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Personal Care Business Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

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January 08, 2019, to January 22, 2019

Haus Beauty From Lady Gaga Looks Set For Launch, Possibly Later This Year

With very little fanfare, it seems likely that Lady Gaga will soon launch her own make-up brand. She has received approval for a trademark application for Haus Beauty, and the brand’s website appeared over the holiday period, displaying a single black page with a facility for visitors to enter their email address. Business Insider reported that entering an email address has yet to lead to any new information.

Harry’s Is Another Brand That Has Extended Its Reach Beyond D2C

The Harry’s grooming brand is just one of many personal care and beauty brands that are expanding beyond their online direct-to-consumer origins to move into physical retail. It is now available in mass retail, in chains such as Target and Walmart. At the New York Retail Innovation Week event, people from Harry’s will talk about how it builds consumer loyalty through quality and convenience. In an interview, VP of marketing, Lorna Peters, said Harry’s is using the omnichannel approach now to reach men wherever they prefer to shop, and that includes mass retail. Harry’s is vertically integrated. It owns the blade factory in Eisfeld, Germany, which gives the company more control over its supply chain. Harry’s has also focused on maintaining clear communications with its customers, which is the main reason for its launch through the D2C channel, and Peters said the company has been able to learn a lot about the values men have. 

Clark’s Botanicals Is Beefing Up Its Online D2C Channel

Clark’s Botanicals, a natural beauty brand, is looking to intensify its online presence with a new website and product rebranding. Founder Francesco Clark says the brand must create a “better sense of community”, and that means direct-to-consumer communication. It sells through partners, including Amazon, Space NK, and QVC, but online sales were up 250 per cent last year. It expects direct sales to double this year, with the site accounting for over two-thirds of total sales. Its parent company, Glansaol, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of 2018 and sold its assets to AS Beauty, with the deal expected to close early this year. Clark said that consumer conversion and engagement is predominantly through social media, and it’s trialing a new YouTube channel featuring Clark, with guest appearances from a makeup artist and a blogger. In November, Clark was interviewed by Gayle King on “CBS This Morning.” It resulted in significant sales growth, selling out of some of its “hero” products. The new site will include a chatbot, and Clark will host live videos of him answering customer questions. Clark also highlighted consumer loyalty. Most of its 2018 sales were repeat purchases, and most of its consumers are in the 30-50 years age range. 

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December 18, 2018, to January 08, 2019

Venus Launches Limited Edition Razor In Partnership With Remi Cruz

Gillette Venus has teamed up with Remi Cruz, an entrepreneur and YouTube personality, for the launch of a limited-edition razor. The Venus x Remi razor has a handle printed with a tropical design and is available for the holiday season exclusively on the new Venus Direct subscription platform. 

Ukrainian Startup Has Developed A Disposable Toothbrush Based on Paper

Effa, a Ukrainian company, is producing toothbrushes with a paper body covered by a nano-layer of PLA, a cornstarch-based polymer. The head is also made from PLA, and the bristles from nylon mixed with castor oil. The packaging is water-soluble. Effa is looking to develop a range of everyday goods that are more environmentally-friendly, targeting hotels, airlines and prisons. 

Showfields Is A New Retail Concept For Digital Native Brands

A New York City concept store has opened, providing physical space for a number of digitally-native direct-to-consumer brands. Showfields is something of a hybrid store – more than just a pop-up, but not necessarily permanent. It will accommodate brands including Function of Beauty, Nuria and Quip, and offers a space for influencers to showcase products for a month at a time. The brands will be there until March, and possibly beyond, occupying the first floor. Three additional floors will art exhibitions and event space. Showfields is planning opening a similar store in another city in 2019, with a target of 100 locations in 10 years. 

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December 11, 2018, to December 18, 2018

Perfect Corp. Founder Talks About YouCam And Its Place In Beauty 3.0

Founder and CEO of Perfect Corp., Alice Chang, spoke at the CEW Connected Consumer Conference about ‘Beauty 3.0’, the company’s name for what it sees as the future of beauty. It will, she says, combine more personalized and proactive tech involving human touch characteristics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality. The result will be an extremely accurate virtual try-on experience. Perfect Corp. and its YouCam apps are now used by some 200 beauty brands and 700 million users. The company also encourages users to try YouCam’s set of virtual apps, free of charge, to enable them to test their features.

Nars Cosmetics Is Seeking To Capture Consumer Data And Use More Beauty Tech In 2019

Shiseido brand Nars Cosmetics is trying to balance the needs of those looking for human interaction in beauty shopping and others that like the speed and convenience of direct-to-consumer e-commerce. ‘Clienteling’ is a key focus, and it wants its sales associates and makeup artists to collect consumer data when they speak to them, and encourage them to use the data to make the experience more personal for the shopper. The brand sees 2019 as a big tech year for the company, with trials of virtual try-ons and artificial intelligence applications, such as for skin tone data. 

Customized Hair Care Brand Prose Secures $18 Million Series B Finance

Prose, a direct-to-consumer hair care brand selling customized products, announced closure of a $18 million Series B funding round. The brand launched earlier this year and offers products that address specific hair and scalp requirements, on the basis of a consultation covering the customer’s hair characteristics, lifestyle, environmental exposure, stress, diet, and preferences (such as vegan, gluten-free and fragrance-free). The products are available on prose.com and in some salons. Prose has posted double-digit growth each month and is developing an automated customization system, which should be available by the middle of next year at its new production plant in Brooklyn. The online consultation facility has to date captured half a million customer profiles, each with 135 data points, including customer selfies. 

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November 20, 2018, to December 11, 2018

Clinique iD Provides Customized Hydration To Address Specific Skin Concerns

Now available on Clinique.com is Clinique iD, a personalized system for skin hydration based on its Dramatically Different Moisturizer skin lotions. Visitors to the site first choose from one of the lotions as a base, then add one of five active concentrate cartridges to mix with it. The cartridges fit inside the selected moisturizer and contain a formulation designed to address the user’s skin concern, such as irritated skin, wrinkles, or skin fatigue. Clinique’s approach may go some way towards addressing the issue that women can’t find a moisturizer that’s right for their face: the brand ran a survey of US women and found that 86 percent of respondents cited this as a concern. To help users choose the right blend, Clinique will next year roll out online and in stores the digital Clinical Reality questionnaire. A 125ml bottle is priced at $39 and should last three months with the recommended twice-daily application. 

COVERGIRL Unveils Its Flagship Store In New York’s Times Square

The end of November saw the opening of the COVERGIRL TIMES SQUARE flagship store, the brand’s first permanent outlet. It’s on two levels and offers shoppers a virtual greeter, called Olivia, who can give beauty advice or direct you to a product you want. There are also Holition augmented reality stations for virtually try-ons, a customization station for customers to personalize products, and a makeup and advisory service from COVERGIRL BFFs (Brow Friends Forever). 

Dollar Shave Club Is Launching Blueprint, A Male Fragrance Line

Dollar Shave Club, the Unilever-owned subscription-based direct-to-consumer brand, continues to extend the line beyond its male grooming origins, with a line of six fragrances, called Blueprint. Founder and CEO, Michael Dubin, said fragrance for men is a part of what men want in the bathroom to get ready for the day ahead, and most of DSC’s members have more than one cologne. Fragrance developer Ann Gottlieb said DSC’s fragrances are premium products at affordable price. DSC offered existing customers samples of fragrances in their DSC boxes, and the new products will become a part of the brand’s full-service offering, which it has been testing. DSC is also testing physical retail with vending machines selling trial-size versions of the brands’ products. 

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November 13, 2018, to November 20, 2018

Australian Hair Care Company Kevin Murphy To Integrate Ocean Plastics Into Supply Chain

Company founder, Kevin Murphy, will use ocean plastics for his products' packaging in 2019 in an attempt to help reduce ocean plastic debris. Murphy, during a vacation in Bali, Indonesia, observed the environmental threat posed by plastic worldwide as an estimated 5 trillion tons of plastic currently litter the ocean. Danish packaging manufacturer Pack Tech is helping Murphy and his team switch to 100 percent ocean plastic packaging. To part offset the high cost of transporting, treating and reprocessing ocean plastic, Murphy increased the sale price of his products by 7 percent. Other companies that have similar advocacy include Dell and Adidas.

Chanel South Korea Launches Online Platform For Cosmetics

In South Korea, Chanel launched an online platform for its cosmetic products and service with a wrapping service and select deliver day option to encourage gifting. Separately, and in an attempt to attract young customers, particularly those in their 20s and 30s, Chanel Korea launched a Coco Game Center pop-up store which features game that feature the Chanel logo.

Two Brands Are Using Face-To-Face Contact With Consumers To Promote Their Products

At the end of October, Nivea opened a pop-up store in London for the launch of the MicellAIR Professional cleansing line. The ‘Boo-tique’ has a Halloween theme and offers five looks by the brand’s professional make-up artists. Visitors can take away a free bag of products from the new range. In the US, Rimmel London is getting on the road during October and November with its (Street) Art of Beauty tour. Customers can visit the exclusive mobile salon, which is covered by graffiti created by the brand. The salon has makeup artists to help visitors choose Rimmel’s products. The tour goes to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Tampa and Miami.

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October 09, 2018, to November 13, 2018

Men's Grooming Brand Oars + Alps Forms Retail Partnership With Ulta Beauty

Following a US$1.3 million seed-funding round in summer last year, male grooming brand Oars + Alps is partnering with Ulta Beauty to expand distribution beyond its own direct-to-consumer platform. It’s the brand’s first retail partnership, although it sells select items on Amazon’s Luxury Beauty store. Ulta will sell seven of the 23 Oars + Alps products on Ulta.com and in 300 stores. Co-founder and chief executive officer Mia Duchnowski claims the partnership can help boost awareness of the brand's products. The brand competes in category dominated by brands like Procter & Gamble's Gillette and Old Spice, and Unilever’s Axe.

Johnson & Johnson And VaynerMedia Focus On Credibility To Sway Gen Z

Brands are responding to a decline in consumer trust of influencers. Johnson & Johnson and its creative agency, VaynerMedia, are reaching out to Gen Z consumers by enlisting teenagers who, by their actions, are seen as more credible, through their actions, even if they have a more modest online following. The company selected several teenagers, including Dillon Eisman who runs a nonprofit in Southern California, to star in one of its videos promoting the skincare brand Clean & Clear, resulting in a 19 percent boost in sales. Credibility was also a key factor in turning to established major influencers Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight to launch C&C, a new Clean & Clear sub-brand. 

Direct-To-Consumer Retailer Brandless Opens Second Pop-Up With Purpose Store In New York City

Brandless, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce business focusing on affordable pricing, opened its second Pop-Up With Purpose store in New York's Milk Building. It will run from late October to early November 2018, offering visitors an interactive experiences, including a beauty lounge and fair trade coffee bar. Chief executive officer and co-founder Tina Sharkey says the company wants to highlight values of the company and those of its online community, using multimedia displays. Brandless also wants the pop-up to widen its reach to young urban consumers.

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October 02, 2018, to October 09, 2018

P&G brand chief to major digital players: Prove marketing investment leads to sales

Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard called on big digital players to prove that marketing investment results in sales and not just excess frequency. He revealed that P&G cut $200m from its digital ad budget last year after new data showed that average view time for an ad on a mobile newsfeed was just 1.7 seconds. The multinational consumer goods giant also reduced spend on “long tail” marketing after re-evaluating its approach to programmatic. Citing the opportunity for full integration of media, shopping and data, Pritchard noted that P&G maintained its overall media investment with e-commerce players such as Amazon as well as Alibaba, Tencent and JD in China, where the company’s focus is increasing. P&G also plans to change the way it works with agency partners in order to align with the company’s new direction of more brand entrepreneurship and less project management. 

L’Oréal skincare device wins patent case in shorter trials procedure pilot

The Patents Office has ruled that the L’Oréal patent and one of its community registered designs were infringed by RN Ventures’ “Magnitone” electronic brush for deep cleansing of face pores. Another L’Oreal company, the exclusive licensee of L’Oreal’s rights in the UK, was the second claimant in the case. The case used the shorter trials procedure pilot scheme introduced to the High Court in October 2015 and will be available until September 2018.  The case is of interest because it used the shorter trials procedure in considering one patent and two registered designs involving significant cross-examination with regard to expert evidence. The shorter trials procedure is intended for commercial and business cases not requiring extensive disclosure, witness or expert evidence. It aims to reduce costs and shorten trials to three to four days.

Henkel Seeks To Leverage Big Data To Identify Efficient Opportunities, Sets Ambition Goal

Henkel seeks to leverage big data to reach ambitious efficiency goals. By 2030 it aims to triple its efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint globally by 75 percent. Critical to its efforts is an Environmental Management System (EMS) that it implemented in 2014 in collaboration with Schneider Electric. The EMS captures over 3,000 data points across a wide range of the company’s global production network, including metrics on consumption of electricity, fossil fuels, compressed air and water. Through capturing data centrally the company is able to identify best practice. The company estimates its Laundry & Home Care unit could reduce energy use by 24 percent.

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September 18, 2018, to October 02, 2018

Infinite Beauty Starts Offering HydraFacial MD Highlights High-Tech Beauty Treatments In Maryland

Infinite Beauty has begun offering its HydraFacial MD Highlights high-tech beauty services at its spa location in Bethesda, Maryland. Noted for its technology-focused approach to beauty care, the company operates eight spa locations that provide customers with innovative treatments, such as high-frequency, microcurrent, ultrasonic, and LED light therapy. According to the company, the HydraFacial process can increase skin hydration, help reduce lines and wrinkles, as well as enhance the appearance of hyperpigmentation or redness.

Avon Launches Online Training Program For Sales Training Teams

Avon announced the launch of Digital Innovation University, the direct-to-consumer beauty brand's digital training program for its Sales Training Teams. Developed in partnership with digital experts, the training program is available online. It comes with three modules and runs for three months.

Voice-Based Commerce Offers Brands New Means Of Differentiating Themselves

To differentiate themselves from competitors in voice-based commerce, consumer packaged goods companies are expected to take a number  of steps. These include creating an audio brand consistent with other elements of their branding, such as colors and logo, owning a brand voice that is distinct from Alexa, and creating unique “audio logos”. According to Tribal Worldwide London head of experience design, Sunny Kumar, after finding a voice, brands should know how to use it. Aptos marketing director Dave Bruno said brands should “take voice seriously” and make it as easy as possible to remember how to engage using the platform.

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September 04, 2018, to September 18, 2018

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. 

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.” 

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. 

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August 28, 2018, to September 04, 2018

Ancora Investment Holdings Invests In Vapour Organic Beauty

Ancora Investment Holdings said it has invested in Vapour Organic Beauty, a natural luxury cosmetics brand. Founded by natural cosmetics industry pioneers Krysia Boinis and Kristine Keheley, Vapour Organic Beauty focuses on making high-end natural color cosmetics. Its mission is to serve a diverse clientele made up consumers from across age, race, and gender groups, the company said. 

Bulldog Launches Shower Gel In Environment-Friendly Refill Box

UK-based men's grooming company Bulldog has announced the launch of the Original Shower Gel Refill Box. To be sold exclusively at Whole Foods from August 2018 and on the company's online store, the product contains the equivalent of 25 bottles of shower gel. This is to help reduce plastic packaging waste, the company said.

MDacne's Online Payment Deal With AskToPay Makes It Easy For Teenagers To Complete Transactions

Dermatology company MDacne has signed a partnership with AskToPay, an online payment platform for teenagers. One of Mastercard's startup of the year awardees, AskToPay allows teenagers, MDacne's target market, to send payment requests to their parents and complete their transaction with the acne treatment company. Teenagers will find AskToPay's technology convenient to use, the payment service provider said. 
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