What does the idea of community mean for brands in the inter-Covid era?
We’re already entering an area of radical transparency and this is just going to accelerate. For consumers, the values of the brands and the companies they buy from are important. For example, what have they done vis-a-vis the community? How are they supporting [initiatives] other than selling product and making money? In the case of beauty in particular, I anticipate more authenticity and wholesomeness. When we look at glamorous influencers in exotic destinations now, it feels a bit vacuous. So, for brands, there will be the emergence of different set of values – a less showy and more conscious way of working.
What are the market opportunities or gaps that start-ups or nascent brands should be considering?
The pandemic is driving a greater scrutiny by consumers of the science behind products. This is going to bode well for brands that are more science-based, including those in the emerging area of microbiome and bioscience in beauty. We’re starting to understand more about our bacteria and the impact of that on our immunity and skin. For Waldencast, two other emerging areas of interest are telemedicine and home testing kits. I anticipate a lot of interest from consumers and development by companies on different tests. The idea of being able to test at home and have digitally delivered expert advice from there is interesting.
With the rise of telemedicine or digital-first beauty experience, is it fair to say we’re entering a post-touch era for the beauty and wellness sectors?
Here in New York during lockdown, many apartment building gyms had to be reserved and you could only use them one person at a time. Will this sort of behaviour or such restrictions impact retail or salons? I'm not sure if they will in the long-term, but something brands might want to consider is a focus on supporting local consumers and local economies, creating a small world or high street spaces for their brand to exist in.