Premium Beauty News - What do you mean when you say, “go beyond the mere notion of full service”?
Katia di Martino - Our mission is to create unique concepts capable of meeting the expectations of a highly connected and informed consumer and accelerate their launch into the market. The single greatest challenge in beauty is just staying relevant and in the race. Given the way the beauty market is currently evolving, I think that agility is becoming more important than size now. We have shifted our focus from the corporate bottom line, to everyday human interests and behaviours due to the social media impact. That’s the consumer side of the equation that is currently driving the market. And it is through innovation focused on real consumer’s needs that we go beyond full service and develop beauty concepts integrated with AI and digital leverage.
Premium Beauty News - Everyone pretends to be “innovative”!
Katia di Martino - True but today it is necessary to renew and regenarate the innovation process and that is what Essentia Beauty is doing. For instance, on “Allmazing”, our web platform we use crowdsourcing to involve creatives in the development process. . Millennials are really the engine behind this new collaborative approach to idea making.
I was 27 years old when I founded Essentia Beauty after having met a particularly talented formulator who lit the fire of my own creative potential. Twenty years later the “Allmazing” project has perpetuated the ideas I had in my youth and give voice to emerging creatives and professionals that will be the future of this business. We have to embrace challenges, as you know.
Premium Beauty News - What is ultimately the best approach to make a difference?
Katia di Martino - Marketing Basics dictate that the customer is at the center of the thinking process but, in practice, for companies, especially large ones, it is not that simple. To develop an empathetic relationship with the consumer, you need to put yourself in their place. This is well understood by “indie brands” such as Glossier or Merci Handy that find ways to involve their communities in their development process.
Being “Consumer focused” means understanding the experience of the consumer, their desires and frustrations. They are sometimes banal everyday concerns that are beyond the limelight of the beauty world. Today the consumer has to deal with the paradox of an oversupply of cosmetic products that, at least superficially, seem to address all his or her possible needs. However, this same consumer is often unable to choose the right product from this “disarray” of options. Most women admit to having a hard time choosing their foundation and are lost amongst the myriad possibilities.
We must provide solutions by understanding the root cause this consumer dilemma. This led us toward a targeted product approach. Along the way we incorporated artificial intelligence to match products to users. Today, we are the only full service company in the world to offer a personalized matching application based on facial recognition. This was pitched to “native digitals” who were immediately attracted by this kind of proposition. First it is a way of shopping that is familiar to them and secondly it better met their specific needs.
Premium Beauty News - Environment, health, wellness: the new black?
Katia di Martino - It is a fact that the consumer, especially the younger generation, is more aware of “wellbeing” and in search of forms of “increased wellness” for themselves and their community.
This is a demand which reflects their desire to integrate ethical values into their consumption criteria. This explains the strong interest in “clean beauty” concepts imported from the United States, which combines the principle of safe formulation with “cruelty free” and “eco-friendly” requirements. But while this is all good news for people and the planet we must proceed with caution.
For instance, 72% of millennials say they do not hesitate to switch brands if it does not correspond to their values. The old adage that what you consume defines who you are has never been truer.
Essentia Beauty has been working on different research areas in order to provide customized solutions for different expectations. We’re developing both Cosmos certified natural and organic lines and we also work on the Clean Beauty new growing demand which we believe has a high potential of development. Regarding packaging we work both on refill solutions, especially for premium packs and on new eco-friendly materials. At ADF&PCD Paris we have unveiled a new cap that makes a real ecological contribution since it is made with a single bio base material and is biodegradable with a variety of finishing options and will keep working on exploring make up packaging solution using the same know-how.