Code-breaking - Cosmetica
Code-breaking In Beauty
Welcome to an exciting new era of beauty, where outdated norms are nixed and inclusivity rises to the top. From unconventional brand collaborations to out-of-the-box packaging innovations, the key to it all is creativity. Rather than fixating on target demographics, brands should shift the focus to their audience’s life stages and elevate diversity and accessibility across all touchpoints. Is your brand ready to break old codes?
Make way for the Code-breakers

Anti-aspirational beauty. Artistic packaging. Accidentally discovering a breakthrough product. Old codes are out—a new era of self-expression has emerged. Here’s where the collective mindset is shifting.

Brands and consumers are celebrating the art of beauty as an expressive, unapologetic, and truly authentic experience. The desire for creative exploration drives a shift towards playful products infused with intentional optimism—where “fun” becomes the active ingredient, devoid of kitsch. Serendipitous discoveries in the lab should be embraced (that lipstick pigment gone “wrong” might just become the next best seller). Artist collaborations can be used to fuel creativity and elevate beauty packaging to gallery-worthy status. It’s this melding of science, art, and speculative thinking that is reenergizing the industry and bringing positivity to the fore of the daily beauty experience (WGSN).

Creativity is the new productivity

The brains behind your beauty brand need to get creative—it’s time to activate the right hemisphere and reinvent old frameworks. The pandemic underscored the necessity for inventive solutions, sparking a shift towards collective problem-solving to reimagine traditional systems and economies. In the beauty industry, brands need to make creativity a cornerstone—be it through savvy partnerships with cutting-edge design agencies or innovating novel products that elevate well-being for employees and consumers alike. Success is measured by one key KPI: happiness. As beauty merges with innovation, forward-thinking brands will harness creative thinking to deftly adapt, reset, and rebuild (WGSN).

Gen Z nixes beauty norms

Diverse and accessible. Aspirational yet relatable. Gen Z demands it all from their favorite brands. Can yours keep pace? Gen Z is reshaping beauty norms, pushing for inclusivity and diversity across all touchpoints from product packaging to marketing campaigns. Even though the industry has made strides to nix unrealistic beauty standards, Mintel’s research reveals that 25% of Gen Z consumers feel left out of beauty ads. Gen Z is catalyzing change both online and offline, calling out brands on social media for lacking diversity and urging brands to destigmatize flaws and ease pressures on societal beauty norms. Take your cues from this cohort and make change. Here’s where brands can start: accessible packaging for the aging population, authentically diverse representation across all marketing channels (Mintel).

Food for thought: unexpected cross-collaborations

Ready to take your brand to market? The supermarket, that is.

Beauty and food are joining forces as one of the playful cross-industry collaborations booming on the beauty scene. These unexpected mashups spark joy and surprise, fuelling the younger generation’s thirst for excitement. Imaginative partnerships look like a juice and skincare brand coming together to create a beauty-enhancing adaptogenic drink, or a hair-coloring kit inspired by the red and rosé hues of a fan-favorite boxed wine. Successful collabs tend to benefit both brands, empowering them to share audiences, create buzz, and explore new markets. Exclusivity reigns, with limited-edition co-branded creations striking a chord with Gen Z’s love for all things inventive, quirky, and unique (BEAUTYSTREAMS).

Packaging that breaks barriers

Packaging isn’t what it used to be—and that’s a good thing.

Brands are breaking barriers with packaging design that addresses a span of issues from sustainability to inclusivity. Beauty companies must contribute to a more circular economy and eliminate packaging waste—this means slashing single-use plastics, mitigating pollution, and innovating to greener options. Accessibility should also be a top priority, like user-friendly solutions for disabled and visually impaired people, as well as the aging population—think easy-grip handles and pull tabs, tactile label text, and communication symbols. Lastly, get techy. Packaging shouldn’t just be a safe and functional place to house your product, it should be an experience that unlocks limitless possibilities. Whether that’s an unboxing experience that surprises and delights, or smart packaging technologies that unlocks in-depth information and immersive digital realms, your packaging should feel as engaging as the product inside (BEAUTYSTREAMS).

Maintaining relevancy in the beauty industry