Have you caught onto the trend for self-care? At one time, it may have been considered indulgent to, at least at times, put yourself first. Now? Here’s what we’re seeing.

Variables such as budget, demographic, lifestyle, and location can all have an effect on how consumers approach the concept of “treating yourself.” While one consumer might see a spa getaway as indulgent, another might consider a nutrition-packed snack bar a suitably extravagant parallel. Brands which are interested in staying relevant in post-affordable luxury markets need to consider these different perspectives on luxury and apply them to their messaging.

Comfort and coziness are two popular buzz words in the home interior market for the coming year. Companies such as Otherland are exploring new scent themes that deliver unique sensory experiences—some of which align with the self-care movement. Crafted candles and fragrances can remind us of another place or moment in time without the need for plane tickets or reservations. Scents such as “Hudson River Valley” by Burkelman inspire indoor spaces through olfactory indulgence, bringing the outdoors inside.

This concept of blending creature comforts with the healing qualities of nature can also be found throughout the glamping movement. Glamping has evolved into a lifestyle-based community rather than merely an indulgent accessory trend for camping. It bridges the gap between the healing qualities of the great outdoors and our desire for connectivity and convenience in a growing niche travel industry. More than a mere tent in the woods, these retreat structures often include electricity, and blend modern architecture with wide open spaces, again, inviting the outdoors in. As scientists continue to study the effects of our exposure to nature in conjunction with happiness and health, we could see this market expand into more themed travel and accessories.

Functional ingredients in body care products are on the rise as consumers fuel the category-wide shift to more natural solutions. Companies such as Target are expanding their offerings in the natural body care aisle to include scents inspired by personality type. The brand promoted by Target is called Good Chemistry, and it combines non-toxic ingredients and essential oils to create curated collections of perfumes that align with personality traits such as Confident and Charming, Good and Grounded, Vibrant and Playful, and Cool and Collected.

When it comes to the aesthetic of luxury, consumers are currently drawn to metallic finishes. The hues of pewter, rose gold, copper, and zinc continue to dominate interiors, fashion and cosmetic design. In the home, we see these rich, shiny hues reflected in our kitchen utensils, wall treatments, and décor; mixing these shades is seen as the next phase of our obsession with metallics. The fashion industry is positioning metallic shades as an alternative to the muted ones that dominated 2017. The idea behind this embrace of metallic colors is to inspire photogenic moments, which can encourage more engagement—and, thus, more sales—through social media. These flashy tones can make us feel indulgent, even if it’s just the reflection from our coffee maker.

In the search for extravagance, our concept of what qualifies has evolved to include more experiences that give us comfort and make us feel special. These experiences remind us that we each have different needs. Consumers will always want something that gives them the feeling of being rewarded. Be it a glamping weekend, a new rose gold kitchen gadget or perfume that conveys confidence, enjoyment, and gratification—that rush of fulfillment will always be a need that must be met.

And in an era of self-care, small indulgences can make all the difference.

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