill, Look Who’s Smiling Now!

Dec 28, 2016
Karen Grant, Senior Vice President, Global Industry Analyst ;
Beauty

Impossible! Unprecedented! For all the naysayers and doubters, what a wakeup call this is. The discounted “one-hit wonder” is now at the top of the hill.

Like a game of thrones, the little guys and gals in beauty have come to the fore as they are the ones increasingly making the loudest noise.

While these may sound like headlines pulled from the political stage, they quite fittingly describe the upheaval we are experiencing in the world of beauty. The changes that we saw rumbling in prior years have gained energy and reached a magnitude that has toppled the established order of things. In 2017, we can expect more of the unexpected.

At a high level, we see that the “next gen” influence, like a force of nature, is at the forefront driving the fundamental shifts across industries and in beauty. Beyond being defined by the traditional, generational boundaries—“young Millennials” or “Gen Z”—this ‘gen’ is upending every facet of our industry – manufacturing, retailing, marketing, packaging, and messaging – in their wake. Beauty today is in many ways unrecognizable to the beauty we knew just a few years ago.

Offsetting the proliferation of “indie brands” is a surge in industry consolidation. While one or two giants once controlled much of the market, the wave of acquisitions across beauty is leveling the playing field. As a result, lines are crossing between the prestige and mass markets. In 2017, we can expect accessibility in price and channels to play a bigger role.

Look who’s smiling now! Trends are moving, it seems, at the speed of thought, and beauty has become revolutionized. Embracing change as never before, this industry is harnessing the energy of healthy disruption. In beauty, here is the lesson learned: never discount the little one, as they may be the next champion to rule the hill.

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