Thirty percent, or 9 million, of 2010 U.S. census takers indicated mixed-raced heritage—up from 6.8 million in 2000; and more specifically, 16% indicated Hispanic and 13% indicated Black. Subsequently, the multicultural beauty products market continues to outpace the growth of the overall market for cosmetics and toiletries, posting a 3.7% increase in 2014, within an estimated $400 billion global beauty industry. To gain share of the ethnic consumer's pocketbook, beauty marketers now competing from both ends of the spectrum need to understand a myriad of new market undertones, a topic that will be explored by global consulting and research firm Kline & Co.'s upcoming report "Multicultural Beauty and Grooming Products: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities."
"Over the past three years, we've observed corporate giants such as L'Oréal expand marketing efforts targeting brown people globally, and U.S. retailers such as Target, Ulta, CVS and Duane Reade increase multicultural beauty offerings, such as Carol's Daughter, Shea Moisture, Nuance by Salma Hayek and Miss Jessie's. We love the category growth, but for sustainability, consumers must be able to navigate the space," said Olivia Scott, founder of Omerge Alliances, a New York City-based marketing management consultancy that specializes in brand strategy, marketing planning and consumer promotions.
On the other end, brands such as Carol's Daughter (recently acquired by L'Oréal USA) are positioning themselves away from being an exclusive ethnic brand to now also targeting a broader audience, regardless of ethnicity. This holds particularly true in the natural personal-care segment where popular ethnic hair brand Shea Moisture is now also rebranding to become suitable for all consumers. This trend is viewed by some as the result of the development of intensified competition, due to rapidly growing ethnic populations that are causing multicultural beauty marketers to break boundaries between general and multicultural beauty.
"This widening approach helps move multicultural brands beyond the ethnic section of the beauty aisle to sit side-by-side nationally advertised brands," said Donna Barson, senior associate at Kline's Consumer Products practice. "However, this audience expansion needs to be done without alienating longtime consumers who might feel deserted if they feel like their brand no longer speaks exclusively to them."
[Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Omerge Alliances]