Digital devices crack customisation for personal care & beauty

April 06, 2017

Devices enabling at-home or in-store assessment of consumer phenotypes will aid mass customisation for the personal care and beauty sector, according to Sagentia.

The science and technology specialist says digital phenotyping – in-depth analysis of individuals’ personal characteristics and habits – is set to be a game-changer. Integrating diagnostic capabilities with stylish, user-friendly devices enables brands to make personalised product recommendations at scale.

Phenotyping overlays biometric data, for instance surrounding hair damage or skin hydration, with behavioural data, such as frequency of washing. The resultant big data can be leveraged to nurture a closer emotional connection between brand and consumer. Personalising and enhancing individuals’ beauty regimes boosts loyalty and advocacy, driving repeat purchase and peer recommendation. Digital phenotyping data can also be used to enrich ongoing product development and marketing strategies for better resonance with consumers.

Sagentia’s vice president of FMCG/CPG, Dr Neil Campbell, says the personal care and beauty sector has much to gain from digital phenotyping. Solutions can range from hi-tech gadgets to low-cost magazine inserts that work in conjunction with a smartphone app.

To help brands navigate this emerging discipline, Sagentia has launched a free downloadable white paper: The Science of Beauty.

“There are many factors to consider when designing these devices,” Campbell explains. “A simple consumer phenotype measurement needs to be obtained and analysed, then the results enter a cloud-based system and a diagnostic algorithm pinpoints the most suitable product. Each of these stages requires careful thought to ensure the process runs smoothly and adds value to the consumer. But technical considerations are only one part of the equation. The look and feel of the device also needs to be aligned with the style aspirations of the target market.”

Campbell believes that haircare and skincare are the likely forerunners of digital phenotyping. Sagentia has created solutions for brands in both categories, including the Dove Advanced Diagnostic Instrument (DADI) – a phenotyping device for Unilever’s haircare business.

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