Niche is understood as a part of the market in which individuals have common needs and characteristics, which are not satisfied by the existing general offer.
This year we are seeing how global brands are finding inspiration in niche brands. Luxury and mass, retail or direct sales brands are finding more and more opportunities in market niches that are not currently served.
The first thing we must understand is the meaning of the niche market, since many times we tend to make mistakes or get confused when we use this term.
A segment is a part of the market with individuals who share characteristics and needs that are currently served by said market. A niche is a more specific part of that segment in which the needs are not fully covered. Market niches have been underestimated by many companies considering them “small” or too specialized to be profitable thinking that they do not justify mass production.
At a general level, we can say that a market niche is a group that is not served, that is, we are dealing with a niche when the main suppliers of a sector are not meeting the specific needs of a population and it does not necessarily indicate that the opportunity business is small. In other words, niche market does not always mean small potential market.
An example may be the HIV vaccine, which has not yet been developed. It is a niche because there are still no commercial solutions to this need, although the market value it implies can be enormous.
Discovering a niche is a challenge and an opportunity since it will allow solving unsatisfied needs of a specific audience. One of the characteristics of the niche market is that it is not saturated, has no or very few competitors. Next, we will see some interesting trends in beauty and cosmetics.
Jewelry for beards
A good example of a niche is the Kratomilano brand from Milan, which specializes in jewelry for beards, inspired by the whole hipster trend. The goal of this brand is to help men with beards to look their best. They have included a design innovation that corresponds to a triangular spiral that allows the jewel to be attached to the beard. Each jewel is made by hand and therefore no two are alike.
This is the new trend that is here to stay. It represents a move away from the flashy and ostentatious styles of the past towards a more understated, refined and minimalist aesthetic.
The cosmetic industry has a great opportunity for innovation in this concept. This group of consumers wants to buy less, but better. In this regard, the Fashion Quarterly New Zealand portal indicates that “Silent luxury brands are often associated with the use of sustainable materials, ethical manufacturing processes and a focus on longevity and durability, as opposed to fast fashion trends”.
This trend takes a more discreet approach to luxury. For example, the Fashion Quarterly New Zealand portal also indicates that “in fashion, the goal is to dress in a way that does not immediately reveal the wearer’s wealth or status. It’s all about subtle, nuanced details and high-quality materials that are only noticeable to those with a discerning eye.” “Hidden wealth is about leaving the logos at home.”
Gothic glamour is becoming a trend this year and that is why some consumers are being inspired by Morticia Addams. Purple and cold lips are the trend. Vampy is the new black.
The cosmetic needs of people with sensory and perception limitations also represent an objective for the cosmetics industry. The World Health Organization indicates that 3.6% of the world population suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 75 million people have autism, 55 million live with dementia and 366 million individuals live with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Our industry, supported by science, has the opportunity to discover new biochemical, olfactory, formulation and sensory pathways that meet the needs of these people.
Inclusion is heaven for niche brands. Beauty is a universal right and inclusion represents a whole universe with hundreds of opportunities. We are seeing, for example, how global companies are inviting women in their 70s and 80s to be ambassadors for their brands.
We also find very interesting innovations in packaging materials that allow the interaction of people with visual disabilities and product information. People with physical limitations are also finding very interesting cosmetic solutions that adapt to their abilities and allow them to enjoy novel cosmetic experiences.
This trend is exciting, as skincare and suncare brands are basing their formulation strategies on melanin as the new beauty star. The byrdie.com portal states “Does diversity in beauty now mean looking beyond marketing to common skin concerns, but also categorizing nuances like melanin?”
The melanin-friendly claim is presented as a great opportunity for innovation and includes a whole new concept in formulation, biochemistry and product design strategies.
MVC – Minimum Viable Community
This is a very interesting new concept. Niche consumers are creating communities on the web, where products and services are created by and for members. Projections indicate that companies will compete with headless brands. This is a new definition in which cosmetic industries have many opportunities for development and learning. These brands are community driven and incentivized by decentralized organizations.
Headless brands challenge the idea that a brand is centralized and our assumptions about what a brand is and how it works. Headless brands refer to community-driven brand dynamics, without a centralized management area. There are even online platforms focused on this concept, such as the Niche social network that allows people to form communities around shared interests, topics, products, or services.
Niche beauty represents a market opportunity to be developed and discovered. The new perception of beauty includes the desires of all human beings. Without exception.
Our industry is fascinating because every day we discover how cosmetics can satisfy hidden insights that we never imagined before.
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