Celebrating individuality

Danielle Wheeler, Technical Director Americas, and Ian Lawrence, Vice President Americas at IMCD Personal Care share their thoughts on what celebrating individuality means to consumers today.

What are the biggest global differences in self-expression and identity culture that personal care brands need to be aware of? 
Danielle: A lot of trends in self-expression were previously driven by big-name personal care brands in Europe and the US that dictated their perceptions of what was considered conventionally attractive.  Now, global indie brands from around the world are disrupting the marketplace with more niche expressions of what beauty can be, and the big players are struggling to catch-up by acquiring smaller indie brands. 

Ian: Social media has led to a new openness around mental health which is driving huge marketing changes in the US. Consumers are recognising that make-up, hairstyles and nails can be a way of telling the world who they are, what they have been
Based on purchasing trends, what do you think are the top cosmetic/physical concerns of personal care consumers?
Danielle: Wellness is really important, as is healthy ageing. The whole concept of ‘anti-ageing’ doesn’t capture the mood of the moment. People are more interested in both looking and feeling like their best self at every age. Many consumers also really care about finding personalised solutions that cater to their unique needs. At IMCD, we’re well-positioned to help our customers respond to that. We look at what’s trending in different markets and provide suppliers with multi-media kits to open their eyes to diverse consumer expectations. For example, we recently helped suppliers become aware of the need for proof of concept, as well as the growing trend in intimate wellness. 
When it comes to product development and selection, what are the challenges in addressing every consumer’s individual personal care needs, all at once?
Ian: We don’t see it as a challenge, because that’s what IMCD excels at. We know it’s important to always be open to innovation, and to prioritise speed to market. Today’s personal care customers are always looking for something new and exciting, and they are willing to experiment. At IMCD, we can support brands in staying agile by offering them tailored solutions, crafted from our vast ingredient portfolio.