Gone are the simple days of cleanse, tone and moisturize. As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the consumer goods industry, the beauty industry is undergoing a worldwide digital transformation. Leading beauty companies are adopting the latest technological advances from virtual reality to artificial intelligence in order to provide their customers with a more personal and customized experience, taking the game to a completely different “dimension”.Stephan Garandet, Head of Digital Marketing and Digital Vice President at L’Oréal Group, opens the doors of the fascinating future of the beauty world.

Can you explain what beauty means to Generation Z?

The major change compared to past generations is that the Generation Z is quite digital; that is, they want things to happen instantly, they are health conscious, they are looking for increased performance, they are reflecting on experience and demanding transparency.

You defined TikTok as a new medium for the marketing sector, how can a beauty brand connect with this platform?Can you give us cues about this topic?

TikTok is definitely a rising trend and a promising medium to reach consumers of the beauty industry. TikTok has many beauty influencers and consumers, and there are many ways to collaborate for a brand.On these platforms, you need to have a right and proper targeting strategy that you can naturally reach out without disturbing people’s experiences and stories on those platforms. You can create content directly for your brands that are exclusive for TikTok, you can ask influencers to produce content and you can even do mass-based studies and enter the creation process with the platform users.

The beauty industry dominates YouTube with the content it produces. How would you explain this developing situation in the marketing world?

Beauty is purely a way of visual expression hence videos are naturally the main formats of this industry. YouTube is a very interesting platform to connect with people. Not only YouTube, but all video platforms work well with the right content, targeting and implementation. Today’s pitch is 2 minutes; in other words, today, your average time to tell the consumer your story is 2 minutes. We call 6-minute videos the new long ad form. This means the sequences are important. Instead of a 30-second video, we will use the success of short and concise messages by sequencing, remarketing, or converting. Each of these ads will be short and brand-oriented.

What do you think about the consumption craze in the beauty industry in the 21st century?

Beauty consumption is generally increasing due to increased awareness and increased need for self-expression. Given the diversity and accessibility of the opportunities offered, this rapid growth is normal in terms of both products and services.

The rise is usually observed in developing countries with the increased youth population, which is interested in beauty expense and the industry.   Beauty expenses for newly added segments, such as older people and men, is much higher than in the past. Beauty routines are becoming increasingly versatile and varied.

What do you think about the relationship between technology and the beauty industry? Where do you think this relationship lies in the triangle of “production-marketing-consumption”?

There is a perfect harmony between beauty and technology. Technology feeds the industry by establishing meaningful and deeper relationships between the industry and the consumer. Beauty is a very visual and social concept; you want to share your new look, new style, new hair colour.For L’Oréal, technology means offering beauty to everyone. Our goal is to become the number one techno – beauty company. Technology is at every stage of our value chain. We define technology as “industry 4.0” in terms of production, sensitive advertising in terms of marketing, personalization in terms of digital services and consumption.

As a brand, where do you stand for the change in perception created with the new Instagram filters on the concept of beauty?

We want our consumers to express themselves as they are. We believe in the power of beauty to change lives. Beauty is a powerful self-confidence tool to achieve your dreams.But beauty has a different meaning for every culture, region and generation in the world. We respect them all and want our services and products to be as diverse as our consumers.

Videos, influencer collaborations, applications and even virtual reality are used in the beauty industry as a digital marketing tool. What’s the next great innovation? What do you think will be the next pioneering marketing innovation in this industry?

At L’Oréal, we work on artificial intelligence and augmented reality in terms of leading-edge technologies. In order to provide new services with these technologies, L’Oréal bought Modiface, the world’s number one artificial intelligence and augmented reality company.These technologies are reshaping our consumers’ way of discovering, testing, experiencing and purchasing our products. In a world where you ask your voice assistant what the best mascara on the market, the game won’t be the same. Or when your mirror offers you a personalized beauty consultation, or you can watch a virtual make up tutorial directly on your face …Brands who specializes in these experiences will be the brands that people will prefer.

How well do you think people have adapted to the digitization of the beauty industry?

People are executors of digitalization in the beauty industry. Their needs, desires and expectations are pushing us to digitize and shape the future of the beauty industry. They have a strong connection with the rest of the world, thus with the trends and innovations.Everything is becoming more accessible, user-friendly. People are enjoying online shopping, digitized services (virtual tests, online diagnostics, online beauticians) and endless personalization that digitalization brings about.