Millennials and Gen Zs are looking beyond product to discover a brand's ethical value – and calling time on those who fail to live up to their claims
Top 5 trends:
4. Giving back
Source: Euromonitor International
Over the past year beauty brands have been boycotted over animal testing, accused of racism and called out for being ‘toxic’ as consumers, empowered by social media, hold brands to account in an unprecedented way. The message is clear: any brand that claims an ethical status must stay true to their word, or face the consequences.
“Consumers have shared voices, shared values and shared ideals and are calling time on brands that talk the talk, but fail to take any long term meaningful action to give back what they take, and make good on their promises, long after the cameras have stopped rolling,” says Nina Franks, UK CEO of body care brand Prismologie.
Demonstrating consistency in the values a brand declares it has plays a key role in its authenticity, while a willingness to be transparent about all areas of the business will foster trust. Brands need to communicate this to consumers, and show that they are making continued efforts towards reaching their goals.
To be truly ethical, brands are expected to go further: to have a purpose, a raîson d’être, to give back to society, speak out on issues they feel strongly about and stick by their beliefs. They need to represent more than a brand.
This brings its own set of demands. “The challenge is that not everyone shares the same beliefs, the same values or goals,” says Franks, but adds, “They might appreciate what you stand for but don’t feel as passionately about it as you, and that’s fine. Authenticity is of far greater benefit to your brand in the long term than neutrality for the sake of selling more stuff.”
UK: Ethical Cosmetics Market, Value & Growth, 2010-2016
Source: The Ethical Consumer
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