Devices can become even more disruptive to the beauty category than they’ve been in the recent past, according to Paul Peros, chief executive officer of Foreo.
“Beauty has not taken in a lot of the technologies that are available today,” said the executive during his speech at the recent WWD Beauty CEO Summit in Palm Beach, Fla. “It makes sense – the businesses are organized to be stable and efficient, which is sort of the exact opposite of [today’s] consumer. She is eager for innovation. She is really good at choosing and selecting new products.”
The Stockholm-based company entered the category three years ago, as facial cleansing devices were shifting from the professional and niche channels into the mainstream.
“At the same time, there were little choices out there for consumers,” said Peros. “We want to make products that are superior in performance, but that are also fun and exciting to discover, to explore and to use. Our biggest and strongest weapon is not just to try hard, but to be really disciplined in challenging our decisions and opening up to new inputs.”
Foreo’s teams include musicians, architects, designers and financiers.
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“Traditional companies generally do not have a good track record at keeping diversity in teams and the integration of novel inputs,” continued Peros. “We try to get really every dimension right with the best possible solution at the beginning of a product’s life.”
The company came out with the Luna facial-cleansing device, which was unique in its moon shape (rather than being in the form of a brush), in its not involving external charging and in being made of medical-grade silicon. Foreo subsequently launched an oral-care solution and eye applicator.
Peros said another challenge is getting innovation accepted.
“When we go far out on a limb, chances are we are going to get surprises,” he said. “We have to be able to be fast at learning and adjusting to them.”
That’s why little is outsourced from Foreo – manufacturing, logistics, copywriting and design are all done in house, for instance.
Meanwhile, Peros is bullish on the future.
“I think that within five years we will be looking at devices beyond imagination today,” he said. “We are still an embryonic market. It’s very much like home computers in the Eighties, with a few brands. We are missing applications.”
After facial cleansers, the next largest beauty device category today is epilators.
“But then as you go into B and C classes, it gets really weird really fast,” he said. “This is where we need to do work.”
Peros said he believes that facial-cleansing devices have low-penetration levels at present, so Foreo is conceiving a high-performance sonic product at an entry-ticket price.
“Overall, devices will continue, but for that to happen a lot of innovation has to happen,” explained Peros. “I think that the new devices or the new applications will not stay within skin care – we’re talking color, we’re talking hair.”