The annual INNOCOS summits aren’t just about conducting business; they’re also about building relationships and community. The format of the summit is smaller than most, bringing together leaders across the beauty and personal care value chain and creating an environment and programming that facilitates real conversation and connection rather than a networking transaction.
Site selection for the INNOCOS summits are integral to the experience, as each event starts with immersive, inspirational site-specific excursions that embody the local culture and environment. Embracing the energy field known to locals as the “Spirit of Sedona,” INNOCOS arranged a hike to a vortex, the crossing points between energy fields in the earth’s grid system believed to be the intersection between our physical world and the divine healing realm, where a spiritual healing was performed that incorporated sound bath meditation and breath work.
Irina Kremin, Managing Director, INNOCOS Events, said, “At INNOCOS we believe in heartfelt, human connections, which make people’s lives better. We are dedicated to helping beauty professionals be connected, enhance their career and knowledge. We want to inspire you to find your JOMO (the Joy of Missing Out), or getting out of the office and daily routines, in favor of giving our attendees the opportunity to share best practices and learn in a fun, friendly and luxury environment.”
“’Meeting the right people,’ this is what INNOCOS stands for,” she continued.
The spirit of community and collaboration was palpable as presenters respectfully stuck to their allotted 20 minutes, keeping the jam-packed agenda on schedule. Unable to travel, Prima CEO and founder Christopher Gavigan joined via Zoom for a fireside chat about building trust and managing the callout culture; Rachel Goodman, Head of Beauty Partnerships at Pinterest, conducted a master class; and Daniel Langer, founder and CEO of Équité, conducted an interactive brainstorming session around reinventing the customer experience.
1. Cross-Border Launches in India. The Indian e-commerce beauty and personal care market is projected to be $4 billion by 2022, representing a strong opportunity for brands. Nykaa, the first omnichannel, multi-brand retailer and the number-one beauty retailer, is making it easier for brands to enter the Indian market. Rishi Seth, VP International Business, Nykaa, previewed The Global Store, a cross-border marketplace that allows Indian consumers to purchase brands through the Nykaa app that are not currently available in the country. Nykaa is expected to grow 9x in the next five years and is on a path to being a billion-dollar business by 2023.
2. “Don’t Sleep On Science” was the advice of Brandon Ford, Chief Accelerator Director for Lubrizol Life Sciences. The rapid proliferation of beauty brands all chasing their piece of the skincare pie has created a landscape where professional influencers are competing with expert influencers, creating confusion and general mistrust among consumers. Skintellectuals will dig deeper and efficacy is king. The brands that can leverage science to tell their story will build credibility and the efficacy of the products will build loyalty.
3. Good intentions just aren’t good enough when it comes to cleaning up the dirty beauty industry, according to LOLI Beauty CEO and founder Tina Hedges. She challenged the industry to do better and work collaboratively, then proceeded to open-source the LOLI brand, offering to share her vendors and resources to everyone in attendance.
4. Wisdom from the past—refillable durable packaging used to be the norm. When a package is considered an asset, its allocation per fill is the cost divided by the number of uses it can bear. The more durable the package, the lower the cost per fill, and durability enables reusability, design, and new features. Anthony Rossi, VP Global Business Development for Loop, shared that participating in Loop drives significantly stronger consumer association of brand with sustainability, packaging, and value equity attributes.
5. Winning the in-store experience by leveling up service. Sonia Summers, CEO Beauty Barrage, shared three tips for retail success. First, educate your team on selling and service. Second, arm your team with a toolbox so they can create experience anywhere. And finally, train your team on social selling.
6. Elevating brand storytelling through retail experience. Korean beauty brand Innisfree brought Jeju Island to life for the launch in the US market in its own stores as well as retail partners. Julien Bouzitat, VP, Head of Brands, Amorepacific US, reinforced the need for brand equity and storytelling to be integrated into the retail design and every consumer touchpoint. For Innisfree, the store becomes advertising and is leveraged for content and social amplification.
There are no shortage of conferences to attend these days, but the team at INNOCOS has mastered the art of human connection. The next summits planned for Marrakech and Singapore have been postponed, but the INNOCOS team has moved the community online with updates and webinars.