By  on September 5, 2014

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve doubtless heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge to support ALS research. The Challenge involves people getting doused with a bucket of ice water on video, posting the video to social media, then daring others to do the same. You can either accept the challenge or make a donation to an ALS charity or do both. Launched around August 6, the campaign went viral and by August 22—16 days later—$55.3 million had been raised. Can you think of a more timely example that illustrates the power of digital? More and more, beauty brands are tapping into that power and are radically rethinking their approach to digital and traditional marketing. Discover how in the “The Ever-Expanding Social Orbit” on page 26.

Beauty marketers are also tuned into another radical change taking place—that of the demographic transformation across the U.S. Again—you’ve probably seen the numbers: By 2050, 54 percent of the U.S. population will be composed of non-Caucasian ethnic groups, with the Asian-American population expected to increase by 142 percent and the Hispanic by 167 percent. Already, as WWD’s executive editor of beauty Pete Born reports, the figures have had a significant impact on beauty, as retailers and brands tailor their approach on a door-by-door basis to better reflect the changing face of America. For a full report, turn to “Come As You Are” on page 20.

One company that understood early on the evolution of both digital and demographics was NYX Cosmetics, the Los Angeles-based makeup brand that L’Oréal acquired in June for a reported $500 million. According to financial sources, 17 companies were vying for NYX at one point, which got us to wondering who would be next. Read our assessment of California’s top-10 indie brands on page 30, and get ready for what one analyst says is going to be a “record-breaking year.” The gold rush, it seems, is on.

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