2022 has slipped away into the rearview mirror as another trip around the sun kicks in and we head into the orbit of a New Year.
As part of a special series we’ve asked industry leaders to offer up their take on the year passed, and what they predict might come in the year ahead.
Next up is Yukiko Ochiai – President and CEO GREY Tokyo offering up her insights.
Looking Ahead – Three Trends I See in 2023:
In-Home Beauty Tech
Technology devices to enhance one’s beauty that we can operate by ourselves.
With Corona, spending more time at home has encouraged consumers (both male and female) to take beauty care into their own hands instead of seeking it at places like salons. Hit products such as Zuvi Halo Hair Dryer (quick drying while moisturizing your scalp and hair) and Electrical Bari Brush (a hairbrush that gives you a head spa effect) are some of the few examples of consumers reaching out for new in-home beauty technology in 2022.
I believe this trend will continue to grow in 2023 as beauty technology becomes even more accessible and consumers become more particular about their beauty needs. In addition, as skincare and beauty expand, it is becoming more mainstream for male consumers. In-home beauty tech specializing in males’ needs will also have an excellent chance to grow.
60+ consumers who may have been left behind somewhat from the digital world a few years ago are also finally catching up. A consequence of the Covid era is the rapid growth of digital communication among seniors. During lockdown and staying home, seniors found a need, adapted, and opened up to the digital world faster than before.
The usage of LINE among 60 plus has exceeded 90%, and the viewership of YouTube in this age bracket has surpassed 40%. This number will continue to grow in 2023 and expand to other digital services and platforms, including e-com, streaming and gaming. Interestingly, Senior YouTubers and social KOLs are also on the rise, and I’m sure we will see new content cultivated that will be relevant to this target group.
Marketing through Nostalgia
When the world is gloomy and unstable, people often go back to a time when things were happy and simple. We have seen this trend more in the International market, with examples such as the massive hits Stranger Things, Top Gun Maverick, and even the new Burger King logo. I believe that this trend will quickly grow in Japan as well.
According to a recent Karaoke study, Japanese GenZs choose to sing songs from 10-20 years ago, then move on to the more recent hits. Another example is the opening and success of Seibuen Amusement Park in 2020. It is a theme park based on 1960s Tokyo, so I see this trend growing in Japan.
Nostalgia is becoming a big opportunity and a tool for brands with a long history. They have an advantage by tapping into their heritage design and products. But for the new and upcoming brands as well, this is a way to connect with both the Boomers and GenZ simultaneously.
Favorite Trends From 2022
Body Positivity & Grey Hair
The rise of female comedians such as Naomi Watanabe and Yuriyan Retriever has pushed the door open for a new way of thinking about our bodies which is refreshing and welcome. Not only are they funny and talented, but they also have a high sense of fashion and confidence and use their body type to their advantage to explore new trends.
When I roam the streets of Tokyo, I see women of different body types being bolder with their fashion, proud of their bodies, and wearing what they want and how they want to, and this is such a positive and refreshing change.
On a similar note, I am also happy about the Grey Hair trend, where it is now so much more acceptable for the older generation, if they wish to, to be comfortable enough to stop dyeing their hair to cover ageing. The overall trend of being able to accept and be your true authentic self is an amazing shift within Japan, where uniformity is often valued. I hope this trend of authenticity will keep growing in 2023.
My New Year Resolution for 2022
My new year resolution was to travel to LA to see Shohei Otani (baseball player) at the Angels stadium. What Shohei has achieved is beyond amazing and symbolizes pursuing your passion and belief in yourself against all the odds.
So many people have advised him to focus on one thing (either pitching or a batting), but he stuck with his dream and became the best baseball player in the world.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t fulfill my dream of seeing him this year, but I hope to do so in 2023.