INTERNATIONAL. Research and insight specialist ScenarioDNA has released its Culture Mapping Beauty Trends 2018 report, described as a culture mapping structure for organising trends.

The US firm’s analysts mapped over 200 trend examples found in social discourse across social media chatter related to beauty products.

The 95-page report, based on a global survey of 3,000 adults, quantifies archetypes and reveals demographic patterns.

“Brand owners can be more predictive – being ahead of the curve instead of chasing trends as momentum declines”

ScenarioDNA said: “Most consumers of beauty products of all kinds would prefer not to experiment with their time and budgets. Yet, industry-wise, they are thrown more apps to play with, more colours to test, more tips to share, more price points, more ‘influencers’ to heed and more eye-candy packaging to tempt them. The confidence they crave remains lacking.”

The company said that it was critical for brands to understood consumer ideologies when planning for innovation. Mapping the ideologies behind public conversations demonstrates a visualiSation of where an industry falls short, it claimed.

“Most consumers of beauty products of all kinds would prefer not to experiment with their time and budgets. Yet, industry-wise, they are thrown more apps to play with, more colours to test, more tips to share, more price points, more ‘influencers’ to heed and more eye-candy packaging to tempt them. The confidence they crave remains lacking.”

ScenarioDNA said: “Within our data visualisation, you can see the archetypes of ideology that are evolving. You can also review signifiers as they come up naturally through conversation. Ultimately, this means brand owners can be more predictive – being ahead of the curve instead of chasing trends as momentum declines. We are obsessed by the future and the innovation it demands.”

To understand what is happening within the beauty category and the ideologies existing, ScenarioDNA compared two sets of data. Firstly, a body of global tweets over three months of time where tweeters were discussing the latest beauty brands, techniques and tips. Secondly, the company tested four lines of discourse to see where global perception of beauty actually lies “absent of the brand conversation”. Two different trajectories exist.

Over 10,000 tweets were surveyed, with the most “insightful, provocative and curious” tweets chosen for further study. Each tweet represents a “directional industry occurrence”, ScenarioDNA said.

The report suggests that experience and aesthetics dominate the conversations, but within those categories, there is a deeper story to understand.

According to ScenarioDNA, patterns reveal critical frameworks for innovation ideation [the formation of ideas or concepts].

From 10,000 tweets, ScenarioDNA pulled together the most insightful, provocative and curious tweets from a broad range of voices propelling the dialogue. Each tweet represents a directional industry occurrence, of which there are about 180. Cultural signifiers live within each tweet, some repeat and some do not. There are more than 250 signifiers that establish four archetypes of ideology, the company said.

The report suggests that experience and aesthetics dominate the conversations, but within those categories, there is a deeper story to understand.

Experience and aesthetics are key to consumers

Experience gives rise to trends around cleansing and fetishes for collecting, everything from scents to chapstick. Cleansing gets to the root of the sentiment behind ideas of “beauty within.” Scents become a signifier of life stage. And, chapstick becomes a commodity that is tradeable. These have high implications for an archetype such as The Enlightened consumer arhcetype (see below) and become building blocks for innovation platforms.

Aesthetics is all about finding flattering tones and plumping up the volume of cosmetics and treatments so that they can be seen. This speaks to the insecurity of The Gazer archetype. They are on a hunt for flattering tones and feel compelled to make sure you know their make-up is there – even when it’s intended to be a subtle, natural glow.

UNDERSTANDING THE FOUR ARCHETYPES OF IDEOLOGY

The Enlightened possesses intimate knowledge and instinctively knows the foundational aspects of what comprises beauty. These are the people who understand the meaning of pure ingredients and biology. They give a voice to industry shortcomings and incite the call for renewed meaning in society. Increasingly, the desire is to be here – with intimate knowledge of what works and why.

Following the codes of the Enlightened, a group of diverse countries are driving this standard for beauty. These countries include the EU markets, UAE, India, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and Scandinavia.

The Enlightened consumer understands the foundational aspects of what comprises beauty

Russia, Australia and the UK follow the global precedence of the Enlightened, but have the least weighting in experimenting. This puts them straddling two opposite quadrants toward The Devotee, placing the tension between truth and establishment. A sense of directness underscores the three.

The Seeker experiments and plays with layering of techniques to strive for solutions that work for them. This archetype is where the bulk of the beauty conversation lives now. These are the people who are not afraid to mix and match ingredients and price points. They make choices by understanding what works for them.  They bring new perspectives to the table, boldly pulling from diverse influences.

Japan is unique in its greater lean toward experimentation driving the beauty category, singling it out as the only country in the research owning The Seeker archetype. This falls in line with discussions of J-beauty taking over K-beauty.

The Seeker is not afraid to mix and match ingredients and price points

Japan is unique in its greater lean toward experimentation driving the beauty category, singling it out as the only country in the research owning The Seeker archetype. This falls in line with discussions of J-beauty taking over K-beauty, and a propensity for uncertainty avoidance. One would experiment to make certain things are right.

The Gazer strives to be the image they project to the world, they want to do things the right way. They get involved in beauty rituals and enfold others in their journey. These are the people with a constant ear to the ground for details. They tend to share their successes. Fluidity to their regimen gives them the confidence to share information and gain social currency.

Gazers tend to share their successes

Consumers in Canada, South Africa and Hong Kong believe more than those from other countries that beauty is acquired by sharing, thereby expressing the codes of The Gazer.

According to the report, The Devotee “without question” follows the rules and time-worn standards. They are overwhelmed by choice and they do what they feel they have to do. They accept products once they have been sanctioned by others, and unintentionally amass collections. For a beauty brand to ask any more of them is to create an undue burden.

Devotees are characterised as “rule followers”

The USA stands alone in its weighting of “worry,” aligning it with archetype of The Devotee.

The full 94-page report can be purchased here for US$499.