Delivering impactful results in beauty and personal care

Driven by a desire for increased personalization, clean beauty options and a greater focus on efficacy, the beauty and personal care marketplace has seen an explosion of new products come to market in recent years, and with it have come a host of new challenges. 

L.E.K. Consulting has deep experience in the beauty and personal care industry, partnering with companies across the entire value chain in order to help our clients achieve their strategic goals. Our clients in this space include CPGs, skincare, color cosmetics, fragrance and haircare companies, as well as  beauty service providers (e.g., med spa, salon, massage, aesthetics). We work with a range of brands and companies, both established and independent or niche. We also have worked with specialty ingredient suppliers/distributors, formulators, packaging manufacturers and contract manufacturers that serve this space.

We are the market leader in growth strategy, and our core capabilities in this sector include working with clients on M&A strategy, acquisition screens, diligence, pricing strategy, consumer activation, corporate strategy, loyalty strategy (for service providers), digital strategy, supply chain / operational support and sustainability. We use advanced analytic techniques to gather fact-based insights and recommend actionable strategies that drive impactful results for our clients, allowing them to be more efficient and profitable. 

Navigating the evolving beauty and personal care marketplace

Our experienced professionals have an extensive understanding of key business challenges in today’s beauty and personal care marketplace, and we encourage our clients to consider these key questions: 

  • How are customer needs and product trends evolving in today’s marketplace? What are the implications for how we grow our business? 

  • How do we capitalize on key customer trends toward premiumization, hyper-customization and increasing ingredient consciousness (e.g., clean beauty)? What impact might sustainability and cruelty-free trends have on cost structures? 

  • Does our brand positioning resonate with current and potential consumers? Are we sufficiently leveraging our consumer touchpoints, including digital channels, to achieve brand engagement? 

  • How do we optimize our channel portfolio given shifts in online and subscription services? How will the shift toward specialty retailers affect our sales? 

  • With the continued growth and emergence of independent beauty brands, how should multinationals respond? 

  • What is the impact of brand consolidation/acquisition by multinationals on the beauty and personal care value chain? 

  • How do we optimize our pricing and promotional strategies to maximize value? How can we capture value as consumers continue moving upmarket? 

  • Are there adjacent products and categories that represent growth opportunities for our brand or company? Where do interesting M&A opportunities exist, and what real assets can we acquire? 

  • What should our sustainability strategy be in light of evolving regulations and consumer needs? How will this impact our supply chain and our products? 

  • What is the white space in our service industry (e.g., med spas, salons)? How many sites can the market support and where should they be placed? 

Case examples: creating value in beauty and personal care

To learn more about how we help clients create value in the beauty and personal care sector, please refer to these insights and case examples: 

  • A leading skincare brand was facing lagging sales in the U.S. despite overall market growth. The client engaged L.E.K. to conduct a thorough review of the brand’s positioning within the market and the company’s sales and marketing strategies. We identified underserved areas of the market and created tactical initiatives for the company to realize value. We optimized the client’s U.S. sales and marketing strategy, including targeted distribution channels, pricing, and sales force organization. The focus on implementation provided the client with a clear path forward for future long-term growth. 

  • A leading direct seller of beauty, personal care and nutrition products had historically lacked the technology for proper data capture on its consultants and end customers. Additionally, new customer engagement programs and product lines had drastically changed business operations and, consequently, data structure and productivity metrics. After implementing a new data management system, the client asked L.E.K. to use advanced analytics to provide insight into its consultant/customer base and pinpoint growth opportunities. This resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of identified growth potential, as well as a deep understanding of the business and the tools/templates required to measure performance going forward. Read more

  • A regional med spa chain was looking for a growth opportunity assessment and to better understand the national market landscape. In addition to providing the client with the current market size for their injectables and other aesthetic treatments in the U.S. across all care settings, L.E.K. created a custom database of competitor locations. L.E.K. combined the database with an analysis of demographics, consumer behaviors and supply dynamics in local markets to identify the white space opportunity and to provide the client with an assessment of the most attractive locations for future expansion. 

  • L.E.K. partnered with a large multinational consumer products company to evaluate a joint venture proposition with a beauty device brand. The team evaluated the market opportunity for a range of beauty devices in the skin rejuvenation, hair removal and dental spaces, including market size and growth, channel strategy, competitive positioning, and growth opportunities. We assessed the size of each applicable market and evaluated the market dynamics at play, ultimately defining the growth opportunity by channel and recommending a structure for the joint venture. This led to an acquisition by a global personal care company. 

  • L.E.K. evaluated a skincare company’s brand perception and later assisted with the rebranding of an existing product line. We utilized customer focus groups and quantitative survey responses to define target consumer segments and go-forward branding and marketing messages, by geographic market. This research helped the client understand its overall and product-specific brand positioning. As a result, the client chose a targeted brand message that had demonstrated customer appeal, focusing the brand on a younger audience and emphasizing key ingredient benefits. 

  • An emerging nail care brand with a novel technology was anticipating product launch later in the year. The client engaged L.E.K. to help estimate the size of the market opportunity in the U.S., the level of adoption that could be expected and the range of sales that implied. Additionally, we identified the international markets that were most logical for expansion and the size of the respective opportunities. 

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