Marla Bosworth is the founder and owner of Back Porch Soap Company. She teaches classes, corporate events and experiences including candle making, soap making, organic skincare and perfumery.

June 03, 2012

How to Spot Beauty Products Trends: Part Two
This is Part Two of a two-part blogpost on how to spot beauty trends to help grow your beauty business. If you missed Part One you can read it here.

In this post, we're going to continue the discussion and also provide tips that you can apply to your own bath and body business to update your beauty products.

Most “futurists” study what is going on now and apply trends that are happening in other areas to new ones. For example, the news and media keep reporting how insular we have all become within our smart phones and social media addictions. We nod and carry an in-person conversation while texting someone else and laughing. We are losing the ability to communicate in the real world.

So reading what people need now isn’t necessarily going to be some great new product. Sometimes it is a marketing angle or packaging  aesthetic that plays off of the situation.
When futurecasting, ask yourself how will you update an existing product to adjust to trends or capture a new vibe?
Here are some ideas to consider to get you started:
  • Try new color names, new color labels, update font or text.

  • A variety pack of small items instead of one large item to get across a theme or aesthetic.

  • Ask yourself, “What are my competitors doing? What are they promoting? Am I on-trend or are they wrong?”

  • What are getting the biggest hits on your website? Is it selling or do you need more variety in that area?

  • What is dying off? Do you need to put that on “hiatus”, discontinue or repackage with a new name, color or some other tweak?

  • What new lines or products are being promoted in the marketplace ( i.e: spa or organic categories). What’s happening in In Style, Allure, and Vogue magazines? Take advantage of the large corporation’s millions of dollars and expertise in reading the marketplace.
  • What is happening in home, bathroom and kitchen trends with style, color (i.e.: towels, drapes, accessories, etc.)? If your product relates to this – are you up-to-date?

  • Are you shopping in retail stores and researching competition online within your distribution level, above and below? You have to be aware of everything. You may see the same idea at all levels. How is it interpreted? How does it differ? Where does your price, quality, packaging fit in? Does it make sense to your target market? Evaluate and adapt. What do you need to do to catch-up, keep-up or change-up?

  • What products are being promoted on the beauty spots on morning shows (gifts, at-home spas, organic, sustainable, high-end organic, yoga, glam, etc.)? Would you fit in or could you raise the bar in regards to that product offering?
Futurecasting isn’t always finding the next trend or expanding on the one that seems hot...sometimes it is looking for the twist on the existing or the need caused by it. It doesn’t have to be innovative and startling in thought- being too early is just as bad as being too late. 

Be aware of who/what you want to be and who/what you don’t. Find one or several inspiration/ aesthetic/innovation “mentors” in the industry or outside of it. Apply those same thoughts or innovation or ideas to your own line with your own twist and the idea will probably cast a fresh light on your product.

This article is republished with permission from the May/June 2012 issue of The Saponifier Magazine. It is written by Jennifer Kirkwood and Marla Bosworth. Jennifer Kirkwood is the founder and owner of La Dolce Diva, Inc. ( a bath & body novelty gift boutique collection. She is also an award winning activewear designer and for 25 years has been reading trends and designing into them as an in-house designer and as the president of her own design consulting firm. She has worked at length with companies such as Callaway, Hanes, Disney, Russell Athletic, Soffe, LA Gear, Target and Spalding as well as for the Atlanta Olympics. 

Marla Bosworth is the CEO and President of Back Porch Soap Company (, a wholesaler and retailer of sea-inspired bath and body products. She is also an independent bath and body business consultant and teaches soap, natural cosmetic formulation and bath and body business classes in Boston, NYC and San Francisco. She is a market research analyst and has worked with companies such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Canon and Xerox.
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