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Brief Published: 19 Jan 2016

Crowdsource Your Beauty

The Milky Jelly Cleanser from Glossier

Shrewd beauty brands are engaging with consumers to road test and formulate new product offerings – acknowledging not only the power of the crowd and generating hype, but also the importance of developing products that consumers truly enjoy using.

  • US beauty brand Glossier added to its carefully curated range of skincare products this month with a new crowdsourced cleanser. Founder Emily Weiss posted on Into The Gloss (the cult blog that inspired the brand) in January 2015, asking readers to write in with descriptions of their dream cleanser.

    Almost 400 comments detailed ideal ingredients, textures and functionality – which aided the development of the product. The final Milky Jelly Cleanser features a gel-like formula that strips off all make-up, including waterproof mascara. It’s also free from parabens, soaps and sulphates, and contains Pro-Vitamin B5 to moisturise the skin – all key requests from fans.

    “It was the first time we really brought the audience into the process of product development,” said Annie Kreighbaum, executive editor of Into The Gloss. “We had no idea if people wanted to talk about it, or if people even wanted a new cleanser. But the response was so positive. People not only wanted the same kind of cleanser we wanted, but they wanted to be in on the development process with us.”
  • Similarly, Korean beauty blog and multi-brand retailer Peach & Lily has announced the launch of the Peach & Lily Mask Lab, which aims to pour years of research into Korean beauty innovations into its own brand of highly effective sheet masks. Reader feedback, reviews and suggestions sent in via emails and blog comments offer guidance in the development process.
  • Known for its delivery of obscure, new and fledgling brands and products, US beauty-box subscription service Boxycharm is also tapping fans for direct feedback. Launching in 2016, the Boxycharm Lab programme will invite brands to offer up products that are still in development and not yet commercially available for fans to test and critique.

For more on fan-led retail models, see Fan Votes Shape Topshop’s Archive Collection, Wang Monetises Heritage with Crowdsourced Collection and our Consumer-Creators Industry Trend.

Also take a look at some more beauty-box subscription models in Sephora Launches Beauty Box and Essence Box Targets Black Beauty