French cosmetic giant L’Oréal is investing massively in #BeautyTech. From London, with the Founders Factory incubator, to a hackathon in São Paulo, the brand is supporting the global ecosystem of startups, developers and entrepreneurs in order to boost its innovation. Le Figaro and Premium Beauty News a website dedicated to the cosmetics industry, looked at the cosmetic group’s innovation initiatives.
In a highly-competitive market, L’Oréal needs to keep up with the latest trends. To do this, the group has stepped up its open innovation efforts and announced on 12 May 2016 that it had made a strategic investment in Founders Factory, a London-based digital accelerator and incubator. Every year, five startups will be assisted by Founders Factory, whilst the two partners will set up two new startups. In a press release, Lubomira Rochet, Chief Digital Officer and member of L’Oréal’s Executive Committee, explained:
“This strategic investment will give L’Oréal direct access to a powerful global ecosystem of exciting startups and innovative technologies at their earliest stage allowing us to invest in and nurture innovative business models based on digital platforms to better serve consumers’ aspirations.”
FOCUS ON l’oreal’S digital stratEgY
Over the past few years, digital innovation had become a priority for L’Oréal, in an attempt to improve internal procedures, reduce costs, and enhance the user experience.
By deploying augmented reality apps like Makeup Genius, developed at its Silicon Valley technology incubator, L’Oréal aims to boost its innovation policy. This app uses facial recognition software to enable users to virtually try out lipsticks, blusher and other cosmetics – which of course often results in a purchase of the products tested.
=> Also on our blog: L’Oreal: open innovation brings your inner connected beauty
a Beautyhack to generate ideas
In Brazil, the brand is also experimenting with beautyhacks (i.e. beauty hackathons): the first took place in March 2016 in São Paulo, and resulted in the development of a number of digital applications and tools designed to enhance the user experience for the brand’s customers.
A total of 120 startups took up the three challenges set by L’Oréal: get consumers to incorporate the use of the Dermaclub app into their daily lives; develop a mobile-assisted purchase service for Maybelline, and promote the group’s luxury range.
The winning company, NeoMode, was awarded 100,000 Real (around €25,000) to fund their project for a single platform, Maybeonlline, which combines online and offline points of sales.
=> Find out more on Premium Beauty News
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