Welcome to 2009 – Predictions and Review of 2008

Yup, its January 5th, and I’m just getting back to work.  It has been a *most* glorious couple of weeks mostly off, that’s for sure.  I hope you got some significant time off too!  I always have a ferociously bad time getting back to the grind, but the best way for me is just to open a doc and start writing.  So, here goes.


2009 is going to be quite an interesting year, methinks.  The economy is in the proverbial shitter, we have a new president coming on board carrying the hopes and dreams of our great nation in his small hands, and companies are scrambling to cut the excesses and trim down their budgets.  I am thrilled to be a part of a company that is super forward and incredibly innovative.  Not only am I thrilled, but I am extremely lucky.  I have seen so many people close to me laid off in this last quarter of 2008 – it is scary.  What does all of this mean for us, as staunch internet and beauty addicts?  It might mean that a few of our favorite companies go the way of one of our favorite shippers, but I surely hope not.  It definitely means that companies are going to have to get more innovative in the marketing department, but hallelujah, this is a great time in our history to do that, wouldn’t you say? 

I have been thinking about the year ahead in beauty for quite some time now, and here are my 2009 predictions on what lies ahead:

  1. Sadly, more of our beloved mainstream media publications are going to fold.  The big publishers have already started cutting the fluff, I hope that it doesn’t expand to the main publications.
  2. Technological innovation in the beauty arena is going to grind to a halt while folks batten down the hatches for a tough fiscal year and concentrate on their main money makers.
  3. More companies are going to experiment with social media as a way to market their products.  Paying one person to manage that is a whole lot less expensive than running advertising.
  4. The companies that are long accustomed to selling by word of mouth will thrive – some of the advertising based marketers are gonna be outta here.
  5. Professional-only retail products (salon) are going to take a huge hit this year and are going to have to diversify somehow if they are to survive.  Salons themselves are feeling the crunch, and retail is their lifeblood.
  6. Prestige beauty is going to take a hit as well in favor of more readily available mass market products.
  7. Mass market beauty is going to romance the prestige beauty consumers with fancier packaging and displays.
  8. Online sales are going to increase for those companies who make use of the non-traditional markets.
  9. Stand alone company boutiques are going to take a hit and many will close their branch doors. 
  10. Beauty bloggers are going to be more important than ever to both brands and consumers. 

FYI, my predictions for 2008 are below:

  1. More home spa treatments – with the advent of home laser treatments for aging skin and acne prone skin, these will only get better, more available and less expensive.
  2. More technology in the hair care arena – the past year has shown us great implementation of new technology in the hair styling department. I would have never dreamed 3 years ago that we could really have advancement in this area – but we have – now I wonder what they are working on next!
  3. Interactive online beauty services. You can virtually try on new hairstyles, eyeglasses and clothes, but the technology is still lacking at best. I predict that in 2008 we will have an advent of more and better abilities to upload pictures and measurements and have improved services to greatly personalize our shopping experiences.
  4. Beauty by DNA. Personalized skin care targeted to your very own DNA – its already here, and you will see more and more of it. Is it BS? Maybe.
  5. Organic beauty – This market grew tremendously in 2007, with no signs of slowing down. Perhaps some regulation coming in 2008?
  6. Small cosmetics companies – the internet makes available to us a world of products that we would have never heard of otherwise. Some of these are not so great and are cheap imitations of the good stuff, but others are diamonds in the rough. Small companies making the most of the viral nature of the internet will emerge like never before.
  7. Tougher times for traditional companies – there are still a few big beauty companies that haven’t embraced the internet, and are still relying on main stream media to get the word out. This isn’t working like it did in days gone by, and you will see more and more companies digging their heels out of the dirt and joining the internet revolution.
  8. Tougher times for traditional magazines – Related to the point above, readership is down, more advertising dollars are going to new media, making times tough for all but the top beauty and fashion mags. Will we have a big one fold this year? I think not, but they might be very smart to follow Glamour’s move towards joining the new media revolution.
  9. Online beauty/fashion communities – Social networking is still huge, and new places to share and compare your opinions are opening (and closing!) every day. While several of them are very appealing to me, none of them really engage me that much because I like to write my reviews and opinion on my own web sites. I don’t have the time or the inclination to rewrite everything elsewhere. While I know that not everyone has a blog, boy do lots of people, and a whole lot of people that like to write about beauty do, and I suspect they share my same feelings about it, making these user-generated content based sites a little bit redundant. I think that one of the several Digg-style sites will really emerge as a beauty and fashion leader for the same reason that Digg has attracted so many users – it is easy to use, extremely current (and we all know we love to be current!), and just a little bit fun, with minimal effort (we like that too).
  10. Video-beauty-blogging – I think this is something that is up and coming and will see a big boom in 2008. More interesting than the podcast and more visual than the traditional blogging (gee, has blogging been around long enough to have traditions?), videoblogging is here to stay. Barriers to entry are reduced more and more every day and blog readers love to get to know blog writers, and with video a blogger can get even closer to their blog communities. Good stuff.

I did a pretty good job in last years predictions – while I predicted some tougher times, I sure didn’t think it would get as bad as it has – this quick anyway.  There also hasn’t been a stand out beauty social community that has really risen to the level I thought it would.  I also am not happy with the lack of progression on the videoblogging front.  I do hope that it flourishes this year.  I must get back to doing some of that, eh? 

I do hope you had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to getting back to normalcy.  I am not (but did have a wonderful holiday!).  I could stay on permanent vacation pretty darn easily – I am just that kind of a girl.  ;)

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