US – Consumer goods company P&G is working with supermarket chain Walmart to co-incubate a youth-focused haircare brand called NOU (Next of Us). Catering for textured hair, the brand addresses the needs of 3A-4C hair types. Curl patterns on the packaging enable shoppers to easily identify which products suit their hair porosity, while QR codes on the back of bottles provide information around hair types.
P&G and Walmart internally recruited 30 Generation Z employees to create NOU and to ensure that the brand accurately responds to the needs and interests of its target audience. ‘They [young consumers] are rejecting what we could say are the norms of beauty; they want to be very expressive,’ comments Lela Coffey, vice president of haircare and multicultural brands at P&G. ‘[And they are using] hair as a form of self-expression to be as fluid and as constantly changing.’
This product line therefore responds to a gap in the market for accessible, inclusive haircare. As more beauty brands wise up to the preferences of Gen Z consumers, NOU demonstrates how youth-focused products must also respond to the requirements of diverse audiences.
Companies can look internally and work directly with Gen Z teammates to create products that will resonate with wider youth audiences. When targeting this demographic, prioritise themes of self-expression and individuality