Personalized Beauty: Experience is the Product

The age of computational biology has ushered in new tools for skin and health analysis and product.
The age of computational biology has ushered in new tools for skin and health analysis and product.

Personalization presents an opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves on experience and efficacy in a sea of product options and retail channels. It also offers a view of the increasing overlap between health, wellness and beauty. While new platforms are in the early phases, patterns have already emerged.

What is Personalization?

Customization and personalization are often used interchangeably, but they are critically different concepts. Phil Davis, writing for TowerDataa, offers a simple definition: “Personalization is achieved through customer data and predictive technology. Customization is achieved when a user manually makes changes to achieve his preferred experience.”

Why Personalization Matters

While customized consumer experiences give shoppers a sense of control, fun and engagement, these concepts rarely fit well into day-to-day life, nor do they solve key consumer frustrations. On the other hand, personalization gives consumers a greater sense of assurance over outcomes while helping them avoid an excess of information or decisions.

That said, personalization is a means, not an end. In a recent interview with Global Cosmetic Industry, Dr. Frauke Neuser, Olay’s principal scientist, cautioned: Personalization is not a benefit; it is an enabler for a better consumer experience.

Key Personalization Benefits

Personalized products and experiences deliver a number of upsides for the consumer, which can manifest in a number of ways:

  • Tailored products/product recommendations based on personal data points (ex: skin type, age, climate, season, ingredient concerns, etc.)
  • Results tracking for efficacy and updated product recommendations
  • Brands that offer personalized products and platforms also benefit:
  • Collection of consumer data for marketing and product development
  • Customer loyalty
  • Proprietary manufacturing and supply chain systems that add value beyond products

These concepts include both high- and low-tech solutions and are already playing out in the marketplace, creating growth for upstart brands, new innovation pathways for legacy manufacturers and paving the way to a bespoke beauty future. 

Want to read the full article? Check out the March 2019 digital edition of Global Cosmetic Industry magazine.


aPhil Davis, “What is the Difference Between Personalization and Customization?”

More in Skin Care