Genderless beauty set to go mainstream


The NPD Group predicts continuing trend

The categorisation of products into “boys” and “girls” is becoming less common on the high street. Larissa Jensen, Executive Director and Beauty Industry Analyst at NPD Group, said: “Several retailers are dipping a toe in genderless marketing by promoting historically gender-specific products in a more neutral way.”

And Jensen thinks the trend is now set to move into cosmetics too. She explained: “Within the beauty space, both skin care and fragrance have brands that can be viewed as gender neutral. In skin care, while the majority of the market continues to target specific genders, brands with simple gender neutral packaging and formulations that appeal to both sexes are performing exceptionally well.” She said that despite a relatively flat market overall, less gendered brands are seeing double-digit growth.

One area of particular growth in this area is fragrance. Calvin Klein pioneered the idea in the 1990s with CK One. Today, the brand has created another unisex scent – CK 2. Jensen explained: “Their lack of gender specific marketing, rather than the promotion of unisex, is what makes them gender neutral.” She says that these types of fragrance have nearly doubled their volume since 2012. “Brands like these are small in market size today, but may be a formidable market trend as we head into tomorrow,” she added.

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Jensen said: ‘While there will always be room for blatant femininity in the beauty space, it will be interesting to see how more mainstream beauty brands will adopt the emerging concept of gender neutral. If the general marketplace is any indicator, we should keep an eye on how the beauty industry will adapt to the push for genderless marketing.”