Beauty Store Business

DEC 2017

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12 December 2017 | beautystorebusiness.com "This sector makes up 25.9 percent of the United States population, currently our largest percentage, and contributes $44 billion to the American economy," says Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson, a top New York City-based marketing communications company. By 2020, they'll comprise one-third of the country's inhabitants. Beauty retailers and manufacturers wishing to remain relevant will want to learn more about this unique clique: what attracts them and wherein lie their loyalties. ONLINE ADDICTS Also known as the iGeneration, they are the first true digital natives—born into a world ruled by technology. Millennials may still recall the days of dial-up inter- net, but "you've got mail" will never ring as a nostalgic catchphrase for Gen Z. Nearly 40 percent of the bracket identify as digital-device addicts, which means they can research a paper on their iPad, while taking notes on their laptop, while texting a friend. They're the ultimate multitaskers, able to systematically shift focus from work to play while dialing out background distractions or tuning in to a stream of dialogue that suddenly piques their interest. While the downside may be slightly lower attention spans, the upshot equals a remarkable ability to quickly and effi- ciently process information. Woe be to the brand that remains static—failure to conceive multiple platforms for stimula- tion might just mean the kiss of death. "This is the first generation raised in a time of social networks and mature digital marketing," Greene points out. In fact, 92 percent of Gen Z members bear a digital footprint. SOCIALLY SAVVY In a practical sense, how does this translate for companies—and beauty retailers? Start by being social-media savvy first. A recent example is 20-year-old Kylie Jenner's Lip Kits from her eponymous cosmetics brand, Kylie Cosmetics. The celeb debuted her line via the creation of an aggressive e-commerce campaign. Fans swooned, and within one minute, all her matte liquid lipsticks paired with liners had sold out— causing her site to crash. Since then, the youngest Kardashian has made the most of her more than 95 million Instagram fol- lowers. While many of her posts are selfies or snaps with pals, each simultaneously promotes her cosmetics in a calculated way by not-so-subtly showcasing top makeup trends executed with her products. WAH Nails likewise strikes the right note. The brand's proprietary Virtual Reality Nail Designer lets customers "try on" various lacquer colors and hip talon- art designs before visiting the flagship London shop to get polished at one of six mani desks, set up next to a cocktail bar. Arguably because they came into awareness during the recession, under- twenty-year-olds are also economically conscientious. "Millennials are splurg- ers, not savers, whereas Gen Z demands value," Greene says. "When it comes to fashion, they are less concerned with obvious logos for validation." Instead, many buy into the culture of experiences, spending on festivals and travel, since singularly memorable happen- ings count as social currency. Their take on personal well-being reveals sophisticated acumen. Simply glance at Teen Vogue's content to find articles on sexual and men- tal health, spirituality and relationships. This is a savvy generation, which—perhaps unsurprisingly—also gravitates to tech- centric companies. Glossier, the direct-to- consumer beauty startup that aims to celebrate "real girls in real life" is therefore popular for its tech literacy and pithy tone of voice. From the start, the breakthrough skincare and makeup group created a two- way conversation wherein devoted clients post Instagram photos and hashtag per- sonal beauty habits, effectively making consumers brand advertisers. "Millennials were the reality TV generation. Gen Z is the YouTube and Instagram group." BRANDING OUT What teenagers and twenty-somethings are spending their money and time on. • Musical.ly: Over 200 million aspiring pop stars use the app to sing along to a favorite song, then post videos on social-media sites. • Blizzard Entertainment: Unending video-game appetites mean millions of players navigating the virtual worlds of "Overwatch" and "World of Warcraft." • Brandy Melville: The Italian clothing company that scorns traditional advertising in lieu of Instagram posts has already won a cult following in America. • Nike: Partnering with beloved Olympic gymnast Simone Biles was a smart move for the pioneer athletics brand that's finding new ways to keep things fresh. • Snapchat: Flowers, rainbows and unicorn horns never go out of style when it comes to selfie accoutrements. NAMES TO KNOW Diverse, active and relatable—here are key influencers of the new generation. • Gigi and Bella Hadid: Sisters (22 and 21 years old, respectively) and reality TV stars turned it-girl fashion darlings. • Zendaya: The 21-year-old Disney Channel star is all grown up, now fiercely active in movements like D.C.'s Women's March. • Shawn Mendes: At the tender age of 19, this singer-songwriter boasts over 40 million social media (Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) followers. • Baby Ariel: After her first video on the Gen Z favorite lip-syncing app Musical.ly went viral, the Florida high- schooler, 16, became an overnight internet sensation. • James Charles, Manny Gutierrez and Lewys Ball: Ranging from ages 18 to 26, Instagram's beauty boys shattered established gender-fixed stereotypes after posting funky makeup tutorials, then scoring campaigns for CoverGirl, Maybelline and Rimmel London (respectively). Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson

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