New beauty tech platforms increase transparency and speed to market, and will become the norm for product innovation and revision.
Beauty tech is a term that has started frequenting Industry headlines in the past 12 months. Beauty-targeted technology was introduced in the Industry in 2012 with the establishment of Tribe Dynamics, a software platform that measures earned media value (EMV), which is a proprietary metric, yielding virality potential among an influencer community.[i]
Since then, Industry has seen a surge of new technology companies that collect data from a targeted user group to offer brands emergent unbiased information. The collected data can play several roles, such as valuation, sales, and marketing, but what about its potential influence in transparency and product development?
Watch Dandi Day’s CEO, Hayley Hoffman panel discussion with Ameann Beauty/Clarisma Beauty, Chemberry, and Tribe Dynamics on Beauty Tech influence in transparent product development.
Two Key Transparency Drivers
Company transparency is defined by values and the alignment of those values within the organization. The primary driver for increased transparency is the consumer, but two other drivers – retailers and social media — magnify their voices, serving as effective feedback platforms to innovate a more acceptable product for tomorrow.
Driver 1: Retailers
Significant attention to values is usually focused on brands, but it is likewise valid for retailers and their product development standards. The following retailers set the US market stage to create the products most desirable to their audience needs.
- Whole Foods Market was established in1980 as a natural foods/natural health lifestyle product supermarket and has developed and led many initiatives in the industry. Today, Whole Foods Market has more than 100 banned ingredients and counting in its “Beyond Clean Beauty Standard” program. [ii]
- Detox Market was established in 2010 by Romain Gaillard as a “safe haven for an underregulated beauty industry” in the US. Gaillard created The Detox Market upon learning about the toxicity in commonly marketed personal care products. [iii]
- Credo in the US, established in 2014, is retailer that drove product development to fit into a transparent construct that it defined for consumers as the “Credo Clean Standard,” launched in April of 2018.[iv]
These retailers’ cumulative market impact from their standards seeded both the term and movement “Clean Beauty” for many more US retailers to follow suit. For example:
- Sephora “Clean at Sephora seal” in 2018[v]
- Target Clean Icon in 2019[vi]
- QVC and HSN in 2019[vii]
US retailers have largely made Clean Beauty a booming marketing trend. However, it extends far beyond a fad. Clean Beauty is an aligned value that operationalizes consumers’ loud requests for ingredient transparency not as industry defines, but as they decide is important for their bodies and environment.
Driver 2: Social Media
While retailers hold one-half the space for consumer purchase and interest based on measurable sales and wallet voting, social media occupies the other. Social media drives transparent product development through curious conversations and direct access to brands on various platforms.
Tribe Dynamics’ influencer marketing platform – Earned Media Value (EMV) — discovers, tracks, and measures influencer relationships. According to Brit McCorquodale, Senior Vice President of Revenue, Tribe Dynamics gathered data from a recent influencer survey revealing a concentrated interest in transparency around diversity, inclusion, and ingredient safety. The data correlates to the referenced retailers’ standards, and consumers echo their concerns on social media regarding:
- Ingredient safety
- Ingredient sourcing
- Social impact
Technological advances in social media and software platforms scale audiences and real conversations, providing immediate feedback concerning misaligned values and products. Audiences direct access to brands and retailers then empower change through discussion with a strong need for support from the supply chain to provide the answers.
Innovative solutions with beauty tech companies
Brands, retailers, and product creators turn to beauty technology companies as a solution to create more transparent products that satisfy the authentic and measurable consumer requests for diversity, inclusion, and ingredient safety.
Three beauty tech platforms exciting the industry are also meeting the demand for more transparent products targeted towards ingredients. They are:
- ChemFORWARD, established in 2017, is a technology platform that “enables safe substitution and product optimization with a globally harmonized repository of chemical hazard data for safer alternatives to empower the supply chain to make proactive decisions about the chemistry they use.” [viii] This is an organization that has operationalized the elimination of toxic chemicals that disproportionately impact the health of children, women, and people and communities of color.[ix]
- Novi Connect established 2017 is described as “an AI-enabled data network that gives you full transparency for your raw materials to ensure they meet your unique standards” [x]
- Chemberry began development in 2017 as a technology platform to “simplify the interaction between consumer good brands, service providers, and chemical suppliers by providing a comprehensive and up-to-date directory of chemical ingredients and services.” [x][xi]
Watch the video to how Chemberry utilized technology to make finding ingredients easier.
As consumers and retailers ask more of product creators, we need beauty tech companies to quickly analyze scientific data such as regulatory documentation, ingredient hazards, and ingredient sourcing / processing to support and equip cosmetic chemists in the research and development process. A brand’s ability to communicate its position on transparency ultimately shortens the development timeline for aligned ingredients in a product that represents a brand ethos. Beauty tech provides the solution.
Today more than ever, our access to information and data connects us in a conscious form, one that considers the life of ingredients, their stories, how they came to live in the products we use every day, and those impacts on individuals and groups. As our curiosity and technology expand, they ignite a birth of transparent products that meet new attainable standards while reducing development timelines for today’s informed consumers.
To deepen our understanding of the topic, Dandi Day gathered some of our Collaborative Partners – Ameann Beauty/Clarisma Beauty, Chemberry, and Tribe Dynamics – to dive into their observations of how technology shapes the relationships with consumers, brands, retailers, and product development. The idea of “transparency” emerged from the data as a communication gap and opportunity for new products that build brand clarity and deepen customer trust and relationships.
Interview questions by time:
8:15 From your perspective what are the biggest drivers for transparency demands?
15:21 How does transparency transpire from your segment of the business?
30:53 What are brands and retailers most curious about that they feel they do not have the answer to?
40:55 What role do influencers play in product development?
43:21 What is your best advice to a brand to create successful products?