The new consumers

The new consumers

“The goal of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service sells itself.” This quote from Peter Drucker inspired me to write this column. Drucker (1909-2005) was an Austrian business consultant and professor, writer and lawyer, considered the greatest management philosopher of the 20th century. He was the author of more than 35 books, and his ideas were decisive in the creation of the Modern Corporation. Drucker wrote multiple world-renowned works on topics related to the management of organizations, information systems and the knowledge society.


We live in the post-pandemic era and we are discovering the big changes in consumer behavior. Understanding these new features implies a significant challenge for companies and also brings great opportunities. Companies that can quickly adapt to these new dynamics will have an essential competitive advantage over others. For this, it is essential to know how the pandemic has influenced human behaviour. Next, we will see some examples of the characteristics of new consumers.


  • Digital Mature: The pandemic accelerated the evolution of most of our actions to the online world. Brands experienced an increase in electronic purchases, in fact, it is estimated that electronic commerce advanced more than 10 years in just 90 days. The diversification of contact channels also advanced by giant steps, for example, it is estimated that in 2020 a third of customers contacted companies for the first time by message. Digital maturity continues and cosmetic companies have a great opportunity to continue offering digital innovations and experiences.


  • Electronic Payment Lovers: We all have the experience of not wanting to touch physical money in the pandemic and after having to do so, we immediately reached for alcohol or washed our hands. The replacement of cash by electronic or digital means of payment is here to stay.


  • Activist Consumer: Their objective is that the product they buy not only covers a need, but that both its production and its purchase are aligned with values, for example, environmental protection or the use of sustainable materials. Inclusion and respect for differences are highly valued by the new consumer in the cosmetic field.


  • Intolerant of Waiting: New consumers have high expectations of fast and efficient services. Brands are creating and implementing new agile and secure service strategies. We see very interesting innovations thanks to artificial intelligence, such as chatbots. There are statistics that indicate that 32% of users who contact a brand through social networks expect a response in less than 30 minutes. Agility is the new black.


  • Personalized Consumers: Today’s consumers value individuality and personalization. They want products and services tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Advances in technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, have allowed companies to collect data and offer personalized experiences to their customers. These people appreciate attention to detail and expect unique treatment.


  • Skeptical Consumer: They do not particularly enjoy the act of buying, so their decision will be very thoughtful and will require extensive prior research before opting for a product. They are people who read the labels, ingredient lists and look for comments (positive and negative) that users make on social networks. They investigate the meaning of ingredients, biochemical mechanisms, and cosmetic and dermatological terms on social networks.


  • Optimistic Consumer: They trust that the purchase of a certain product will have a positive impact on their quality of life. They tend to seek balance in value for money, so they search and compare the available information before making a purchase. They are passionate about cosmetic brands, know and have experienced the benefits that the products offer them.


  • The Fighters: These are those consumers who experienced financial insecurity during the pandemic and which continues today. In many countries there has been a boom in low-cost stores and white labels in the main supermarket stores, which are aimed at this segment.


  • The Recovered: They are the consumers who suffered this same financial insecurity during the years of the pandemic but have returned to normality. They are characterized because they are now more cautious and careful with spending. Cosmetic products focused on “new luxury” concepts are ideal for these consumers.


  • The Stable: These are the people who had no impact on their finances during the pandemic and have continued spending as usual. They are brand loyal and always eager to try new releases and benefits.


  • The Prosperous: These are the consumers who saved money during the pandemic period and feel more financially secure than before the start of the pandemic.


  • Experiential Consumers: Rather than simply purchasing products, many consumers seek unique and memorable experiences. This type of consumer values ​​experiences, such as trips, events, recreational activities, and gourmet meals. Millennials and Gen Z are especially prone to prioritizing experiences over acquiring material goods. On the other hand, the vast majority of consumers of cosmetic products are demanding new experiences and it is precisely in multi-sensory activation where cosmetic companies have great opportunities for innovation.


  • Impulsive: As its name indicates, this type of consumer buys on impulse, unexpectedly and without prior notice. For example, when they are in line to pay at the supermarket checkout and take an additional product. They are consumers who are aware of the latest launches of cosmetic brands, they are the first to try new aromatic profiles in fragrances and new benefits and claims in skincare, personal care and makeup products.


  • Kidults: The portal presents an interesting definition of these consumers: “To be eternally children. Continuing to behave in some way like children is an increasingly popular way of coping with adult life. This segment is closely linked to being independent and authentic. The progressive disappearance of the stigma on child behavior in adults has contributed to this. In May 2022, a group that included former Disney CEO Bob Iger invested $263 million in Funko, a maker of dolls for adults. In addition, this lifestyle goes hand in hand with spontaneous and informal enjoyment without giving up the maturity that characterizes this stage of life. This way they can enjoy the best of both worlds at the same time, both being spontaneous and being more rational”.


  • MaxMix: Extremes, very extremes, meet. The same previous portal explains this consumer like this: “Creativity and innovation have always had to do with the ability to combine things. Ideas, styles, flavors, but never like now. These mixes had been so extreme that they hadn’t even been that popular. We talk about mixing the old with the new, the luxurious with the popular, royalty with fast fashion, the expensive with the cheap. A combination of extremes that until now seemed impossible or dissonant, but that currently not only attract, but also work and are adopted by actors, models, singers and, of course, influencers. Royalty dresses in Zara and reggaeton singers in Gucci.” Without a doubt, a great inspiration for cosmetic brands.


  • Comparative: Consumers who have this behavior are usually influenced by the price and features of the product or service. That is why they compare the same products that are from different brands to choose the one that best suits their needs.


Katherine Barchetti said: “Make a customer, not a sale.” Philip Kotler said: “If you create a romance with your clients, they will advertise you for themselves.” New cosmetic consumers are characterized by having a profile, being active, sharing their opinion on social networks, demanding benefits,  quality and results and can also easily follow or abandon the brands they consume.

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John Jiménez is a pharmacist from National University of Colombia with a master's in sustainable development and specialization studies in marketing, cosmetic science and neuromarketing. He has 30 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation. He has been the recipient of the Maison G. de Navarre Prize (IFSCC USA 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC USA 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He also has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America. Since 2019, he has written a trends column for In-Cosmetics connect, Since 2013 a trends column for Cosmetics & Toiletries Brazil and since 2020, a column on neuromarketing for Eurocosmetics. He also has authored and co-authored articles and served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine. Jiménez additionally served as president of Accytec Bogotá (2017-2019). He joined Belcorp in 2005 and currently is Senior Researcher for skin care, suncare and personal care categories. Before joining Belcorp, he worked in Laboratorios Esko, Whitehall AH Robins and Fresenius Medical Care in Colombia.

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