As we move forward into a world that takes place in multiple realities – physical, digital, augmented, virtual and even beyond this planet – the provocative and long-view questions continue to mount; but they also multiply the possibilities for businesses, brands, products and services.
 
Additionally, the audience has changed from large, homogenous groups to very specific personalities. This requires deeper understanding of individuals and influencers to craft customized solutions. It is far less easy these days to win over a large audience with a mass grab.
 
Here are some examples of the new types of questions being asked around Beauty Retail: 

  • What will 'Beauty' mean in 10-15 years? How and who will define it?
  • How can we extend and expand the feeling and continuity of an iconic retail store brand into the world of Augmented Reality in an authentic and profitable way?
  • How will humankind’s daily routines change with evolving AI, and what new needs and services will consumers come to demand?

These questions cannot always be answered with existing research tools. We have to go beyond the traditional consulting landscape reviews and hypotheses, and ground our insights and answers in on-the-ground research. Today’s research queries require a smart blending and reshaping of research methods to arrive at the most provocative and profitable answers.

How does successful customized research manifest and fuel the process innovation?

To look at this question we investigate what successful customized research could look like for the future of 'Beauty' or what it even means to be ‘Beautiful’ going forward :

  • Experts who have seen and can speak to the historical evolution of beauty and are keepers of the most powerful brands in beauty to-date, should be tapped .
  • We also need to reach the individuals who are setting the new trends and blurring the lines away from what is expected – the non-binary, the gender fluid, the embracers of natural hair and shape, the blended multicultural children and teens – all with brand new definitions and needs for beauty.
  • Beyond a simple chat, there is a vital need to step into the lives of representative individuals from these groups, and explore the channels that currently serve (or should serve) their needs – examining what’s missing or what’s best in class.
  • Ideation sessions with deep, emotional discussions as well as constructive, creative co-building result in true inspiration to take away and build the future.
  • Beyond the linear track of 'Beauty', it’s important to ask what technological, economic, and social forces will impact or act as analog inspiration for our query.

Ultimately, inspiration from all these inputs feed into a rich Discovery phase that is packed with creative exercises that go beyond big data and well-known trends. 

How does custom research amplify data gathered from traditional innovation audits?

Data is science, but how you apply that science to get to emotional, human truths requires an interpreter and a guide. Custom research humanizes, contextualizes, and specifies the 'How' of the data uncovered by layering in the 'Why' and 'What Next'.

Why is customized research more important than ever, now?

Ultimately, customized research is a necessity to stay relevant; to reach under, around and over complicated topics and very particular audiences. Now we are finding more and more nuance among traditional demographics, markets, business models and research must be nuanced to paint an accurate picture – and also paint yourselves into that picture.
 
Customized research provides us the empathy to create impactful, innovative solutions that will come to life in the real world, and have legs. And that’s beautiful.