The beauty industry has continued to see new brands emerge in the market, even amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
However, as beauty moves towards more tech-driven innovation, Rohan Widdison, CEO of manufacturer New Laboratories, wonders how many new brands will be able to cut the noise and make a name for themselves.
“Everyone wants to be in this space because they think: this is how I’m going to make money. But it’s such a crowded space that sometimes I wonder where some of them are really going as a brand. You’re going to have to create the electric car version of cosmetics… otherwise you’re not going to be better in 20 years.
With the pandemic, technology has enabled the industry to rise to the challenge and has significantly accelerated the development of beauty technology.
Widdison expects to see a growing number of companies using technology to lead the industry, highlighting custom beauty brands like Function of Beauty and My AlpStory, which use machine learning and robotic systems.
“This is where consumers can really benefit from technology. I think the days of we just went to a store or online to get a moisturizer are over. It’s about being really specific and if you get something that works for the customer at that level, then it’s going to be a loyal customer.
“It’s also a bit of a warning to the big brands who are still attached to department stores and duty-free models where they expect people to walk by and pick things up.”
Last December, Function of Beauty announced that it had received a strategic investment of $ 150 million from L Catterton, the world’s largest consumer-focused private equity firm, to accelerate its growth.
“Technology is also a selling point. Suddenly, these brands have become a technology company, and no longer a cosmetics company. If you want to get investment to build that brand, that’s how you’re going to do it – you’re not going to go to the old economy ”, said Widdison.
The personalized beauty industry is expected to evolve with the rapid development of skin analysis technology powered by artificial intelligence,
“With the analysis of the skin, it’s an incredible knowledge. You can now recommend a range of 20 products to your customer. So why not be in a situation where you can recommend your one million product line with endless number of combinations that will suit that customer? ” said Widdison.
The future of beauty
For cosmetic manufacturers like New Laboratories, focusing more on personalized beauty products and beauty technologies is a welcome development.
“For us, it’s fantastic. We will move away from the typical customer who would start with one to six products. Those who win are the ones with the most money to spend on Instagram or Facebook. So we make the products, we make the money – but we can only sell them one to six products, ” said Widdison.
He added that working with custom beauty brands was like a “Long-term insurance policy” for the company.
“For us, we can grow with a tech company – we love the future of it. The benefits are really going to come from the long term focus on this. “
To keep up with trends, the company has invested in robotics, which it believes is the future of the industry.
“We are currently working with a client to develop a technology online and then support it with robotics in the background. We love robotics here; we see it as the future.