In Brands, Marketing

No one is going to dispute the consumer’s desire for individualized product, and customization is not a new trend. Estée Lauder was custom-blending foundation at Prescriptives counters in the 1980s, but in 2009, exactly 30 years after its launch stopped wholesale distribution, the space required on the retail floor and sales just didn’t add up. Commercial feasibility is precisely the conundrum that comes with customization in the beauty vertical. Brands have struggled with it, but there is a new crop of start-ups that believe they have it figured out. Can customization really be the engine of a successful beauty business? Or is it best left as a marketing layer on more traditional business models? Perhaps technology is the key to finally making customized beauty work, but only time will tell.

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