Applying innovation to every aspect of a product or service is at the core of beauty device company FOREO’s strategy, from product design to discoverability and communications, says CEO Paul Peros on the latest episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast.
The Swedish brand entered the market in 2013, when the concept of beauty tech was just beginning to bubble up, and move from the professional salon space to selling at retail. What became clear however was that the company had to strive not only to introduce a new technology into the consumer’s home, but educate them on how that type of product would fit into the context of their lives.
Peros explains that for the the at-home beauty device industry to become truly mainstream, brands need to not only offer efficacy at a professional level, but convenience that matches consumer expectations. He refers to this as “meaningful innovation”.
“You cannot ask a consumer to adopt a completely new practice or new product that stands in [their] way,” he explains. “You cannot have products where the consumer services the product rather than the other way around.”
The brand has engaged directly with consumers from the get-go, which initially started as a necessity as the company lacked the resources to play in the traditional media game. However, it quickly became a vital part of its business model, helping it reach the estimated $1 billion in worldwide sales that it’s expecting to hit in 2018.
“At the end of the day this has become an advantage that helped us not only reach the consumers but to engage with them and learn how to evolve our product range and our communications,” says Peros. At CES in January 2018, for instance, FOREO turned to Kickstarter to launch the UFO, a spaceship-like device that enables consumers to do a facemask in under 90 seconds (as opposed to the typical 15-20 minutes).
Unlike traditional campaigns on the crowdfunding platform that seek funding as their primary goal, the company saw this as a chance to spend months engaging with the consumer and gathering important feedback before bringing the product to launch.
Doing so has enabled it to drive engagement with a fiercely loyal beauty consumer, leading FOREO to experience exponential growth around the global. The five-year-old company now employs over 3.000 people in 20 offices worldwide.
Also in this episode, Peros talks further about the secret to developing products for a consumer that lives a much faster life, and just how the beauty industry is finally getting the innovation it deserves.