Sep 11, 2013

Smoothing out the issues and plumping up new markets


Mintel forecasts the cosmetic surgery industry to grow by 3.6 billion by 2015, and as the demand for dermal fillers and botox has increased, so has the push for further regulation and review of current practices. With more and more clinics opening and new innovations becoming available, a lunch-time filler or vampire facial has become increasingly common.

Following the government's review of the cosmetic surgery industry led by Sir Bruce Keogh, new guidelines are on their way, meaning cosmetic and aesthetic providers will need to look at new and innovative ways to market their services. Cosmetic surgery clinics are increasingly moving away from celebrity endorsement and enlisting support from other ambassadors to help improve their image and reignite trust from consumers.

Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and President of BAAPS believes that 'perhaps due to turbulent financial times, patients are looking for tried-and-tested procedures that deliver a reliable and long-lasting result." A recent poll by ComRes revealed that many people considered the cost of surgery more important than the qualifications of the practitioner or aftercare they received. It is a little worrying that such a strong desire to look younger on a budget is clouding judgement and potentially putting people at risk.

Doing your homework has never been so important. Marie Claire recently launched their Take a Good Look petition, with a clear mission: 'We think women should be fully informed so that they are empowered to make the right decisions for them.' I hope that increased access to trusted and impartial advice will help people choose reputable clinicians. For clinics and cosmetic procedure suppliers the guidelines will mean that all professionals must have relevant training and qualifications, but it's also an opportunity for excellent clinics to showcase their training, service and facilities.

Will Apprentice winner Dr Leah Totton's medical credentials and mission to highlight the importance of clinical standards help build the reputation of clinics who provide outstanding training and high quality care, or does her 'celebrity' status negatively impact these intentions?

The desire for consumers to look good and the ageing population will no doubt have an impact on the cosmeceuticals market, which is set to grow quickly over the next five years. This industry has also faced regulation following the 2013 EU New Cosmetic Law. A report by Data Monitor suggests that older consumers will drive growth in this area through the uptake of anti-ageing products. Education and clear communication is now more important than ever as the public becomes more aware, increasingly discerning and demanding. How will manufacturers meet the specific expectations of these consumers?