We’ve heard this story a lot: “Beauty Brand A” wants to tap into new markets, and spends loads of time, effort, and resources developing and acquiring a top-notch sunscreen from a skin care product manufacturer — only for it to receive a lukewarm welcome in the marketplace. Why?
Sunscreen's (somewhat unpleasant) reputation
For starters, sunscreen is often seen as something that consumers have to do rather than something they want to do. It’s a daily multivitamin, 20 minutes on a treadmill, a side of bland vegetables. Sun care products have a reputation for being tacky, greasy products with a distinct (and unpleasant) "sunscreen" smell. As a result, the majority of women don’t wear sunscreen even though we should. But why do brands settle for this when new technologies allow environmental protection to be a daily luxury experience: a green smoothie, a morning spin class, a piece of dark chocolate?
Brand opportunity: tap into wellness
Wellness is trending more than ever—with the athleisure style and active beauty products to prove it—and it’s up to brands to tap into that market with high-efficacy, health-boosting products that offer an experience consumers can get excited about. New skin care technology allows environmental protection to look and feel fabulous (yes — even mineral sunscreens with dermatologists' favorite zinc oxide), and anti-pollution and anti-oxidants have cemented their spots on top skin care claims lists, giving brands a world of success at their fingertips. But for UV protection products to go as viral as, say, a new volumizing mascara or a stunning new lip shade, beauty brands must up the glamour with sunscreen that fits naturally into a wellness-forward lifestyle.
Get creative with textures, formats, and product stories
It’s time for beauty brands to say goodbye to greasy products and hello to new textures and delivery systems that are silky-smooth and fun to apply—like cushion compacts and multi-functional, lightweight BB and CC creams. It means adding anti-pollution technology and moving your marketing from the beach to the city with a total defense message that suits your customers’ on-the-go lifestyle. It means going beyond SPF to include broad-spectrum UV protection that keeps skin taut and complexion smooth and bright to defy premature aging. It means differentiating your brand and rolling out products that your customers can take to the office, to the gym, and to cocktail hour. It means releasing unicorn products with features and textures so fabulous that consumers want to share them with friends.
Consumers know that UV protection is good for them—but until it’s also fun for them, brands will struggle to have their message heard. The market is ripe for you to make your mark with a sun care product. Who knows? Your product might be the next matcha.