L'Oréal's is launching a new at-home product for hair coloring it’s selling direct to consumers called Color&Co.
The French cosmetics company is the latest established brand to dip its toe into direct-to-consumer branding, where products are sold direct to online buyers instead of at a store or through middlemen.
Big-name brands are being forced to compete with agile startups that have cropped in recent years –– Peloton, the stationary bike company, Dollar Shave Club, and Chewy, the pet products retailer, to name a few.
Investment in direct-to-consumer brands is picking up. Funding for these brands, minus food-focused ones, exceeded $1.1 billion in 2018, according to CB Insights. That’s up from $616.9 in 2017.
Color&Co touts a hair treatment formula specifically created for each customer. It’s developed after a live video consultation with a hair colorist, and the product is shipped a few days later.
The coloring products can be purchased individually or through a subscription service.
"Beauty consumers are asking us for increasingly personalized experiences, and we saw a real opportunity to innovate in this cornerstone of our business," says Guive Balooch, VP of L'Oréal's Technology Incubator, an arm of L'Oréal's Research & Innovation Division.
Nielsen pegged beauty and personal care products as “ripe for online development” in its 2018 report on the future of beauty. And it pointed to hair coloring specifically as having the “biggest online growth opportunity.”