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Interview (Re)Think Beauty avec Audrey Roulin


You're in charge of NellyRodi's Beauty Department. What kind of projects do you handle and for whom?

I work with professionals both upstream and downstream in the beauty industry, assisting them with strategies and business tools to increase desirability and performance – the challenge of our times! We help them envision their future by understanding society and figuring out consumers and their new paradigms and expectations.

Our client portfolio includes suppliers of raw materials and packaging, manufacturers, well-established and just-beginning brands and retailers. The depth of our expertise is expressed through the vast diversity of their questions, since our clients are all over the world! We conduct forecasting studies (based on consumers or sectors) for these professionals, and we support them with their brand, product and creative strategies. We even get involved in very operational needs, such as product development and promotional activities.

The crisis we're experiencing has profoundly changed the beauty industry. What directions do you see for revitalizing the categories that were especially affected?

The current crisis has only accelerated groundswells that were already emerging; the problems to solve are now urgent. Practically speaking, it’s important to keep three vertical phenomena in mind. First are the new consumer expectations, whether for products, their application, the brand’s commitments or brand experience. Then there’s sensitivity to pricing – consumers’ economic perception of products – which is a very opaque subject in the beauty industry. And finally, there’s the entire O2O (online and offline) channel, since we know that eventually one out of two beauty purchases will happen online.

For many, clean beauty has become imperative for the sector. What are your predictions for the next developments in this deep-seated movement?

The clean beauty movement has, in fact, become a standard for consumers. It’s powerful and it has deep roots since it comes from consumers.  I don’t really like to talk about “clean,” since when we question consumers around the world about this concept, we find a real catchall due to lack of legislation and sometimes-exaggerated marketing.

I’d rather talk about clear beauty, a premise which lets beauty industry players and consumers make fact-based choices, meaning with as much information as possible. This clear beauty concept is already entrenched in care product formulations, but it needs to expand to all the other product categories (makeup, fragrances) and to the entire consumer journey all the way to retail.

It seems that the beauty industry in Asia enjoys a very different dynamic. What are the drivers for Asian growth?

This dynamic is very driven by digital consumption, which has been strongly embraced by the Millennials and Gen Z. According to Tmall Luxury, 73% of online luxury consumers (fashion and beauty) are Millennials, who also account for 75% of total online consumption. Generation Z’s average yearly spending in 2020 increased 33% compared to 2019. When it comes to beauty, these consumers are extremely attentive to a product’s quality, non-toxicity and how well it works. They’re also attracted by the personalization options a brand can offer, new products from collaborations and by niche brands. Being local now also has a lot of drawing power.



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