Beauty Store Business magazine - January, 2020

L'Oreal Creates DTC Personalized Color With Color & Co

L’Oréal's incubated startup partner, Color & Co, is giving leading at-home, customized hair color brand Madison Reed some serious competition. Color & Co is set to launch a new direct-to-consumer solution for personalized hair color. The product was created to solve the discrepancy problem of color failing to match based on what's printed on a box. Also, this new product empowers consumers to color at home, saving the time and expense of going to a salon and paying a colorist to do the job.

Olivier Blayac, general manager of Color & Co., says hair color is a “high-commitment” category, which provided an opportunity to address shoppers who are reluctant to take risks, in an online report. By removing the uncertainty of results, Blayac believes, the company is able to resolve a key pain point.

Here's how it works. When users visit the brand site, they speak to a live color consultant via video for 10-15 minutes. During that process, the colorist gets a sense of the visiting consumer's hair history, his/her natural color, current color, hair goals, etc. The colorist then makes a personalized color formula recommendation, which the shopper can then purchase for delivery in three to four days. The color consultants have been instructed to discourage clients from purchasing risky color changes, instead recommending a salon visit for dramatic hair color changes.

When the Color & Co kit arrives, the customer receives personalized instructions and a how-to video to ensure the application process is easy and successful.

In the event the shopper prefers not to engage in an initial video consultation, the site can lead him/her through a quiz to glean similar info as the video consult and make a personalized recommendation.

Customers have the option of a one-time orders ($26.19) or a color subscriptions ($19.90) that automatically generate retouching kits.

On the colorist staffing end, Color & Co is able to deliver a team of colorists via an Uber-like model. Colorists can make supplemental income by providing consultations. The brand is focused on building a network of skilled colorists with experience working on a variety of hair types and colorist who speak different languages to be able to serve a broad base of consumers.

With beauty customization on the rise, L'Oreal could eventually expand this model to skin care and cosmetics as well.

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