15 November 2023

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Lifestyle products, skincare and make-up beam at us from every billboard.

According to Statista, the cosmetics industry is on an upward trajectory, generating annual sales of around €15 billion, with the exception of a Corona-related drop in demand in 2020. This is certainly due in no small part to the e-commerce trend. In this article, you will learn how to become an international success in the cosmetics industry by localising your online store and tailoring your message to your audience.

The cosmetics industry taps into our dreams

Our self-perception and our appearance are sensitive issues. What is it that drives us to change the way we look and conform to social norms? – The desire to fit in, to have a certain status, to feel good.

As consumers, we’re always searching for the fountain of youth. And now that we’re living longer, we want to hold on to our looks and our health a little longer. That’s why new beauty products are aimed at consumers’ emotions, desires and aspirations.

At the end of the day, cosmetics tap into our deepest feelings and offer us the chance to make our dreams come true.

Green beauty: a contribution to sustainability

Beyond the quest for eternal youth, two other trends are radically reshaping the cosmetics industry today. Green beauty and healthy living.

In recent years, new developments have emerged in the market that have affected the design of products and ranges and how hygiene and personal care products are manufactured and produced. Since then, the terms body positivity, inner beauty, and self-love have become a core part of every beauty ad.

It’s no surprise, then, that today’s trends focus on sustainability, natural cosmetics and green living. We’re also seeing this change outside the cosmetics industry, in fashion, textiles and food. In all these areas, consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the origin of the products they buy.

So, how did this shift occur – from the traditional desire for beauty to the pursuit of a healthier, more balanced lifestyle? For one thing, the internet. As a platform with information about ingredients, manufacturing and production, it is vastly superior to what it was 20 years ago. For another, there is a growing social awareness that we all have a role to play in making the planet greener again.

Different cultures = different ideals of beauty

Attributing just one ideal of beauty to different cultures is simply not possible. Throughout the ages, cultural differences stemming from history, upbringing, living conditions and religion have had a strong influence on people’s values, including beauty ideals.

It’s well known that tastes and aesthetic preferences can vary considerably across cultures. In France, for example, blemishes are considered particularly attractive as a person’s individuality forms a core part of their beauty. French consumers are also much more sparing in their use of make-up. They focus on natural beauty in all its glory.

In Russia, however, things are much more extravagant. With women making up a large proportion of the population, affluent consumers are increasingly focused on cosmetics and fashion. Female beauty is a high priority and Russian customers are prepared to pay a lot for it.

In Asia, a very different phenomenon has long been popular. Here, the ideal beauty standard is pale skin. As a result, skin lightening products dominate the cosmetics industry in this part of the world.

In Europe and America, we see the exact opposite. The trend in these countries leans more towards tanning, with an ever-increasing number of companies advertising new and even longer-lasting self-tanning products.

This would be inconceivable in Asia, where societal beauty standards come from an appreciation of aristocratic aesthetics. The significance of having light skin means you have the luxury of being able to relax indoors rather than work outside.

These examples clearly show how multi-faceted and diverse the cosmetics industry is. And why – influenced by many factors, including our cultural backgrounds and societal ideals of beauty – our cosmetic needs are so different.

International success with translations by native speakers 

The diversity of global cultures is reflected in the cosmetics industry’s sales figures and in its wealth of languages.

In international business, knowing how to approach a target audience can mean the difference between success and failure. Seen like that, the phrase “different countries, different customs” means it is not enough to know who your market group is; you also need to understand them.

To achieve the ideal, symbiotic relationship with your customers, you have to understand your audience’s culture. The intercontact translations agency will help you speak to your international audience in the right way for you to conquer the global cosmetics industry.

Our native-speaking linguists will have a direct impact on your marketing approach, ensuring it feels authentic and trustworthy.

From product descriptions and advertising copy to social media posts, factual technical content and whatever else you need, our native-speaking linguists at intercontact are culturally rooted in your target audience and will choose the right words for all your projects.

You too can benefit from the cosmetics industry’s internationalisation by offering your audiences multilingual web content!

by Sabrina Baumgardt

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