CosmeticOBS - L'Observatoire des cosmétiques

Press review

Our press review service automatically collects all current topics related to the cosmetics sector recently published on the Internet, all media combined.

08/19/2019 Estee Lauder: blemish free

The US bond market may have started to exhibit age spots. Global economic growth looks tired. But try telling that to Asia’s legion of skincare devotees.

The region’s seemingly insatiable demand for pricey toners, face masks and creams has plumped up Estee Lauder’s latest results. The 9 per cent rise in sales and an adjusted profit gain of 5 per cent in the fourth quarter both topped expectations. Guidance for the current fiscal year was also well above consensus. Full-year operating margins climbed for the fourth year running to a record 17.6 per cent.

Cosmetics can be a recession-proof business. While consumers may put off big-ticket purchases during a downturn, they will still treat themselves to a $25 lipstick, or even $350 face creams. The rise of social media is likely to reinforce this trend. The proliferation of YouTube tutorials has made using make-up more accessible.

But not all beauty companies are created equal. While Estée Lauder and French rival L’Oréal have the financial muscle to develop new products, build digital strategies and fund acquisitions, others have struggled. Revlon, a mass-market staple, is putting itself up for sale. Coty has taken a near $4bn writedown so far this year on its $12.5bn acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s beauty brands from three years ago.

Estee Lauder benefits from having a diversified product portfolio and a balanced geographical exposure. This has not gone unnoticed. The stock jumped more than 9 per cent on Monday to a new record high, extending year-to-date gain to more than 50 per cent.

At 31 times forward earnings, Estee Lauder shares look expensive. The wider S&P consumer staples index is trading at around 20 times. A bet on Estee Lauder now is a bet that the growth momentum can continue. Estee Lauder said its forecast has already factored in risks from Brexit, trade tensions and the Hong Kong protests. This, plus a record of providing conservative outlooks, suggest its shares can retain their sheen.

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08/19/2019 Investing In Beauty And Personal Care

Founder and CEO of BlackCrown Inc., the independent sponsor firm targeting value buyouts in select industries.

Independent beauty brands have taken the market by storm. Armed with greater awareness of what “goes into” their daily beauty products, people now gravitate toward brands with premium product features and have a genuine thirst for brand exploration (getting to know the authenticity) primarily because smartphones have transformed customers into independent-thinking consumers.

How do investors and brands navigate this information age? How do consumer brands stay meaningful in an era where information consumption is highly fragmented and brand equity can be watered down through the smartphone and social media experience?

Back To The Future

Proctor and Gamble (P&G) paid $1.2 billion for Richardson-Vicks Inc. (RVI) in October 1985. In that era, RVI encompassed various brands, including Vicks and NyQuil, but also personal care products such as Oil of Olay, Clearasil, Pantene and Vidal Sassoon. This acquisition gave P&G the necessary assets to enter the beauty market and become a mass-market provider of beauty brands. A critical takeaway here is how everyday consumers benefited from having mass-market access to quality brands and seemingly key beauty products. During this era, consumers were just discovering personal choice, understanding personal beauty and receiving brand messaging from a single voice (their local retailer). There was no way for individuals to discover their own facts and build their own analysis. P&G and other conglomerate brands truly dominated this consumer era.

P&G changed our lives and disrupted the world with their two-in-one shampoo technology; today we likely take this convenience for granted. The first brand to receive this disruptive technology was Pert Plus. At the time, Pert was a weak brand, but P&G revitalized that brand equity (with Pert Plus), which consequently inspired the firm to re-innovate Pantene.

Pantene was inherited from the RVI acquisition; enhancing the brand with 2-in-1 capabilities helped P&G really understand how to sell beauty and wellness. In 1992 P&G introduced Pantene Pro-V, which quickly became one of the fastest-selling hair care products and repositioned the asset as a true personal care product.

P&G understood that innovations at scale compounded with brand equity yielded tremendous returns. Consumers directly benefited from these disruptive innovations in beauty and personal care; P&G understood the customer and crafted new end-user experiences. Still, up to this era, the point of purchase and information awareness largely remained with mass retailers, an exclusive in-store experience. While Motorola was the first company to produce a mobile handheld device in 1973, dial-up internet wasn’t commercialized until 1992. Brands were still entrenched in telling the customer what to do.

Getting To Today: Beauty And Brands

The internet has largely democratized the information of beauty and wellness to create the independent consumer. Beauty hasn’t changed. Rather, the medium of interactions has been liberated from in-store experiences. Historically, established consumer brands were largely limited to specific advertising mediums (think radio and television). Awareness of product benefits and consumer insights was narrow and truly limited; consumers weren’t really given the platform for independent thinking.

Today, mobile devices are the status quo and the points of sale. The “store” is in our pockets, and according to a recent report by the World Advertising Research Center (paywall), it’s estimated that nearly three-quarters of the world will access the internet via smartphones by 2025. Since the internet era, have legacy brands innovated customer experience? Have they wholly adapted their product innovations and premium features toward the modern habits of consumers in the 21 century? No. Brands must move away from retail mindsets established in the late 1800s to compete at various points of sale experiences (digital to physical).

Established brands have had muted success in adapting to the modern era. In order to innovate and stay relevant, established brands pay for independent brands, often at substantial premiums: L’Occitane acquired Elemis for $900 million. Clorox acquired Nutranext for $700 million. L’Oreal acquired IT Cosmetics for $1.2 billion. And Estee Lauder acquired Too Faced for $1.45 billion

These decisions and strategic moves admit defeat for organic growth and organic strategies. Unfortunately, bringing in external brands, in the long run, might hold higher odds of failure because internal management systems never had the ability to “get it right” in the first place. This may be too critical, but it is a candid assessment regarding brand integration risks and “buying to be relevant” plays.

Welcoming The ‘Indie-Mass’ Market

P&G acquired Noxell in 1989 for $1.3 billion and then, in 1991, acquired Max Factor for $1.14 billion. Respectively, both of these acquisitions created much of present-day Coty. I believe P&G’s decision to exit the entire mass market of beauty confirms that the midmarket beauty market is now the “independent beauty brand.” Personally, I think this channel should be called the “indie-mass” market. I define indie-mass as the new midmarket beauty category where seemingly independent brands are perceived as premium, authentic, personalized and available through mass appeal.

For Coty, I believe they’ve recognized this indie-mass market by writing down $3 billion worth of assets they acquired from P&G and their recent announcement to invest in Kylie Cosmetics. Looking at historical trends, the deal likely undervalues the contribution that Kylie Cosmetics would bring to Coty. However, I think that Kylie Cosmetics may be worth closer to $3 billion – Kylie Cosmetics has much more runway and brand equity. For brands like Kylie Cosmetics, there are better ways to build value with Coty that likely go unexplored.

Key Questions For Investors And Private Equity Firms

When it comes down to it, how can investors and private equity owners analyze these midmarket brands? How far can these brands go, and what are the support systems in place to get them there? Here are some questions to determine if a brand stands up to the test:

  1. How is the brand managing digital to physical?

  2. How elastic is the brand? Can it deliver value through various products and demographics?

  3. Has the beauty and wellness brand kept up with the customers’ purchasing and self-discovery behaviors?

Overall, investors and private equity firms ought to consider a total strategy when truly assessing consumer brands.

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08/19/2019 ESTEE LAUDER dévoile des perspectives de toute beauté pour son exercice en cours

(AOF) - Estée Lauder a publié lundi des résultats supérieurs aux attentes au titre de son quatrième trimestre fiscal 2019 (clos fin juin) et dévoilé des perspectives enthousiasmantes pour l’ensemble de son exercice en cours. Ainsi, le spécialiste américain des produits pour la peau et des cosmétiques a publié un bénéfice net de 157 millions de dollars au quatrième trimestre, ou 43 cents par action, contre un bénéfice net de 186 millions de dollars, ou 43 cents par action, un an plus tôt. En données ajustées, le bénéfice par action ressort à 64 cents, dépassant le consensus FactSet (53 cents).

Pour sa part, le chiffre d’affaires d’Estée Lauder s’est établi à 3,59 milliards de dollars au quatrième trimestre, en hausse de 9% sur un an. Cette performance est également au-dessus des prévisions moyennes du marché (3,53 milliards).

Estée Lauder a aussi réjoui les investisseurs du côté de ses perspectives. Pour son premier trimestre fiscal 2020, le groupe vise une croissance de ses ventes de 9 à 10% (consensus : +6,5%). Enfin, pour l’ensemble de son exercice fiscal 2020, la société table sur une croissance de ses ventes de 7 à 8% (consensus : +6,4%).

Les spécialistes du secteur sont très confiants en constatant la très forte demande de la clientèle chinoise. Morgan Stanley estime que le marché chinois, qui a procuré à l’industrie du luxe 60% de sa croissance sur les quinze dernières années, devrait augmenter ses dépenses de 90% d’ici à 2025. Même optimisme du côté du cabinet de conseil Bain & Company. Parmi les facteurs de croissance se trouvent l’expansion rapide de la classe moyenne, qui devrait représenter les deux tiers des ménages chinois d’ici 2027 et la demande toujours soutenue des Millennials, particulièrement sensibles aux tendances innovantes telles que la convergence de la mode et du sport.

Une étude du Boston Consulting Group estime que, d’ici à 2024, les consommateurs chinois représenteront 40% des clients du luxe. Leur contribution à la croissance de ce marché est estimée à 70% pour les cinq prochaines années.

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08/19/2019 Five Tips For Collaborating With Other Brands

Award-winning esthetician and Founder of StackedSkincare, a high-performance skincare line of pro-grade serums, peels, and tools.

They say business is a dog-eat-dog world, but in actuality, there are endless opportunities to collaborate and cooperate with other brands in order to diversify your audience and reach new customers. Here are a few tips for negotiating and executing successful partnerships with other brands in your industry and beyond.

  1. Don’t Compete With Yourself – Unless It’s Worth It

When it comes to selecting brand partners, your instincts will probably tell you to look outside your industry so you aren’t in direct competition with your collaborator. While that instinct is a good one, it can prevent you from thinking creatively about how to structure partnerships. Working with brands inside your industry can mean reaching an audience that’s already primed to engage with your brand.

It might be worth working with a brand in your industry as long as your product assortments complement rather than compete with one another. A good example for my skincare brand would be partnering with a brand that specializes in color cosmetics like foundation, blush, etc. While we both occupy the beauty space, our products don’t overlap, and both of our audiences are interested in the other brand’s products.

Retailers make some of the best brand collaborators because they are already invested in your success. Before you approach your retailer about a collaboration, consider what you’re willing to offer them. Some of the best offers you can pitch are exclusive product launches, exclusive packaging or a special sale price – all things that give them an edge over their competitors. In exchange, you should ask for a dedicated promotional strategy around the launch: placements in emails, social media or in-store features. The sweeter the exclusive, the more you can ask for in return. Be prepared to negotiate terms like the dates of exclusivity, which will help you bargain for more promotion.

  1. Consider This: What Else Is Your Customer Buying?

Unless you’re partnering with a retailer, the end goal of most collaborations is to gain new customers, so pick a partner whose customers are lookalikes of yours. Think big about your customers: What else are they buying other than your products? Do they have lots of disposable income, or are they on a budget? If they’re interested in your products, what other industries do you think they’re interested in? If you’re stuck, look at lifestyle trends related to your category. For example, if you’re selling beauty products, you can probably infer that your customers are also interested in wellness. A huge part of wellness revolves around fitness. Consider partnering with an athleisure apparel company; people buying expensive athleisure apparel are likely to also purchase luxury skincare. There’s a lot of potential in collaborations. It’s only limited to your imagination, your marketing prowess and your ability to execute.

  1. Build Social Currency With Giveaways

Co-branded social media giveaways are one of the most ubiquitous and approachable ways to dip your toe into collaborations. While they don’t always convert to sales, they are a strong tool for raising brand awareness. Giveaways are a great way to gain followers and email sign-ups, but they can also increase your social currency if you choose the right partners. Look for brands that are getting lots of PR buzz, have impressive social media engagement or are otherwise making waves in their industry. By positioning yourself with these brands, you gain from their success, and their brand advocates might even become your brand advocates. Instagram is still the best way to get in touch with other brands, so don’t be afraid to send a DM to get the conversation started.

  1. What To Avoid
  • Gift Bags: Gift bags are a waste of product and money. You’ll probably never see a sale as a result.

  • Email Swapping: Avoid any collaborators that claim they’ll share their email list with you. It’s illegal. The only legal way to get email sign-ups is through customer opt-in.

  • Working Without a Contract: If there’s money involved or you’re giving a retailer exclusivity, you need a contract. If you’re just contributing product for a giveaway or social campaign, you can choose to take the risk and do it on a handshake.

When it comes to collaborating with other brands, allow yourself to think creatively. Many times, collaborations are a great way to build your brand without shelling out a lot of money or product. Think about your goals, and initiate the partnerships that can make them happen.

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08/18/2019 Why Email And Cash Are Dead In China

Over the last decade, China’s tech sector has progressed from copying ideas from Silicon Valley to creating their own apps and sites tuned to the Chinese culture – fast, efficient, convenient, social, more transactional, and with an appeal in rural areas.

The scale and speed of China’s digital universe is unbeatable. Cut-throat competition keeps Chinese tech titans vying for top positions in a constant-churning market. China’s young, digitally savvy population takes to new apps quickly in a super-charged, highly competitive marketplace. China has the world’s largest number of mobile phone, payment and e-commerce users, with many innovative apps that serve consumer lifestyles such as superapp Meituan with its all-in-one multi-functions, and messaging and payments app WeChat,

Email and cash are dead in China, as I write in my new book: Tech Titans of China. It helped that China skipped right over the PC era and went straight to mobile.

The Chinese digital universe is decidedly more social too than in the West. The social commerce marketplace originated in China, and has been popularized there. Chinese shopping site Xiaohongshu, which translates as Little Red Book but no relation to Chairman Mao’s quotations book, blends online shopping with social media and key influencers. The Shanghai-based cosmetics and fashion shopping app lets regular customers and key opinion leaders post reviews and share shopping experiences, hobbies and lifestyles. It’s reached 200 million users and 3 billion views of posts daily, numbers that would be a stretch in the West.

China has already proven that it can innovate and work harder. The next step is to extend its reach into new territories. Already, China’s tech titans are moving into India and Southeast Asia, taking their business models beyond the Great Wall (that Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter can’t penetrate) and snapping up the most promising technology startups.

For instance, Alibaba has invested in several major e-commerce and only payment startups in Southeast Asia and India: Tokopedia in Indonesia, Lazada in Singapore and region-wide, Daraz in Pakistan, Paytm in India. In turn, Chinese tech titan Tencent has ride-hailing, digital content, music streaming and online fashion sites in the region.

China’s tech titans are moving more swiftly than comparable US giants that are investing in this Asia-wide region that promises to be the next China opportunity.

These powerful made-in-China trends will present a challenge for the continued global leadership of Silicon Valley.

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08/18/2019 Plus légère et plus résistante que l'acier, la nanocellulose aiguise les appétits de l'industrie

Extraite de plantes ou de papier, la nanocellulose est biodégradable, renouvelable, compostable et très résistante. Elle s’impose comme un matériau d’avenir en application de surface ou dans des mélanges pour fabriquer papiers, carton, panneaux de bois, cosmétiques…

La nanocellulose constitue un matériau prometteur aux applications industrielles variées, même si les recherches se poursuivent pour préciser ses débouchés et améliorer sa rentabilité, selon des spécialistes du secteur. “Un énorme potentiel: c’est le futur de l’emballage et de la cosmétique (…) Vous en aurez partout d’ici moins de dix ans”, affirme Karim Missoum, PDG d’Inofib, une start-up issue du pôle de recherche Grenoble INP étudiant les applications possibles.

En avril, une étude du cabinet de conseil EY pour le ministère de l’Economie, menée avec les fédérations industrielles du papier et de la chimie, plaçait la nanocellulose parmi les solutions les plus encourageantes pour l’avenir de ces filières. Son atout clé: “La nanofibre de cellulose est cinq fois plus légère que l’acier et cinq fois plus résistante”, indiquait ce rapport, publié par le pôle de prospective du ministère, vantant “l’ouverture vers de nouveaux marchés” pour les industriels du secteur. De fait, les recherches s’intensifient depuis plusieurs années sur ce matériau de taille nanométrique (milliardième de mètre).

Pour renforcer l’imperméabilité du carton

Ainsi, à Grenoble, le Centre technique du papier (CTP) et l’institut technologique FCBA travaillent depuis 2006 sur la production, puis sur les applications, en testant différentes matières de base (pâte à papier, poussières de découpe, résidus de l’industrie papetière), explique Michel Petit-Conil, qui dirige une équipe sur le sujet. Le processus consiste à libérer des fibrilles de cellulose de la paroi de la fibre papetière, qui s’agglomèrent sous forme de gel. “La nanocellulose, c’est de la cellulose pure, c’est biodégradable, renouvelable, compostable, durable”, souligne Michel Petit-Conil.

Les débouchés potentiels sont nombreux, en application de surface ou dans des mélanges (papiers et carton, panneaux de bois, vernis, encres, cosmétiques). Le laboratoire du CTP a ainsi développé une application de “lamination humide” pour les emballages, avec “un film 100% nanocellulose qu’on dépose à la surface d’un papier ou d’un carton” pour en renforcer l’imperméabilité, explique Michel Petit-Conil.

Réduire la consommation énergétique lors de la fabrication

Mais l’objectif est maintenant de produire des nanocelluloses à très haute concentration, et de réduire la consommation énergétique liée à la fabrication, qui reste un enjeu majeur même si elle été “réduite de façon drastique”, ajoute-t-il. La nanocellulose existe aussi sous une deuxième forme, les nanocristaux de cellulose, qui ont des propriétés différentes des fibrilles et se dispersent bien dans l’eau sans former de gel.

“Il y a des propriétés optiques qui ne sont possibles qu’avec les nanocristaux, qui forment des cristaux liquides” ou permettent d’obtenir “une couleur sans aucun colorant”, explique Isabelle Capron, qui anime une équipe de recherche sur les nanostructures à l’Inra de Nantes.

Un marché estimé à 661 millions de dollars en 2023

Reste la difficulté liée aux autorisations pour les nanomatériaux, notamment en France. “Mais pour tous les pays asiatiques, qui n’ont jamais eu de réglementation sur les nanocelluloses (…) ça se fait très bien”, observe Isabelle Capron. “Il y a un vrai boom, tant au niveau des brevets que des articles et de la production”, ajoute-t-elle.

Le marché mondial de la nanocellulose est estimé à 285 millions de dollars et devrait plus que doubler pour atteindre 661 millions de dollars en 2023, selon le groupe canadien CelluForce, en pointe dans la production de cristaux de nanocellulose, qui se réfère à une étude indépendante.

“Le produit est vraiment encore récent”, mais “il y a un vrai engouement”, confirme Karim Missoum, le PDG d’Inofib. “En 2012, on était trois à vouloir essayer d’industrialiser ce produit. Fin 2018, ils étaient 63 producteurs à travers le monde, ça a pris un vrai essor”, note-t-il. Pour lui, “il y a vraiment une filière à créer, à industrialiser, et les acteurs français ont encore leur place sur le marché s’ils se motivent. Il y a encore du marché à prendre”.

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08/16/2019 Should You Get a Scary UV Photo of Your Skin Damage?

A technology grows in popularity among dermatologists, sunscreen brands and artists.

Witney Carson McAllister, 25, a ballroom dancer from Salt Lake City who won the 19th season of “Dancing With the Stars,” knows to the naked eye her complexion seems smooth, silky and blemish-free. “If you saw my skin you wouldn’t think I had any damage,” she said.

But as a survivor of skin cancer, she also knows appearances can be deceiving. So at the beginning of June she traveled to New York City to have a UV portrait taken by Pierre-Louis Ferrer, a Parisian photographer who specializes in them.

For such pictures a special camera, or a regular camera with a filter, catches UV light instead of visible light, exposing damage under the top layer of skin. Bruises, sun spots, freckles and other pigmentation all become apparent.

Ms. McAllister’s portrait was not flattering. It showed damage around her nose, most likely from sun beaming into the car when she drives. “I need to get bigger sunglasses,” she said. But she still decided to share it on Instagram with her million-plus followers. “I’m going to post a before and after,” she said. “People need to know what is happening to their bodies.”

UV photography has become popular with young people looking for ways to scrutinize their bodies and monitor their health. Some influencers, like Ms. Carson, use it to advocate for skin protection. Others simply want an interesting photo to post online. Dermatologists also use the tool to coerce their patients into taking better care of their faces; brands do so to sell more sunscreen.

Also in June, Walgreens gave a party at Milk Studios, a fashion hub in Manhattan’s Meatpacking district, that showcased the technology. (Ms. McAllister had her photo taken there.)

“I’m in the beauty industry so I feel I know I have a lot of skin damage,” said Jeanette Zinno, 33, a television personality who writes about cosmetics. “I’m in the sun a lot. I’ve had burns. I have sun spots and freckles. But while I can’t change the damage from my past, I still thought it would be interesting to see.”

In the 1970s and ’80s UV photography was used mostly for scientific experiments, like to study bee pollination (insects, unlike humans, can see UV light, which guides them to nectar on flowers).

“It’s funny, it’s been around a long time,” said Dr. David McDaniel, a dermatologist who worked on the bee research. “I remember using it when we had to develop film to see the photos. It seems like now there is a new awareness or application of it.”

In the last decade photographers like Cara Phillips, who lives in Brooklyn, have used it for art. Wanting to capture strangers, Ms. Phillips set up a camera in Manhattan’s Union Square and at the Scope Art Show with signs that said “Free Portraits.” To date, she has taken over 400 of them, to tremendous response.

“Those portraits went viral three times, in 2010, 2011 and 2013,” she said. “At one point it seemed like every major newspaper in the world ran it.”

Now Ms. Phillips is frequently approached by amateur photographers seeking her advice, as well as brands like Neutrogena asking her to work for their ad campaigns. “There is only so much you can do to make your picture look interesting in today’s world where pictures are everywhere,” she said. “Some people want UV photography because they want to do something different.”

Walgreens is another of those brands. In early June the drugstore chain started displaying signage featuring UV photography along with instructions for proper sunscreen application. The campaign also included influencers posting UV portraits of themselves online and tagging Walgreens.

“It’s different than any other image you can get,” said Crystal Fouchard, a senior director of marketing for the company. “It’s the honesty behind it, everyone knows there is nothing hidden there.”

There was a slight hiccup in the plan when a few Instagram users commented on social media that the UV photographs looked like blackface (their comments have since been removed). “Once people understood that the images these influencers posted online were UV images, and the purpose and intent of the program, the small number of comments subsided,” Ms. Fouchard said.

Ms. Phillips believes one of the reasons UV photography has become popular is because it fits in with a larger movement of transparency. The no-makeup selfie has become a thing. So have celebrities chastising magazines for editing their photos too drastically. Meghan Markle likes to ensure pictures show her freckles, reportedly demanding that the women on the cover of the British Vogue issue she guest-edited display theirs as well.

And there is nothing more unfiltered than a photo of hidden skin damage on your face, which is now offered (though not always covered by insurance) by many dermatologists, especially in places like New York.

Dr. McDaniel’s office estimates 30 percent of clients request a UV portrait when coming in for basic skin care appointments. Ninety percent want to have the analysis done once it is explained to them.

His office has started holding “lunch-and-learn” open houses every few weeks where he offers the service at no extra cost. The big ones can attract several hundred people. “We have three cameras in our office, and we have to borrow a fourth,” he said. “We also have a photo printer so people can take their picture home. But I can tell you, most people do not want to take it.”

Doctors don’t need UV photography for diagnostic purposes. “We are trained to pick up on subtle changes,” said Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist with offices in Murray Hill. The pictures, she said, are “meant for dramatic effect. When I tell people they might get skin cancer, they don’t believe me. But when I say they might get wrinkles or spots, they listen.” When they see it, they listen even more.

Dr. Nazarian warns clients that while she can remove some of the damage they see, she can’t decrease their risk of skin cancer. She just tells them how to not put themselves at even more risk in the future.

“UV photography is like that show ‘Beyond Scared Straight,’” said Ms. Zinno, the television personality. “A lot of people see it and they are like, ‘Oh my God, I need to do better.’”

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08/15/2019 YouTube's AR Beauty Try-On Goes Live With New Video Featuring M·A·C Cosmetics

Beauty Influencer Roxette Arisa hosts first-ever public video with YouTube’s Augmented Reality Beauty Try-On feature.

In June, Google announced a new line of immersive branded experiences across its services. Included in them was an “AR Beauty Try-On” feature on YouTube, which allows users to try on different beauty products in real time during video playback with augmented reality.

M·A·C Cosmetics, the first official brand partner to bring an AR beauty campaign to the platform, has now released its first official video through beauty influencer Roxette Arisa’s channel.

Users who view this video via the YouTube app can use the feature by selecting the blue “TRY IT ON” button above the title.

AR Beauty Try-On was developed by FameBit, YouTube’s branded content division. In addition to giving users new functionality on YouTube, FameBit also developed a platform that gives brands tools to measure engagement and impact of campaigns.

Through testing, FameBit found that 30 percent of viewers activate AR experiences when prompted on the iOS app, and spend an average of over 80 seconds trying on virtual lipstick. These new forms of data offer brands the possibility of understanding their customer base in a deeper way.

“We’re so excited to see M·A·C’s artistry and innovation come to life in this uniquely digital way,” said M·A·C Cosmetics North America SVP/GM Constantin Sklavenitis in a statement. “Being able to bring our newest lip shades to consumers through FameBit’s AR Beauty Try-On is a pioneering step, fusing the experience of content viewing and shopping.”

Other major tech companies have been exploring the possibilities of AR advertising, including Unity, Facebook, and Snap.

YouTube is leaning on its massive beauty video community as its ground zero to understand how this technology will work at-scale with audiences. The video can be seen below, but the AR feature only works via mobile applications.

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08/14/2019 Ingredients Matter Most in 2019

I write about trends shaping the retail and consumer marketplace

When The Economist shared that 25 percent of US millennials are vegan or vegetarian, it underscored a resounding truth in consumer markets: ingredients matter. Perhaps even more salient is a soon-to-be consumer markets fundamental: people align how and what they consume with their values.

This quest for buying and consuming products in line with values is not a fad, it is a generational shift, driven by but not limited to Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Companies of all sizes are considering what this shift means for their products and how they do business. Plant-based diets are influencing food companies’ innovation strategy and investments. The cosmetic and beauty industry is focused on beauty with a conscious, meaning cruelty-free, chemical-free products and more sustainable packaging. Across CPG categories, more shelf space is being dedicated to dye-free, natural products. What else can retailers, brands and consumers expect?

New entrants and innovators welcome

With ingredients topping the list of things that matter most to consumers, innovators that lead with transparency, sustainability and traceability can enjoy an open playing field. This democratization of the shelf – both in stores and online – is made possible by the modern consumer who serves as their own authority on what is best. This consumer doesn’t need a big brand telling them about what constitutes quality or meets their needs. Consumers now create their own filter, do their own research and hand pick authorities or influencers to follow. Now, shoppers are less likely to buy the deodorant their parents used to buy or select which brand has the most shelf space at eye level. They are reading labels and expecting to understand them, or scanning QR codes to see first-hand where the ingredients came from. It’s a new, critical kind of shopping mindset, and something successful brands know will take listening, insights and innovation to deliver against.

Big brands still have a strong hand to play

It’s true: consumers may not blindly follow big brands anymore. Yet, that doesn’t mean brand equity is dead. Rather, when big brands develop products that align with consumer values and recognize distinct and important generational shifts, they are nearly unbeatable. Walk into any big-box retailer to see more “free” and “simple” detergents, cleaning products, pet foods, nutrition bars – anything really. Procter & Gamble has had a high growth year with a plant-based, sustainability-focused strategy. After the initial success of its Pampers Pure line that launched last year (more to read here), a case study in the power of big brands tapping into today’s consumer preferences, the company has already launched Pure feminine products. These products may have a premium price, but today’s consumer is willing to pay for goods that stack up to their belief system. And while these goods may cost a little more, they often cost less than smaller brands with similar offerings due to big operations’ economies of scale. There is still a lot of power in a brand – it just has to produce products with the right ingredients and be transparent about it.

How serious is consumers’ emphasis on ingredients?

Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest meat producers, just launched a plant-based line under the Raised & Rooted brand. A meat company is making vegan and vegetarian products. Could there be a bigger shift in strategy? This is not a move Tyson Foods would have considered a few decades ago. But there has been a very real change in consumer preferences as more people consider what consuming meat means for their bodies and the planet. Tyson anticipates the brand to be a $1B business annually, and will be a serious competitor for other plant-based protein upstarts like Impossible Burger, which has been extremely successful in the foodservice category and can now be found in Michelin restaurants and White Castle alike.

The market and consumer demands surrounding transparency and ingredients will continue to evolve, particularly when met with forces such as mobile and other technologies. When pure and simple products become table stakes, does the consumer deepen their expectations? If yes, what does that look like? Is it more visibility at their fingertips? Is it heightened expectations for tangential product touchpoints like labor practices? That kind of scrutiny may be far in the future, but it is certain big brands and new entrants will need to keep listening and innovating to thrive.

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08/14/2019 LVMH, Kering (Gucci), Hermès… Le luxe risque de souffrir des manifestations à Hong Kong !

Le luxe est à la peine en Bourse. Après avoir été la coqueluche des investisseurs en actions au premier semestre, LVMH (Christian Dior, Givenchy, Fendi…), Kering - l’ex-PPR - (Gucci, Yves Saint-Laurent, Boucheron, Bottega Veneta…) et Hermès ont vu leurs cours battre de l’aile depuis le pic estival, avec des chutes respectives de 9%, 19% et 6%. On voit bien que nos géants du luxe ne sont pas tous logés à la même enseigne : Kering a beaucoup plus souffert que ses concurrents, car le groupe a déçu avec sa publication semestrielle.

L’activité de Gucci, son principal centre de profit, a en effet décéléré au premier semestre, après deux années de très forte croissance (45% en 2017 et 37% en 2018). La marque florentine a été victime d’une campagne hostile sur les réseaux sociaux outre-Atlantique, après l’affaire dite du blackface, un col roulé noir perçu comme une représentation raciste du visage des Noirs. Reste que dans leur ensemble, les valeurs du luxe sont affectées par le ralentissement économique mondial, les tensions sur le front commercial et l’impact des manifestations géantes à Hong Kong - un haut lieu du luxe.

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A Hong Kong, cinq ans après la révolte des parapluies jaunes, “près d’un million de manifestants, soit un habitant sur sept, sont descendus dans la rue début juin pour contester le projet de loi de l’exécutif local, qui prévoyait de faciliter les extraditions vers la Chine et donc, de détruire l’indépendance du système judiciaire en place. Si le gouvernement a ensuite retiré ce projet de loi, des milliers de jeunes continuent d’ériger chaque week-end des barricades devant le bâtiment du Conseil législatif”, rapporte John Plassard, spécialiste en investissement chez Mirabaud.

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Les manifestations à Hong-Kong durent depuis près de deux mois et ne semblent pas sur le point de se tarir. “Si la situation devait perdurer et aller au-delà de la fameuse Golden Week - début octobre -, l’impact économique pourrait être dramatique pour la ville, mais aussi pour plusieurs secteurs, dont celui du luxe, qui a (…) si bien performé”, souligne l’expert…

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Il faut dire que l’ex-colonie britannique, rétrocédée à la Chine en 1997, n’est pas n’importe quelle ville. “C’est la dixième puissance commerciale et le troisième centre financier au monde”, rapporte John Plassard. Son PIB (363 milliards de dollars), se classe au 36ème rang mondial, au coude-à-coude avec celui de l’Afrique du Sud. Il n’est pas très éloigné du PIB du Nigeria, qui bénéficie pourtant d’une population 26 fois supérieure à celle de Hong Kong ! Une ville qui constitue une des places fortes mondiales du luxe : elle “pèse pour plus de 10% du marché mondial”, souligne l’expert.

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Cosmétiques, maroquinerie et prêt-à-porter sont et seront touchés par la révolte du peuple hongkongais. “Mais c’est l’horlogerie qui risque d’en payer le plus fort tribut”, avertit John Plassard, qui rapporte que près d’une montre sur cinq vendue dans le monde est achetée à Hong-Kong. “C’est le plus gros marché pour l’exportation des montres suisses. Pour certaines marques comme Cartier, Hong Kong peut peser jusqu’à 15% de leur chiffre d’affaires horloger”, indique l’expert. Tous les regards sont portés maintenant sur les flux touristiques chinois. “En cas d’envenimement de la situation, on peut s’attendre à un report vers Macao, Tokyo et Dubaï, comme cela fut le cas en 2014”, met-il en garde.

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Donald Trump a déclaré début août que son homologue chinois Xi Jinping n’oeuvrait pas assez vite à la conclusion d’un accord commercial et que les Etats-Unis continueraient de “taxer” la Chine jusqu’à ce qu’un accord soit trouvé, rapportait alors Reuters. Le président américain a fait cette déclaration devant des journalistes à Washington, après avoir annoncé plus tôt dans la journée sur Twitter qu’il imposerait à compter du 1er septembre des droits de douane additionnels de 10% sur les 300 milliards de dollars d’importations chinoises encore non taxées.

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Bernstein a modifié la semaine dernière son opinion sur plusieurs valeurs du luxe, estimant que “le vent tourne” pour la demande, entre l’escalade du conflit commercial sino-américain, l’agitation politique à Hong Kong, les incertitudes autour du Brexit et la croissance de la demande chinoise qui semble être arrivée à un plateau, rapporte Reuters. L’intermédiaire conseille d’accroître son exposition à de grands noms du secteur porteurs d’une dynamique forte, au détriment d’autres valeurs. Dans son groupe de “haute qualité” sont notamment classés LVMH (le numéro un mondial du luxe) - qui se paie néanmoins encore assez cher -, et l’italien Moncler, qui ont vu leur recommandation relevée à “surperformance”.

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Le courtier abaisse en revanche son conseil sur Burberry et Prada à “sous-performance”, jugeant exagérée la hausse de leur cours de Bourse, qui a suivi la publication de résultats certes en amélioration mais “pas renversants.” Il maintient par ailleurs ses recommandations sur Richemont, Swatch et Tiffany.

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