Inclusivity in beauty has become table talk. Since the launch of Fenty Beauty in 2017, "inclusive beauty" has become the buzzword word for beauty entrepreneurs and startups. It has encompassed new and nontraditional markets that are becoming increasingly significant for the beauty industry. Some niches offer massive opportunities for new skincare and beauty brands, from male personal care to gender-neutral makeup.
As the trend of inclusivity and diversity continues to gain traction, knowing the difference between “underserved” and “niche” audiences remains critical. There exist several demographics with untapped potential. We have outlined the market that is becoming crucial in defining the future of inclusive beauty. These markets should remain a priority for upcoming beauty brands searching to capitalize on the movement.
Inclusivity in beauty means beauty that caters to every individual, regardless of skin tone, skin type, age, gender, religion, etc. From the beauty products' models featured in ads to the brands in retail stores, inclusive beauty is meant to bring in a wider range of consumers than the beauty market has traditionally engaged or targeted. Inclusivity in beauty includes product formulations and packaging (e.g., makeup tools for individuals with motor disabilities) that make the application more accessible.
Male grooming is a massive component of inclusive beauty. It has expanded beyond moisturizers, face washes, and basic hygiene products. It now includes face masks, eye creams, makeup, sunscreen over the past one or two decades.
Many of today's brands employ packaging and D2C distribution to lure a new generation of male consumers.
The production of men's care brands has surged. Beauty and grooming brands focusing on people of color have a big untapped potential. Brands with these products can do wonders if tapped strategically.
In Asia, men's makeup and skincare have been a booming trend for years now. However, the USA has been catching it up only recently.
South Korea has also been a trendsetter in this category. Men in South Korea accounting for 1/5th of global spending on men’s skincare — a trend attributed to the rise in popularity of K-pop stars.
The majority of beauty consumers prioritize inclusivity when it affects them the most. For example, adults aged 55 or more are more likely than their younger counterparts; consider brands that "represent a range of age-related needs" as inclusive.
Since consumers tend to care about issues that affect them most, beauty brands have a diverse workforce in preventing potential barriers.
Choices such as product packaging can create barriers when brands do not consider the requirements of individuals with visual or physical impairments. Packaging plays a vital role in communicating brand values. Specialized beauty products packaging can make tasks like applying makeup and painting nails easier for all.
Consumers feel to be represented when the brand's values match their pledges. As a result, beauty brands are revamping how they communicate with consumers. Today, social media has created a 2-way dialogue between brands and consumers. By listening to the consumer's voice, new entrepreneurs and beauty startups can boost sales, ensuring quality.
Multicultural beauty consumers demand more with more diverse campaigns through social media such as "Black Lives Matters." This demand is creating more commercial opportunities.
Inclusive beauty will stay. It will be vital for startups that want to stay competitive and acquire new customers in the beauty market. Meanwhile, consumers will be more aware of brands’ commitments towards inclusive beauty initiatives. As a startup, you need to follow through on diversity and inclusivity commitments, which will be key to maintaining brand and customer loyalty.