Tag: trends

Clean Beauty…or Dirty Business?

The “clean” beauty movement is picking up steam. Health-conscious consumers are paying more attention to ingredients applied to their bodies and are looking for products made without harmful chemicals. In response to the demand, some popular cosmetics companies are now offering so-called, “clean” beauty lines. Companies considering joining this trend should take into account the substantial legal risks.

A look at the food industry’s use of the adjectives like “natural”, “clean”, “simple,” and “wholesome” illustrates the kinds of risks the beauty industry may face. When consumers began paying more attention to ingredients, companies began marketing their products with these health driven adjectives. However, this led to a barrage of class action lawsuits for false advertising under state consumer protection laws as plaintiffs lawyers argued that the claims made on the front of the label did not match the ingredients on the back of the label.

The food industry started to use the word “clean” after the use of “natural” resulted in a barrage of consumer lawsuits. As it turned out, however, the alternative claim also resulted in consumer class action lawsuits. The theory behind these suits is that “clean” is just a synonym of “all-natural” and signifies to consumers the absence of any synthetic chemicals. Similarly, it is argued that “wholesome” and “simple” are misleading consumers as to the real nutritional value of food products. This is at best an idiosyncratic view, not backed by legitimate consumer evidence. However, merely making the allegation is sometimes sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, where the court must consider whether “no reasonable consumer” could share the plaintiff’s alleged interpretation.

Adding to the complexity is the difficulty of placing a sufficiently prominent and clear explanation, or definition, for such adjectives in an unavoidable location where the plaintiff cannot reasonably allege she failed to notice it. Courts have sometimes held that consumers need not be expected to turn around the bottle or package to read textual information on the back label before purchase.

We have seen false advertising claims creeping into the skincare industry as well, and this, coupled with the history of the food industry, should put the beauty industry on notice of the legal risks. For example, just last month, a lawsuit was filed in California State Court against the makers of Coppertone sunscreen. Prescott, et al. v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 5:20-cv-00102 (N.D. Cal. filed Jan. 3, 2020). The suit alleges that Coppertone deceived consumers by labeling certain sunscreens as “mineral-based” when in fact chemicals make up a significant portion of its active ingredients. The plaintiff’s theory is that the headline “mineral-based” claim suggests to consumers that the product protects skin from sun damage exclusively with minerals.

In the “all-or-nothing” world of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, any ingredient call-out or characterization creates legal peril by negative implication. If the label says “clean,” the product can contain no synthetic substances. If the label says “plant-based,” the product should not have any synthetic or animal components – even if trivial in amount. Plaintiffs are routinely sending products to labs for rote chromatographic analysis, and the tiniest detectable amounts of disfavored chemicals can trigger lawsuits. In California, the consumer protection laws include California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising law, and the Consumer Remedies Act. Companies making sales in California also need to be mindful of Proposition 65 which requires warning labels on products that contain any enumerated chemicals identified by the State to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm.

Since there are no regulations mandating the definition of such descriptive terms on cosmetic labels, these definitions (e.g., “clean”) can vary from company to company. The beauty industry should heed caution when using “clean” beauty claims. In order to avoid consumer confusion— and ultimately litigation— companies should define “clean” in a way that they can, and do, meet, and that definition should be available at the point of sale.

Beauty Business Report 2018 – Cost & Trends

At first blush, the beauty industry could be thought to cater only to the glamorous, or perhaps the vain, or maybe just those in the spotlight. And it does – along with everyone else! The industry is built on the product and services that help us look our best – whatever that best may be. It’s more diverse than you think and it’s certainly not just the makeup, hair color and perfume – it’s also the deodorant, toothpaste and even the ear hair clippers. It’s not just the salons – it’s the barber shops, waxing franchises, massage franchises and a whole lot more. It is every product and service dedicated to helping us look – and smell – the way we want, or the way we believe we should for professional reasons. And our definition of beauty is malleable and ever changing – providing never ending opportunities for the industry to innovate.

Historically trends were driven by celebrity taste-makers through their personal choices or professional endorsements. Those days are gone, or nearly so. 82% of women now believe that social media drives these trends. It’s a constant flow of information and opinion from not just trendsetters or celebrities, but from friends and friends of friends and an entire universe of strangers. But however they are set, there is a large industry ready, willing and able to cater to them. It is resistant to economic downturns and poised for even more growth. For the entrepreneur there are plentiful representative sales opportunities within companies like Avon or Arbonne and many more traditional franchising opportunities providing a slew of services.

As it turns out, it takes a lot of effort to keep us looking and smelling our best – an absolute army of products and services, in fact. Cosmetics, skin care, hair styling, hair coloring, hair removal, nail salons, tanning salons, massage parlors and luxury spas, shower and shaving product, perfumes, colognes…and a whole lot more. And that’s where it starts to get interesting – within each of these segments are products for every different skin tone or texture, allergy, age, hair type or color, sex – even the time of day! It is a level of diversity and nuance that may go unnoticed to the casual observer. Some of us, in fact, are overwhelmed by all those rows of shaving cream. But increasingly we are the minority – most consumers care, are discerning, and will try a number of different products before finding something that works. Once they find it, however, brand loyalty – whether for a shampoo or a particular salon – is extremely strong.

Producers differentiate themselves through their target demographic markets, price point and with different manufacturing processes. Products that promise no animal testing or that are all natural, for example, have loyal, niche markets and can often charge a premium.

Service providers compete primarily through price, location as well as their target demographic markets. Types of service and the related products that are offered are vital to profitability. Hair salons and barber shops, for example, rely on 5-15% of their revenue from hair care product sales. The beauty industry is known to be resistant to economic downturns – even faring well during the Great Recession of 2008. Though consumers tend to be more price conscious during those times, they do not stop spending. So in today’s environment of rising per capita incomes the beauty business is booming. In 2015 the industry generated $56.2 billion in the United States. Hair care is the largest segment with 86,000 locations. Skin care is a close second and growing fast, expected to have revenue of almost $11 billion by 2018. This growth is being driven in part by a generally increasing awareness of the importance of skin care, but also specifically due to an increase in the market for men.

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly one million people employed in the primary service segments of the market, and there are strong growth expectations. Clearly this is an industry on the rise:

  • Barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists: 656,000 in 2014, 10% expected growth by 2024.
  • Manicurists and pedicurists: 113,600 in 2014, 10% expected growth by 2024.
  • Skincare specialists: 55,000 in 2014 with a 12% expected growth by 2024. Specific growth expected for businesses serving men.
  • Massage therapists: 168,800 employed in 2014 with a whopping 22% growth by 2024!
  • Organic products & products produced in a sustainable (environmentally conscious) manner. Certainly a niche market for many years, but greater availability of information about the benefits – personal or global – are driving increased growth.
  • Products and services focused on our aging population. Said plainly – we have a large retired/retiring population, and many of them have money to spend.
  • Products and services focused on babies and young children. This is frequently related to the organic/sustainable movement above. In particular, millennial moms are willing to pay a premium to make sure their kids have the proper skin protection. Other franchises such as Cookie Cutters focus on providing an amazing experience for kids – turning a trip to get the tips trimmed into an adventure.
  • Men’s product and services – this trend is still relatively new but is expected to drive growth for years to come. Places like the Boardroom Salon claim to provide the ultimate relaxation experience for men while the Hair Saloon and 18/8 Men’s Hair Salon are reinventing the barbershop.And it is just the tip of the iceberg.It is estimated that 75% of men are not using any sort of facial skin care, but interest continues to grow.

As mentioned above, it’s important to remember that many beauty franchises derive up to 15% of their revenue from product sales; putting the right product on the shelves can make or break a business. Some manufacturers have a franchising distribution system of their own and even offer training programs, or partner with a particular service provider. With strong and growing demand, employment estimates through the roof to meet that demand and a strong history of being a steady business even in turbulent times, the beauty industry continues to provide fantastic opportunities.

 

 

 

“WHAT A SMALL WORLD!”

“WHAT A SMALL WORLD!”

Close to a year ago, a woman on the other side of the country, contacted me after reading my blog.
At first I was concerned. Why would a stranger want to talk to me? She does not know me, she’s never heard of me, we have no friends in common. I wondered if it would be rude, not to respond to her requests to speak directly. What do I do? Do I even really get how small the internet makes this entire world?
Fast forward…I gotta follow my gut! Something in her last private message behooved me to pick up the phone. Will she answer? NO!
We can never be too hasty. No sooner than I assume that I probably should not be talking to this woman, who I know nothing about….my mobile phone rings. Something compels me to pick up. Why won’t I let it go to voicemail?
Let me tell you about my experience of spending approximately an hour on the phone with a fellow stylist. A stranger to me. This woman is a pure artist. She cannot deal with big business mucking up our industry, due to greed.
Her raw passion for what we do, is felt immensely, all the way from California. Speaking to her, makes West Michigan feel like a stones throw away.
When you have the privilege of finding one so passionate for protecting the integrity that this industry deserves, how do you behave in an apathetic manner?
She cannot sit silently while big business sneaks dangerous poisons into our products, all for the almighty dollar. This poor baby, tried to take this nightmare on.
Listening to her frustrations with the behind the scenes horrors, cover-ups, and greed, that she has endured, makes me even more convinced of my truth.
Focus on what you can control. Work hard to reach one heart and mind at a time. Thinking big, does not imply talking big necessarily, but making a big impact on whatever audience is willing to listen to us.
KNOWLEDGE IS NOT POWER! The implementation of knowledge is our only hope. When we really want to make an impact…find like minds to communicate with on a smaller platform.
Why not just begin, with performing an amazing service behind our styling chair? Why don’t we begin with educating our own clientele about the tricks of our trade, the trends, techniques, technology and tools, that make us so proud to be a part of this hair mafia.
The last thing the rat race needs is another rat. Keep playing with the nice kids. After all, because of the internet…WHAT A SMALL WORLD? Signing off!

This blog was written by DN Speaks

Holiday Trends for the Salon Industry!

THE REAL HAIR TRUTH.COM

 

What you can expect this holiday shopping season

It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to start holiday shopping. According to the recent National Retail Federation’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, it looks like the early bird may get the only worm. The survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that consumers are aggressively looking for bargains this year. In addition, retailers are greatly cutting back on their inventory due to weak demand. In other words, it’s going to be a push-and-pull battle between retailers and consumers.

The main reason Americans still feel affected by the recession is due to the high unemployment rates. When those begin to go down, Americans’ spending will be less uncertain.

The second trend indicates that it’s really all about the economy. As a result of the lingering down economy, consumer behavior is changing. This year, consumers will shop more at discount and even thrift stores. They will also give joint gifts as well as make gifts to give.

The third development that stands out this year is that sales and promotions are king. Traditionally, many consumers wait until the last minute to get the best deals. This year however, they might miss out since retailers are keeping much smaller inventories. Retailers advise consumers to take advantage of the early promotions this season.

Fourthly, pay attention to payment methods. Over the past year, consumers have begun paying more with cash, checks, and debit cards instead of credit cards. This trend might increase even more as a result of newly instituted credit card fees.

Fifthly, remember that it’s the thought that counts. Since consumers are cutting back on their holiday budgets, that old saying will likely be used quite frequently this year. Greeting cards is one area that the survey found was not being greatly affected. Some consumers are expected to replace a gift with a greeting card.

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