LOral technology incubators Guive Balooch on marrying beauty and tech – Glossy

Posted: March 11, 2021 at 12:17 pm

Though a 15-year-veteran in beauty, Guive Balooch, head of LOrals technology incubator, considers his outsider-turned-insider perspective a skill. Balooch started his professional career as an instructor at the University of California, Berkeley before working in pharmaceuticals.

I spent almost half of my life really focused on academia and science, he said on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. I fell upon this job in LOral, because I was moving to Chicago for family reasons .. I didnt know anything about the company. I will say that I did like fashion and beauty, in general, even before joining LOreal, but I didnt really know much. I discovered this incredible industry I feel like if I didnt grow up in an academic family that I probably would have ended up being a marketer, because I really like business and product and consumers. At the same time, I feel a bit lucky because I have this fundamental science background, and I used my experience of being at LOral almost 15 years to learn the marketing and the consumer part.

In the early to mid 2000s LOrals technology and digital ambitions were just getting started. Balooch found his footing in the now timely skin and hair sectors, but he knew technology had the power to transform the beauty industry, even back then. The idea that weve have had from day one on my team has been: How can we really elevate the beauty experience for people around the world by using tech?

Despite Covid-19, those ambitions have not changed. In 2021, LOral is moving forward with its Water Saver sink to reduce water consumption in New York salons, and its debuting Perso, the companys personalized beauty device, through YSL Beautys lipsticks next quarter.

Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.

LOrals technology filterThe idea that we have had from day one on my team has been: How can we really elevate the beauty experience for people around the world by using tech? And that means that we look at age-old consumer needs things that have been around [forever]. Beauty has been around since almost the beginning of time. So when you think about that, the needs of consumers are things that are the most important to understand how we can solve. And if those needs today cant be solved without technology, we tackle those problems. So to be more pragmatic, we look at areas like personalized beauty this idea that every human being on the face of the earth should have a product made for them without having to go through a maze of 1,000 options and auditioning every product in the world. To get there, we look at things like measurement tools, the ability to give people the right data using tech about their skin tone, about their skin and their habits. We look at sustainability: How we can use tech to make the world a better place, in terms of water consumption and areas like that. And also magical applicators, things that can really transform the face. So for anything that is in-between that physical and digital, [we] build a system around the consumer.

Making life easier for the consumerWe cant wear [lipstick] out and not a lot of people are wearing [lipsticks] outside as much. But there is something when youre on a call, when youre doing a video call lipstick is this iconic makeup product that can immediately transform you. And its something thats also emotional. Were living in this time, and even in more of an emotional world, we need to feel good about ourselves Sometimes that means not wearing anything, makeup-wise. Other times, its just getting that lipstick and just applying that as this ritual that makes you feel good. And the thing that we wanted to create with this [Perso] device was not making people go out and buy 100 lipsticks for 100 trends. Why cant they see a trend that they want, that they see on online, and just try the product today? When you do that, you open more daring options for people that people will try. If I have to buy a tube of a very daring color, maybe its a different decision for me than if I can try that with my personal device I can try hundreds more with only three cartridges.

Innovation has to push past cyclical trendsFive years ago, I would say, Well, I dont listen to trends, because were trying to create something that the consumer doesnt have today, because tech is something that hasnt been adopted in the consumer world. In the beauty world, 10 years ago, it was at the beginning. There was no beauty company at CES. We were one of the first. But now its different. Now what I realized over time is that there are different stages where we have to look at trends. We dont look at trends to create projects, because a lot of our products are things that are something that doesnt live in the consumers beauty world today. But we do look at them first to check the tensions. What are the things that people really want in their [lives], for their beauty? What are the tensions that they face today, which are unrelated to tech, necessarily. We just look at that as a first step to see what technology can help us solve. Then after we come up with an idea, then we really try to make sure that we have the right trends that fuel the idea.

See the article here:

LOral technology incubators Guive Balooch on marrying beauty and tech - Glossy

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