Premium Beauty News – Over four years, Respire has become a reference on the French beauty and hygiene market, known for being demanding. How can you explain this success?
Justine Hutteau - Respire has always been focused on its community. It quickly gained engagement on social media, in particular on Instagram, on which we have always been regularly present on Respire’s page – it counts more than 200,000 followers – but also on my personal page, now followed by more than 100,000 people. We have interacted with our community since the very beginning, by asking questions on the bathroom products our users would like us to develop, and we offer natural, efficient answers.
We soon realized that some people were highly committed: they answered every question and were eager to get involved in product development. That is how La Ruche Respire (for “hive”) was born, to refer to our community of co-creators, which counts 700 people to date. Basically, La Ruche Respire is a private Instagram account on which we ask questions several times a week about perfumes, textures, packaging, colours... But we also meet our community on our premises, so they can test or collect products. Many people contact us because they want to integrate La Ruche Respire. And we are now ready to make it broader!
Premium Beauty News – Does this mean this community of co-creators, which has followed you since the brand was created, will gain even more importance?
Justine Hutteau – Exactly. We aim to triple the number of members by this summer, by organizing recruiting periods in the months to come. To join La Ruche Respire, the candidates will need to fill in a precise questionnaire and explain their motivations. We want to get a broader panel of testers, more representative of consumers, to meet needs and expectations ever-more accurately. All new references are developed with La Ruche Respire: members give their opinion in all development phases, and then they test the products for about two weeks to fill in a basic questionnaire. Based on their answers, we review the product until we get a very high satisfaction rate. I do believe this approach is the future of the cosmetics industry. Because, with this method, when we launch our products, we know they will meet our customers’ needs! And the very positive feedback on our latest launches confirms this!
Premium Beauty News – Was it this process that led you to reformulate your roll-on deodorant?
Justine Hutteau - A year and a half ago, we launched a solid deodorant in a cardboard pack whose effect lasted 48 hours. It was a real success when it came out! And we almost never had any negative comment on its efficacy. However, the cardboard pack did not get unanimous support. So, we decided to review it all, working hand in hand with our laboratory.
We developed an “anti-bad smell” patented technology to make the new formula composed of 98% of ingredients of natural origin even more efficient than the previous one. The last test carried out by more than 400 testers was very encouraging, since we got a 4.7/5 score! This reference was released in late March, with four new perfumes available: cotton flower (our best-selling scent for the stick), white tea, aloe, and monoi (the last one is a Sephora exclusivity).
We are always trying to enhance our product offering, so we also reviewed our two sunscreens (SPF 30 and 50), which have just been launched (April 12) on our website and at our retailers’. When we launched our first sunscreens, in 2019, mineral filters were the best in terms of health and sustainability. Now, they are controversial. That is why we decided to use organic filters in our new formulas. We screened the list of 21 organic filters authorized by the European Cosmetics Regulation and selected the best in terms of efficacy and safety.
Premium Beauty News – Are you planning to go global?
Justine Hutteau – We have been thinking about a global strategy. Right now, our website is only available in French. So, by the end of the year, we would like to have it translated into several European languages. Next, we also aim to launch the brand in a few European countries, but it is still too early to tell you more.