Multicultural mindset: Retailers, suppliers grow their focus on diverse needs
The masks are coming off, consumers are going back to stores and optimism about a recovery are everywhere. And, fortunately, it appears that the social conversations, begun during the early months of the pandemic, are continuing.
As many know, last year the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice protests — taking place amid larger conversations about better meeting the needs of multicultural consumers — affected everything, including how people shop for their health and beauty care products.
On the pandemic side, some of the questions had easy answers: DIY hair care at home, skin products to help relieve mask-related rashes or breakouts, and a makeup routine for video calls. The racial issues were much more complicated, but one positive result was increased awareness of minority-owned businesses, including a number of beauty brands.
Shopper demographics, specifically the diversity of Gen Z, will drive continued growth in the multicultural beauty category. “They have higher expectations of how brands and products, including those in the beauty category, should serve them,” said Kelly Vanasse, chief communications officer for Procter & Gamble beauty and grooming. “They are also information seekers and digital natives, so shopping for them is a mix of education, entertainment and of course, purpose. This creates a lot of opportunity to serve them through meaningful engagement, no matter what or where their shopping touchpoint is.”
Vanasse added that beauty, like other categories, benefitted from the racial equality movement. “Shoppers no longer look just for quality products, they expect the brands behind those products to embrace equality, inclusivity and diversity in every way,” she said. For its part P&G beauty, through its Responsible Beauty platform, assesses its brands to ensure that each is connecting with diverse consumers, from products to marketing campaigns to the diversity of the researchers and marketers.
To meet consumer needs in hair care, the company offers Pantene’s Gold Series collection, Head & Shoulders Royal Oils, and My Black is Beautiful, a new brand inspired by P&G’s My Black is Beautiful community platform. The product ranges in each of these brands are created by Black scientists and researchers, and are designed to meet the unique needs of natural hair. In skin care, Olay Whips SPF is a lighter, more sheer formula offering the same benefits as a traditional moisturizer.
“It’s been inspiring to see multicultural beauty flourish, especially in the past year,” Vanasse said. “We are excited for that growth to continue.”