Earlier this month, we were lucky to host the second London BeautyTech event at Huckletree West. We had a lot of fun and learnt a ton, thanks to seasoned speakers Alexia Inge (co-founder of Cult Beauty), Charlotte Semler (co-founder of Votary), Jin Kwon (founder of Tonic15) and Marie Drago (founder of Gallinee). We were thrilled to be able to gather an engaged community of ~100 people, we could have continued the discussion the whole night!
During the first part of the event, Alexia shared her journey as Cult Beauty co-founder. She decided to start Cult Beauty ten years ago as she felt that the beauty offering back then was either too intimidating or not customer-focused enough. If I had to remember three key learnings from this insightful 20-minute chat, I would pick the following:
- About selling beauty products online: the most common hurdle she encountered was people asking how she would sell beauty products online, as consumers might need to try these products. Her answer is that “you don’t have to try it, you have to trust it”! And this is actually true for all digital consumer propositions: trust is an essential pillar to build a successful digital brand
- About recruiting an A-level team: Alexia’s strategy to build such a talented team is to recruit people who are as obsessed with beauty products as she is, and to empower them so that they feel safe to share their ideas. Again, this advice could be applied not only by beauty entrepreneurs but also all digital lifestyle and digital media entrepreneurs
- About fundraising: According to Alexia, meeting investors is like dating. Hence, she suggested to entrepreneurs in the audience to share their story in an excited way and to ask investors a lot of questions before committing to anything. Carmen, investor at Samaipata, also shared recently her guide about how to find true love in Venture Capital.
During the second part of the event, Phoebe McDowell, assistant beauty editor at The Sunday Times Style, moderated a panel about Natural Beauty. Charlotte Semler, Jin Kwon and Marie Drago shared with us their views about this fast growing beauty sub segment and how they communicate about it with their consumers. The main learnings were:
- Beauty consumers are more sophisticated than ever. They are well educated about ingredients and are now looking for beauty products composed of safe ingredients that will actually make them healthy. As a result, beauty brands need to be honest and transparent in the way they communicate about their formula
- Beauty consumers mix, pick and choose products: they might want to use a natural product in the morning and then a synthetic one at night. The efficacy of the product is one of the key drivers of choice
- Instagram can be super powerful for communicating with consumers, generating strong engagement and support from your community, and, as a result, enabling brands to build a business from there
We were very grateful to host this event and to be part of the growing BeautyTech community in London. Stay tuned for the 3rd edition in June 2019!