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The D2C Disruption

...In Personal Care and Beauty


Olay Uses AI-Enabled Marketing To Double Sales Conversion Rate

Skincare brand Olay has doubled its sales conversion rate by using artificial intelligence to help focus and personalize its marketing. According to Nara Logics CEO, Jana Eggers, Olay’s Skin Advisor online skin-advisor tool has engaged more than 4 million customers. Nara Logics uses for Olay the same machine learning algorithm that is used for the U.S. intelligence community, Eggers said. She also said companies planning to use AI need not hire people with data science Ph.D.’s, with software engineers usually capable of and excited about using the technology.[Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]

Serena Williams Invests In Pro-Women Equality Shaving Brand Billie

Tennis Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has agreed to invest in female-first shaving brand Billie. By investing in the direct-to-consumer company, Williams continues supporting the campaign for equality for women. Billie's pricing aims to do away with the “pink tax”, or higher prices for products designed for women. Williams joins other celebrities, including Drew Barrymore and Lena Dunham, who have expressed support for the brand on social media. [Image Credit: © Billie Inc.]

Panacea Looks At Transparency And Minimalism As Corporate Guideposts

Panacea founder Terry Lee discussed how he established a direct-to-consumer beauty brand that depends on customer insights to create gender-neutral, closely managed collection of three skincare products. According to Lee, the outstanding feature of his company is its ability to create and sell products in ways that both women and men find attractive. Also, the company's approach to gender neutrality is highlighted by its product development process. Lee said transparency and minimalism are “very innate” in his company's character and “naturally showed up in the brand itself.” [Image Credit: © Panacea]

Schwarzkopf Launches My Specialist Brand Of Highly Personalized Haircare Products

Schwarzkopf has launched its My Specialist brand of personalized haircare products in China. Available online through an exclusive partnership with China-based online shopping website T-Mall, the brand offers consumers what the company describes as a “whole new level of personalization.” Developed by Henkel's research and development professionals, marketing teams, and the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, the brand comes with an online dryness and damage assessment that measures the health status of the consumer's hair. Also, consumers are prompted to answer a series of questions to better assess their haircare needs. According to the company, the system checks the hair's cuticle array, cuticle lift-up, cortex exposure, and other aspects of the hair condition.[Image Credit: © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA]


Meitu Opens Meivolution Festival Highlighting AI Technologies For Beauty Applications

Meitu Inc., developer of an online beauty ecosystem with 450 million users, launched its first Meivolution Festival in Shanghai, China. Combining the Chinese character Mei, which means beauty, with the English word evolution, the event marks the first time the company hosts an offline event. During the festival, Meitu users can join their communities and friends using photography, augmented reality, and image optimization technologies offered by the company. Also, during the event, Meitu will highlight technologies, including artificial intelligence for testing skin quality and providing make-up tips.[Image Credit: © Meitu]

Innisfree Introduces New Retail-Equipped Store In China

Korean cosmetics company Innisfree launched its first New Retail store in China. Located at the Li Xing Shopping Plaza in the country’s Hangzhou region, the store comes with New Retail digital and interactive features. Developed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma in 2016, New Retail is designed to use technology to combine online and offline shopping “into one comprehensive channel”. It offers customers convenience whether buying through an app or at an offline store. New Retail features include Magic Mirror, an AR-enabled technology which lets consumers virtually try makeup products; Smart Skin Analyzer, which analyzes the user’s skin and recommends the best Innisfree products based on the skin report; and Vending Machine, which lets consumers buy products at discounted prices using the Taobao mobile app.[Image Credit: © Innisfree Corporation]

Aloette Cosmetics Launches A-List Loyalty Program With Subscription Boxes

Aloette Cosmetics said it has launched Aloette A-List, a loyalty program exclusive for members only. Featuring bi-monthly subscription boxes, the program also provides members with product discounts and offers, as well as for-their-eyes-only updates. Priced at $19.95 per month, the subscription box is valued up to $150 and comes filled with full-sized Aloette products and a surprise gift.
[Image Credit: © Aloette Cosmetics, Inc.]

Panacea’s Co-Founder Introduces The Brand

In an interview with PSFK.com, Terry Lee, the co-founder of new direct-to-consumer beauty brand, Panacea, talks about the business. He believes gender-neutral beauty should be the norm today, and that it’s important for consumers to commit to a daily routine in skincare, to provide “momentum” throughout day. He also commented on the brand’s commitment to minimalism - a small number of products to help drive quality - and transparency - to build consumer trust and loyalty. Lee said the brand could look offline too and omnichannel should be an ambition, but it’s too early for Panacea. Also, with only a small number of products, it would be difficult for the brand to “dominate” the shelf space in stores. Lee added that Panacea is not positioned as a personalized problem-solver, but for daily use to address issues highlighted by consumer feedback. The initial three products in the range, therefore, should be seen as a first step, in “a series of hundreds—or thousands—of steps in our journey”, with new products coming.[Image Credit: © Panacea]

My Specialist From Schwarzkopf Provides Online Personalized Hair Care

Schwarzkopf’s new My Specialist brand claims to offer customized hair care online, based on microscopic testing, through an exclusive deal in China with T-Mall. The Henkel brand, together with the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, has created a test that assesses the hair’s dryness and damage. This is supplemented by a questionnaire to provide an evaluation that can be treated with personalized products.[Image Credit: © Henkel Corporation]


Kanebo Subsidiary Launches MemoMi Digital Mirror Service

Japanese beauty brand Kanebo’s subsidiary, e’quipe, Ltd., plans to launch a service featuring the digital mirror developed by Silicon Valley-based MemoMi Labs Inc. Buyers of SUQQU brand of cosmetics can experience the service while receiving a Gankin facial muscle massage at some retail stores. According to the company, a built-in digital image recorder will record the facial massage session and sends the video to the customer’s smartphone.[Image Credit: © memomi]

L’Oréal And Facebook Team Up For AR Makeup Experience Using Modiface

L’Oréal, using its recently-acquired ModiFace solution, is collaborating with Facebook on creating an augmented reality makeup try-on experience through the social media platform’s camera products. Facebook says this brings AR into the mainstream. L’Oréal’s Chief Digital Officer, Lubomira Rochet, said that the two companies share a belief that AR is becoming an increasingly crucial way for consumers to discover brands and products.[Image Credit: © Modiface Inc.,]

Odore's Dispenser Machines Give Consumers Perfume Samples For Personal Data

Odore provides fragrance samples dispenser machines that allow consumers to exchange personal data for free samples of perfume products. Designed to encourage consumer participation, the process requires users to answer questions that would take no more than 20 seconds to accomplish, company founder Armaan Mehta said. He said the device also meets millennial consumers' demand for interactive retail. [Image Credit: © Odore Limited]

Research & Insights

Direct-To-User Model Promises To Do More Than Typical DTC Does

Consumer packaged goods companies, whether users of the direct-to-consumer model or not, should focus on evolving from DTC to direct to user. By adopting a DTU approach, brands can expand their horizons when it comes to customer engagement. DTU provides brands the opportunity to avoid retail costs and the need to compete with established brands. Instead of focusing on what users think of a brand, companies should concentrate on what users experience during engagements. Also, a DTU model also offers brands an opportunity to have an uninterrupted exchange with users that can retain and protect user engagement that can help long-term growth. [Image Credit: © Matthews International Corporation]

Three Reasons Compel CPG Companies To Adopt The Direct-To-Consumer Model

Consumer packaged goods companies should consider adopting the direct-to-consumer model for three reasons: new product launches, consumer data, and consumer loyalty. To improve the success rates of new product launches, 75 percent of which fail, according to the Harvard Business Review, CPG companies must test concepts with real consumers using their direct channels before introducing those products to the retail channel. By using the DTC model, CPG companies gain access to a huge collection of information about the consumer. Also, by using a DTC channel, CPG companies can have a source of proprietary data which gives them competitive advantage. Finally, a direct access to the consumer provides CPG companies with means to create more convincing ways to buy from them and gather more personal information from their customers. [Image Credit: © Mediamodifier]
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