Categories
Editor's pick Podcast product technology

FOREO on driving meaningful innovation in the beauty device market

Paul Peros and Rachel Arthur
Paul Peros and Rachel Arthur

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.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

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).

Foreo UFO
Foreo UFO

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.

Catch up with all of our episodes of TheCurrent Innovators here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
data product technology

Wearable tech’s future: Beyond fitness trackers to $160bn in 10 years

smartwatch
The wearable tech market will be worth $160bn in 10 years

Have you noticed how the hype around wearable technology has died down lately? A couple of years ago you couldn’t move for some expert predicting that we’d all be talking into our jackets and lighting up the room with our jeans.

So has wearable tech gone from being the Next Big Thing to Yesterday’s Thing? Not at all, in fact a new report shows how its NBT status has evolved to make it a much more nuanced market and one that’s set to grow fast.

The wearable tech market is currently worth around $30bn but will hit $160bn in the next 10 years, the report from IDTechEx says. On the way, it’ll be worth $40bn in the next two years and $100bn by 2023.

Not that it’s going to achieve all that just on the back of the fitness trackers and smartwatches that currently dominate the market. After all, the former category has proved popular but prices are relatively low, while the latter hasn’t exactly grabbed mass consumer imagination just yet.

What’s needed is for wearables to expand into other areas of our lives and IDTechEx says it will do just that. It believes there will be almost 40 product sub-categories in the next 10 years, including fitness trackers, smartwatches, connected clothing, smart eyewear (particularly important because of augmented reality and virtual reality), medical devices, smart patches, headphones, and hearing devices.

wearable-tech-growth

At the moment, just about every wearable tech device relies on a smartphone to act as the hub, and it will continue to do so for some time. But IDTechEx also says that “all of the largest manufacturers now look to a future, where the hub itself may become wearable”.

We’re already seeing some signs of this with devices like Samsung’s Gear S2 not relying on a smartphone to make calls and Google’s upcoming Android Wear 2.0 having more independent functionality too.

Report author James Hayward said: “Fuelled by a frenzy of hype, funding and global interest, wearable technology was catapulted to the top of the agenda for companies spanning the entire value chain and world.

“This investment manifested in hundreds of new products and extensive tailored R&D investigating relevant technology areas. However, the fickle nature of hype is beginning to show, and many companies are now progressing beyond discussing wearables to focus on the detailed and varied sub-sectors.”

So what does all that mean for the future? Well based on those sub-categories that IDTechEx lists, we still won’t be talking into our jackets or lighting up room with our jeans in the next decade. But it does seem than wearable tech will work its way into our lives in many different areas.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

Categories
Blocks Editor's pick technology

Designers are jumping into the wearable tech space this #NYFW – should we care?

RalphLauren-smart-tshirt

Tomorrow marks the first official day of New York Fashion Week, and with it a month-long series of runway shows that will next travel to Europe – to London, Milan and Paris – to highlight what all we’ll be wearing for spring/summer 2015.

Attention won’t just be on the new clothes in New York on this occasion however, but on the wearable accessories set to hit the catwalks too. Designers including Rebecca Minkoff and Opening Ceremony are each expected to unveil new tech-enabled pieces, while simultaneously over at the US Open, Ralph Lauren’s biometric t-shirts are already being worn.

The question is, after all the hype that will no doubt follow – will any of the new releases actually provide something that has true market appeal beyond the early adopter set?

Read the full story via Forbes.com to find out.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce mobile Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Georg Jensen, Macy’s, Muji, Sanctuary Spa, Marc Jacobs, Pinterest

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

  • Holition and Georg Jensen create 3D augmented reality app (as pictured) [Retail Jeweller]
  • Macy’s Twitter and Facebook pages overrun with anti-Trump comments [Mashable]
  • Muji to push knitwear via e-paper tallies of Facebook likes [Nikkei]
  • Marc Jacobs launches new luxury, e-commerce experience [InsideFMM]
  • Pinterest launches business pages to get cozy with brands [AdAge]
  • Deciphering the devices: tablets versus smartphones [WWD]
  • Most e-commerce froth since 2000 stirs up investor doubts: tech [Boomberg]