EURO COSMETICS:What were your most important learning in your carreer?
John Jiménez: I really like this question. I believe that the most important learning I have had in all these years is that beauty is a universal right and we as cosmetic chemists have a fundamental role in building a better society. Inclusion and diversity are presented as fundamental drivers of our development, the society, the future and of course cosmetics. We humans don’t want to be labeled and the cosmetics industry is making wonderful innovations to meet this insight.
EURO COSMETICS:What fascinates you about neuromarketing techniques in cosmetics development?
John Jiménez: It is well known that the application of neuroscience techniques in marketing is not a new field. The great opportunity is to apply these methodologies in product design, as it has traditionally been used in the development, launch, and postlaunch stages. I think that there is a whole world to develop in the application of neuromarketing in the research and development process of cosmetic products. I like that we can create new ways of developing products that will impact more on the memory, attention and emotion of consumers. I also love the fact that we can develop new claims and benefits for consumers.
EURO COSMETICS:You regularly write articles for our newsletter about neuromarketing. Your current article deals with the field of color psychology and neuromarketing. Can you give us a brief overview and why this topic will determine the cosmetics industry in the future?
John Jiménez: The psychology of color is fascinating and there are many applications that can be further investigated in cosmetic products. A very good example is the proper development of chromatic chords and the evaluation of their impact on the perception and performance of not only formulations, but also packaging, packaging, branding, etc. A color has definite emotional and neurological implications, which can change depending on the other colors with which it is mixed. For example, a red can have a sensual and emotional connotation but accompanied by black, it can have a connotation of danger and threat. We have done some studies on how these chromatic chords can influence the perception of cosmetic products and here there is a whole field to develop in our industry. This topic is very important for the future of the industry, as there is an opportunity to evaluate synergies, which in this case are known as sensory additivity. That is, how the correct mixture of stimuli and senses can increase the perception of the cosmetic product, understood as a total entity, not analyzing its components separately.
EURO COSMETICS:There is also a new study from the National Institute of Health in the United States “The brain’s Pantone”. What exactly is the study about and what were the results?
John Jiménez: This is a very interesting article that was published last year in Current Biology and the goal was to decode the “pantone of the brain”, that is, to better understand the way humans perceive color. When I read the article I found it very relevant to the cosmetic industry. In this study, the authors determined a way to measure what happens after light hits the eye, using brain scans. They explain that the geometry that describes the relationship between colors and the neural mechanisms that support color vision are unresolved. They used multivariate analyzes of magnetoencephalography (MEG) measurements of brain activity to reverse engineer a geometry of the neural representation of color space. Authors highlight that stimulus color can be decoded from surface MEG recordings and perceptual representations give rise to semantic representations, but not the reverse. The results reveal a neural geometry of color space that is dynamic and the geometry explains universal color-naming patterns and generates new hypotheses.
EURO COSMETICS:You recently talked about Playful Cosmetics, a new trend caused by the corona pandemic. Please tell us more about it.
John Jiménez: Playful cosmetics is a concept in which the cosmetics industry has begun to show interest, driven largely by the pandemic. The economy of boredom is a topic presented by The New York Times in February as an opportunity created by coronavirus. As consumers we are locked in our homes for a long time and the reality is that in some countries we will continue to have coronavirus outbreaks, restrictions and quarantines. This is where it is important for brands to innovate in the experience they can offer the user when using the product at home. The goal is that cosmetic products can be perceived and interact with many senses, to achieve a more holistic experience. For example, recently a famous brand published a story about how it was able to make a perfume audible.
EURO COSMETICS:Diversity and Inclusion are very important concepts more and more frequently in cosmetics. What trends can you talk about in these theme?
John Jiménez: Diversity and inclusion are a large universe in which many segments, consumer types, product categories and opportunities for innovation. The projections indicate that the concepts related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) will be key in the recovery of the categories and the market due to the effects of the pandemic. We see very interesting trends such as the consolidation of genderless concepts in categories such as fragrances, personal care, skin care and fragrances. We also see the development of specialized brands that meet the needs of special groups, such as people who are undergoing chemotherapy processes, people with physical, visual and psychological disabilities. Recently a well-known brand announced that it was removing the word “normal” from all its products and advertising and this is opening the doors to a huge trend in the cosmetic industry. The BIPOC concept is also creating trends in new concepts and products that are very inspiring. We see brands in the market that are focusing their products and advertising on women over 50 years old, who are also protagonists in commercials. Supporting LGBTQ + causes is also a wonderful job that various cosmetic brands are doing.
EURO COSMETICS:More and more companies pay attention to their ecological footprints and invest in climate-related research projects. How do you see the tasks of the cosmetics industry in the future?
John Jiménez: Our planet and its care is a fundamental point in our near future. The cosmetic industry will assume an important role in the development of major environmental issues, working hard in its value chain, optimizing environmental footprints, creating strategies to decrease the impact of carbon footprint and water footprint through local partners, optimization of ingredients and optimization of its production processes that will allow greater competitiveness and empathy with the planet. The consumer is increasingly demanding and aware of the environmental impact on consumption and companies that manage to adapt to their expectations will have greater success and recognition in the market. The green theme is consolidating as a “must”, in which a joint work with all the actors involved such as producers, society, consumers and companies will be part of the success to contribute to this path of preservation and integral sustainable development and will be part of the future in our cosmetic industry.
EURO COSMETICS:Your knowledge and skills in the R&D process of mass market, high-end skin care and personal care products is impressive. Based on your personal perspective, what are the biggest and important changes that we can expect in the cosmetics industry in the next few years?
John Jiménez: The situation that the world experienced in the face of the arrival of a pandemic unexpectedly and that has not yet disappeared, changed everything; from consumer habits, the way they invest their money, their priorities, even the way they interact. This definitely directly impacts the cosmetic industry because having a wide range of beauty and personal care products, the consumer now thinks very well about what to invest in, in the face of uncertainty. Concepts such as back to the basics, preventive care and giving more value to experiences have gained relevance and each of the protagonists in this industry seeks to adapt to this new situation, reinvent itself to continue giving news to the consumer, who will always be our center. Now in regions such as Latin America, the aforementioned increases in the face of the economic and political situation experienced by many of the countries, that is why looking for new ways of measuring the benefits that allow having launches that really solve revealing insights will allow companies to cosmetics remain in time and here neuroscience plays an important role. On the other hand, data management is a reality, and building products through the support of artificial intelligence will allow us to accelerate processes and make focused decisions in a world where social networks are the biggest influencer in the face of new trends.
EURO COSMETICS:Thank you for the conversation, John.
Senior Exploration ScientistatBelcorp Colombia
John Jiménez is currently Senior Researcher at Belcorp Colombia. He is a Pharmacist (National University of Colombia) with a Master degree in Sustainable Development (EOI Business School, Madrid) and specialization studies in Marketing, Cosmetic Science and Neuromarketing. John has 28 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation.
Maison G de Navarre Prize (IFSCC 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America and was President of Accytec Bogotá from 2017–2019.
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