Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when it comes to today’s beauty market, all eyes are on the spending habits of the Millennials, who appear to be holding all the proverbial cards.
By all predictions, the Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y (born between early 80’s and early 2000’s), are expected to surpass the Boomer generation in spending power to become the most active spenders of the first half of the 21st century.
This generation of close to 70 million in the US alone consists of digital natives, shaped by social media and technology. They are characterized as confident, self-expressive, upbeat and open to change and are unique to any other generation that has come before them in their priorities, spending habits and overall attitudes.
Beauty of the Millennial Age
These demographic cohorts to Generation X have also been profoundly affected by the Great Recession. As a result, Millennials have a tendency to be more frugal. However, frugality and conservative spending doesn’t seem to have affected their beauty and personal care rituals. They may want value, but they do not choose value at the expense of quality.
Rather, Millennials continue to make beauty and personal care products a priority, regardless of their own economic standing. In fact, they have been known to trade up to higher premium products.
From the millennial perspective, enhancing one’s personal appearance is worth the expense. Beauty and personal grooming are deeply rooted in their culture and it shows in their purchases. They spend more on beauty and personal care fragrances products than the average shopper, 25 percent more on body scrubs, shampoo, conditioner, styling gels, mousses and suntan products and 20 percent more on cosmetics.
The competitive job market and images flooding social media further cultivate an emphasis on the physical and “looking one’s best.” Millennial men, like their female counterparts, now view personal grooming as an essential component of healthy living.
Collectively, millennials are a seriously health conscious generation, highly educated in the various aspects of well-being. Their desire to project a healthy image has continued to drive the popularity of natural and organic products within the personal care market.
Millennials in the Mirror
In light of this generation’s preoccupation with looking their best, it comes as no surprise that millennials are more attuned to skincare and anti-aging benefits at an earlier age than any other generation. Similarly, they are much more aware of changes in their skin which may indicate the beginnings of the aging process. According to research firm NPD, 39% of Millennial women (25-34) say anti-aging is an important benefit they look for when shopping for skincare and personal care products.
Although discriminatory in their product choices, millennials are also incredibly open-minded and optimistic. They are generally less brand loyal and drawn to new and unique products, which offer interesting ingredients, intriguing social media stories and exciting sensory experiences.
Most importantly, millennials are at a critical stage of their lives where they are establishing the beauty and personal care habits and shopping patterns likely to continue throughout their lifetime.
Marketers within the beauty and personal care industry see this receptivity as a pivotal opportunity to increase their bottom line by capturing the hearts, minds and above all purchasing power of this deeply influential generation.