Global News | Apr 5, 2019

Avon reveals its formula for a modern beauty must-have

Avon reveals its formula for a modern beauty must-have

This month, Avon experts gathered in New York to discuss the company’s new definition of beauty must-haves, and how they are shaping the company so that creating “modern beauty essentials” is top of the agenda. Leading the session were Lisa Gallo, Vice President R&D; Lisa Garofano, Head of Color for Global Consumer Product Design; and Gina Ghura, Director Future Innovation Team.

This guiding principle, to earn beauty “must-have” status and become forefront of the customer’s beauty routine, has been a cornerstone of Avon’s innovation for 130 years, with many global best-sellers, beauty awards and first-to-market technologies to its name. But this latest moment marks the culmination of a major shift in operations at Avon, as the company has worked to become more agile in both its innovation process and its trends forecasting, meaning it is better placed than ever to both anticipate and answer consumer needs. 

For Avon, the modern definition of a beauty must-have is all about chemistry: not just in terms of the scientific formulation itself, but also the emotional, human-to-hu¬man chemistry, too. That’s because ultimately, beauty “must-haves” require a blend of science, high-quality product standards, speed to market and a strong emotional connection to the end user.

Of course, this begins and ends with the quality of the company’s R&D: “It’s high-performing quality that keeps the customer coming back,” says Lisa Gallo. A strong innovation pipeline, coupled with a more reactive and flexible R&D programme, ensures new products deliver what the consumer wants, and when she wants it. 

Trends are another essential element through which modern consumers trial new products: the right shades at the right time are also key. But for Avon, a product will only become a must-have when there is an emotional connection to the product – and that means a deep understanding of what modern consumers are looking for. “We’re  listening on social, we’re conducing focus groups, we’re talking to our representatives. We’re constantly creating products that women say: ‘Hey, I didn’t know I needed that,’ says Gina Ghura. Similarly, for Lisa Garofano, a must-have must build “both confidence and inspiration” into the product design. 

Of course, the company also believes a vital extra layer of credibility is delivered through its network of beauty Representatives, for whom inspirational product storytelling is key. The new Anew Vitamin C serum, for example, can be brought to life anecdotally through the fact that it contains “the Vitamin C of 30 oranges”. This seamless connection to the consumer, both on and offline, will allow Avon to both reach and understand their consumers ever more meaningfully going forward. 

Finally, Avon believes a modern beauty must-have also plays its part in a brand’s bigger purpose. Coinciding with the purpose-driven culture at Avon, whereby earnings opportunities literally “change the lives of their beauty representatives,” as Lisa Gallo puts it, the products should always put women at the heart, and allow her, as Lisa Garofano says, to “feel herself reflected in the products.”

You can watch the full roundtable discussion on YouTube.