L’Oréal is aiming to solve the issue of unpredictable color results with the launch of is new startup, Color&Co. Born from L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, the brand, which debuted May 8, offers on-demand personalized shade recommendations through advanced technology and video chats with professional consultants.
“Beauty consumers are asking us for increasingly personalized experiences, and we saw a real opportunity to innovate in this cornerstone of our business,” said Guive Balooch, Vice President of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, an arm of L’Oréal’s Research & Innovation Division. “Hair color results depend on a variety of factors, so it was important to develop highly accurate new technology that could deliver unprecedented at-home shade precision.”
The process begins when a user visits the brand’s website where they can co-create their formula via an in-depth live video consultation, or they can fill out a questionnaire. Color&Co’s technology then creates a custom blend designed to deliver desired results, and ships product directly to consumer in colorfully-packaged, personalized kits bearing a user’s name.
“Color inspires confidence and individuality – we sought out to create a brand identity to match those qualities with the help of L’Oréal’s expertise in hair care innovation,” said Olivier Blayac, General Manager, Color&Co. “Color&Co uses pops of color (specifically red and pink), to resonate as fun and approachable, while still remaining professional.”
The women’s at-home hair color market, which Nielsen estimates to be worth $1.4 billion, has no shortage of players. But, Color&Co hopes its utilization of human expertise will be a differentiator.
“While similar brands on the market only propose a limited range of pre-made shades or only use a quiz to diagnose customers’ hair, Color&Co also offers consumers the possibility to engage in a live video-consultation with an expert colorist. Not only does this ensure a perfectly accurate and professional diagnostic, but it allows to create endless color options to answer everyone’s needs and aspirations,” said Olivier. “We are also able to leverage their knowledge as a tool to educate and assess our consumer’s hair goals.”
Color&Co is recruiting hundreds of professional colorists from across the country to enroll within the Color&Co Collective, which provides free in-person and online training. Once accepted, independent stylists can make their own schedules and have the opportunity to earn commission for each customer that places an order based on their personalized recommendations.
For consumers, Color&Co has an intuitive and informative website that explains the video consultation process, how the personalized color formula is prescribed, and what to expect upon receiving the Personalized Colorbox. The brand is also working on social media marketing campaigns, which includes connecting with consumers on Facebook and Instagram and engaging in digital marketing and advertising.
Color&Co’s Single-Process and Premium Colorboxes start at $19.90 with the option to sign up for a recurring subscription service via its website. The brand is currently only available in the U.S. and there are no plans to integrate the service into physical retail.