By continually driving innovation, L’Oréal has maintained its position as a global beauty leader for the past 106 years. A strong commitment to research and development enables L’Oréal to deliver breakthrough products and technologies across its portfolio of more than 30 iconic brands, which include its flagship brands, L’Oréal Paris and L’Oréal Professional, as well as an array of beauty bastions like Garnier, Kiehl’s, Lancôme, Matrix, Maybelline New York, Redken, and more. L’Oréal is engaging consumers through interactive tactics that invite conversation and offer useful, accessible content, while using digital methodologies to address individual customers’ needs.
L’Oréal is putting digital at the center of the business: its digital efforts contributed to a 40 percent growth in e-commerce sales in the first half of 2015, which rose to more than USD $1 billion. L’Oréal launched its U.S.-based Technology Incubator in 2012, an addition to the company’s research division dedicated entirely to technological innovation and digital beauty experiences. After unveiling its first project, the breakthrough virtual reality app Makeup Genius, L’Oréal launched the California Research Center (CRC), a West Coast extension of its incubator, dedicated to partnering with start-ups and experts in academia.
In addition to exploring new virtual territory, L’Oréal is set on creating experiences that seamlessly bridge shoppers’ physical and digital worlds, with plans to develop scan-to-shop mobile apps. Proving a true tech-disruptor in the beauty industry, L’Oréal became the only beauty company named to Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies” list in 2015.
By embracing innovation and robust research tactics, L’Oréal isn’t just moving into uncharted technological territory for a beauty brand, it’s also raising the standard of beauty products for individual consumers. L’Oréal focuses on proprietary active ingredients and expertise in formulation and evaluation, ensuring that its products are safe and scientifically effective. With six innovation hubs around the world, L’Oréal researchers hone in on diverse customer needs and develop strategies tailored to the beauty rituals of differing nationalities. Last spring, L’Oréal forged a groundbreaking partnership with the San Diego–based bioprinting company Organovo to develop 3-D printed skin tissue for product evaluation and innovation. The initiative builds upon L’Oréal’s work in the research and application of reconstructed skin for the past 30 years.
Sustainability and social causes are also core to L’Oréal’s mission. Its “Sharing Beauty With All” program is a global commitment to produce, develop, and innovate sustainably so that 100 percent of L’Oréal’s products will offer environmental or social benefit. The initiative covers the entire value chain—by the year 2020, the company will have reduced carbon emissions, water consumption, and waste by 60 percent. Global CEO of the L’Oréal Group, Jean-Paul Agon, explains that the company wants to use its insights and influence to “reach the next billion consumers while making a positive impact on the world, and sharing our growth with people around us.”
With ambitions of increasing accessibility and adapting to every consumer’s needs, L’Oréal is leading the global beauty industry and building its global brand.