At Monday’s Glossy Forum: The Beauty Revolution, executives from the beauty and wellness space came together to discuss how they’re evolving their business strategies for the digital age.

Today’s consumer wants to engage with brands on a deeper level, and brands, in turn, are getting creative about attempts to engage: They are using data to make more customer-focused products, underscoring mobile-optimized communications to talk directly with their shopper and leveraging omnichannel strategies to be everywhere the consumer wants them to be.

We gathered some of the best speaker and attendee comments of the day, including those centered on how beauty brands are using data to transition to lifestyle brands, how text messaging is becoming central to connecting to customers and why working with influencers continues to be a trial-and-error experiment.

Making brands and products that are data-centric
“DTC is extremely important, because if we have a direct consumer link in place, we also have their data.”

“The heart of AI is data — it’s a machine and it learns by data. If you don’t have good data feeding the machine, it won’t be able to learn. [We can] tell our customers, ‘We know you better than you know yourself,’ because we can understand [what works best] for their skin type, their face shape and their hair shape.”

“Metadata is a pleasure and a curse, all at the same time. We have a direct-to-consumer business, and by having access to customers, we know just about everything about them.”

Understanding the right retail mix
“If you are a consumer, you’re no longer brand loyal, you are product loyal. The problem with the department stores is you have to go to that counter and buy from those people, and then check out, then you have to go over here if you want something else. With DTC, it’s the same. I would rather shop Sephora than go to three different brand DTCs.”

“We’re going into Sephora, and they have a couple of [CBD] products. I don’t know if they are going to put it in their stores in Arkansas, but they are in California.”

“DTC brands have to fight harder in the [online] channel when retailers get involved, because their products are no longer exclusive.”

Emphasizing a mobile-optimized approach
“We try to stay ahead of the curve. About 55% of our business is done digitally and over 60% of that is through mobile platforms. So evolving our video content to be digital has been one of our top priorities. We are trying to make sure that type of content is available where she is spending her time on digital platforms, so all of our programs are streamed live through Facebook.”

“We tested sending out text messages that were purely educating the consumer and had no transactional value whatsoever. They work for us — because having that conversation around ‘We think this is important for you to know about’ builds an extra layer of connectivity.”

Working with the right influencers
“The stylist was the original influencer. We have these retail partnerships, but the professional [channel] is still very, very important.”

“If someone loves our product, the next stage is getting it in their hands and fostering that organic relationship.”

“We didn’t feel like we had the right influencers, so we went out and found them ourselves. We made some mistakes: When we saw other brands working with them, we went after them, and we tried to create relationships with all of the same influencers. Now we realize we have to be more strategic.”

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