Here is a curious fact: a study shortly to be published in the Journal of Economic Psychology* reveals that people (of both genders) show higher levels of trust in women who wear certain cosmetics. This is consistent with other research findings which suggest that cosmetics use increases perceptions of positive personality traits, whether they exist or not.
But unlike the study participants, the cosmetics and personal care industry itself needs to earn trust. There is a great deal of evidence pointing to declining levels of trust in institutions generally, including business, in recent years. Our industry is not exempt from this trend.
Sure, consumers think that our industry makes great products. And we know from Cosmetics Europe survey evidence that the vast majority of consumers value the contribution cosmetics make to their lives. But one of the lessons of our times is that this is not enough.
Whatever the facts, earning trust is a challenge. Anyone can surf the internet and find negative articles on our industry and our products. Many of us in the industry would accept that we haven’t done enough to counter incorrect or distorted information, or to promote public understanding of what we do. It is clear that this is something the industry needs to address.
So here’s the good news: we have a lot to be proud of. There is much more to our industry than is commonly understood. Much more about our products, much more about how we are responding to the urgent need to protect our planet, much more about the people who use cosmetics and who work in our industry. We have some terrific stories to tell.
Cosmetics Europe, in collaboration with BBC StoryWorks, has set out to bring some of these stories to life. On June 11th we will launch a unique film series ‘ Essentials for Daily Life – Positive Stories for a Dynamic Industry’. The series will explore the themes of ‘People Planet Products’ based on short films created by cosmetics manufacturers. The films have been directed and produced with the unsurpassable skill and quality standards of the BBC StoryWorks. The series will take you from Haiti to New York, from Bali to Bucharest and beyond. It will surprise you with things you never knew. Hopefully it will help you understand a little more of what we do.
So please do join us at our virtual launch event, where we will introduce the series, talk a little about the issues raised in this post, and even in these difficult times, accentuate the positive.
You can register to the virtual launch event here.
*Is the beauty premium accessible to all? An experimental analysis Journal of Economic Psychology Volume 78, June 2020, 10225
John Chave, Director General, Cosmetics Europe