PARIS — Beiersdorf AG has entered into the burgeoning personalized skin care market with a new direct-to-consumer vegan brand called Only What’s Needed, or O.W.N, in some European markets.
It involves a simple routine: facial cleansing plus day care, and facial cleansing plus night care.
O.W.N employs artificial intelligence and is built on an algorithm culling Beiersdorf’s skin care and consumer knowledge. That can select a unique product using one of 380,000 formula combinations.
People access the brand through OWNskincare.eu and complete a questionnaire to obtain their bespoke formulas.
Beauty-makers consider personalized products a holy grail today, as consumers increasingly are looking for treatments unique to themselves and formulations chockablock with natural, sustainable ingredients.
Further, store closures during the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted the strength of the direct-to-consumer model, one which until now has been used primarily by start-up ventures.
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“The whole project is an internal start-up: A few dedicated entrepreneurial people and a ton of passion and hard work managed to drum up support from all functions to make this happen,” Stefan De Loecker, chief executive officer of Beiersdorf, said in a statement.
“Our point of difference is that the products evolve automatically with every new order — including criteria such as lifestyle, people’s personal circumstances or seasonal changes,” he said. “With this holistic approach, we not only maintain a direct digital connection with consumers, but we also enhance our knowledge regarding consumers and their skin. This will help us to offer even better personalized solutions in the future.”
O.W.N was conceived with sustainability in mind. Its products contain naturally derived and biodegradable ingredients as frequently as possible.
The brand’s jars and bottles are refillable and outer packaging is made from organic materials. Single-use components are all recyclable, according to Beiersdorf.
Packaging for the new brand is personalized, too. The possessive of the consumer’s name is put before “O.W.N,” so, for instance the label could read, Emily’s O.W.N.
Prior to O.W.N’s launch, Beiersdorf surveyed more than 4,000 consumers. It’s also been conducting the wide-reaching Skinly study for which more than 10,000 women so far have taken part in Europe and Asia. From that, more than 2.5 million skin measurements were taken to date.
Cross-functional knowledge is key for Beiersdorf’s Personalized Accelerator, which was launched in 2019.
“Our Personalized Accelerator is anchored in the R&D department and integrates a dynamic team from supply chain, IT, marketing and R&D,” said Frank Schwanke, manager of the accelerator.
Winning in skin care and driving consumer-centricity through digitalization is part of Beiersdorf’s C.A.R.E.+ strategy.
The company on Tuesday night reported its 2020 sales declined 8.2 percent, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to 7.03 billion euros.
In the period, the Hamburg, Germany-based group said it gained market share in all of its core brands, skin care segments and regions.
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