Does anyone remember encyclopedias? How about the card catalogue at the library? What about the days when, in order to communicate with someone, you wrote a letter that they would receive in the mail three days later? Or, how about when you heard a great new tune on the radio and had to wait until the end of the song for the DJ tell you who sang it?
Today, the Shazam app tells you within seconds who sings that great new song, and also allows you to download it for immediate enjoyment. Email and texting eliminate any wait time for getting your message across. And the Grand Poobah of immediate gratification, Google, provides you with millions of matches within nanoseconds for any topic of interest you desire. The days of spending hours to search through volumes of heavy text books or miles of index cards in tiny drawers are now a distant memory.
There is no question, the world has changed. And so has our desire for immediate gratification. Do you need more information on that random thought that came into your head? Just “Google it.” Technology has made us ridiculously impatient. We demand instant results in life, so why wait for a Brightening serum to deliver brighter, more even skin over time, when you can have the immediate effect of brighter, more even skin with an Alphabet Cream? You end up with the same result, but without the wait. Prestige dollar sales reflect this switch in consumer psyche. Brightening serums experienced a 20 percent decline in 2013, while Alphabet Creams enjoyed triple-digit gains*.
Do you need the illusion of perfect skin for just a few magical hours? Facial masks are the skincare equivalent of Spanx; you get instant, albeit temporary, results. Of course, masks will eventually improve your skin over consistent use, but the immediate fix is what may be fueling their success. Many top selling facial masks use language such as “immediate,” instant,” and “quick fix,” to market their benefits. As a result, facial masks have experienced accelerated gains over the past three years, and 72 percent dollar sales growth in 2013*.
One day, maybe Google will be able to deliver smaller pores, smoother skin, and fewer wrinkles in one click. How nice would it be to just think of a skincare issue and have the immediate fix at your fingertips? I’m sure that day is coming; the only question is how fast will it get here? Maybe I’ll Google it to find out.
* Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / BeautyTrends®, 2013 U.S. prestige retail dollar sales