Business Leadership: Top Personal Care Brands in the Platform Economy

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Personalization rules in retail and self-care: this phenomenon is nothing new, and personal care is inevitably the most personal of all industries, with high expectations of businesses and products from consumers. In the platform era, the capabilities of industries to deliver on this goal of intense personalization have been totally revolutionized, raising consumer expectations even higher.

Those companies rising to meet the challenge face exponential value creation for themselves, their producers, and their consumers. In this series, we share platform leadership in specific categories, demonstrating the need for brands to expand their capacities for interaction by increasing accessibility. To do this, they must expand beyond their past product-oriented offerings to embrace a more experientially based approach. Below are some stellar examples of how personal care can be made even more connective through platforms.

  • Sephora – Sephora’s platform offering, Sephora-to-Go, helps users to discover fun new makeup, skincare, haircare, and luxury fragrance products, bringing users exclusive offers and deals from their favorite brands and products. The platform allows users to use augmented reality to edit their photos, from which Sephora can recommend specific products that achieve a chosen cosmetic goal – from here, users can order the products from the app. Likewise, Sephora’s “Visual Artist” tool scans users’ faces and recommends different products and looks that fit their style.
  • hims – hims is a one-stop platform for any number of issues facing men – including hair loss, oral care, acne, and erectile dysfunction – which allows users to discuss their issues in a social network. From here, hims provides direct e-commerce options for purchase from their private label of supplements, lotions, and other products, branded by minimalist packaging intended to deconstruct the male personal care industry’s veil of toxic masculinity.
  • Glamsquad – Glamsquad is a platform that connects users on-demand with professional hair, makeup, and nail stylists, serving users in major cities across the United States. The platform allows users to hire local beauty professionals who have at least 8 years of industry expertise. Through the platform, users can make appointments and bring contractors directly into their homes. Payments are facilitated through the app, bringing value and ease to both users in need and beauticians.
  • My Black is Beautiful – This platform, launched in combination by and Procter & Gamble, creates a community forum for Black women to discuss bias in the beauty industry and American beauty standards, as well as raise awareness through blog posts, public discussion spaces, and other tools. Procter and Gamble uses the site to share products designed for the African-American community, including the My Black is Beautiful hair care line. By creating an authentic space for interaction, writing on considerations unique to this community, and providing accompanying products based on the needs of their customers, and Procter and Gamble have partnered to help women reform how the beauty industry embraces Blackness and womanhood.
  • Crest – Users of Procter & Gamble’s mobile platform can peruse videos and articles covering a wide array of dental issues, connected directly to recommendations of how to use specific Crest and Oral-B products to fix these issues. Crest also consistently promotes coupon offers across its mobile apps and brand site, creating an interaction based in education, discount, and purchase between the oral hygiene company and platform participants.
  • Glossier – Beginning as a blog called Into the Gloss, a publication aimed at democratizing the beauty industry for women and providing insights, advice, and community interaction, Glossier has developed into a $52 million venture that now has its own product line and a social commerce site. The platform brings together the social interactions crucial to the blog’s beginning and combines them with an opportunity to sell Glossier’s own beauty products directly on the platform.

These platforms fill gaps in the personal care industry that provide authentic community interaction among those who are seeking the same kinds of products and values, as well as providing contractors and products that can help remedy these issues.

What target audiences are crucial to your business – and how can you offer products that more specifically meet their needs?


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