L’Oréal’s Kérastase brand is focusing on data with its latest innovation, the world’s first smart hairbrush, which it says will allow the beauty brand to communicate directly with consumers and provide “much more personalised marketing”.
The product unveiled today (4 January) at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, uses algorithms to score the quality of the user’s hair and to monitor the effects of different hair care routines. It works alongside an app that provides additional insights and customised product recommendations.
Features include a microphone that listens to the sound of hair brushing to identify patterns and give insights into manageability, while sensors are used to determine if the brush is being used on dry or wet hair. It is lightweight with the intention of replacing consumer’s usual hairbrush.
We are not known as a consumer electronics brand but it is important for us to be credible in that field.
Vincent Nida, Kérastase
“The [smart hairbrush] will allow us to communicate directly with our consumers and to work on much more personalised marketing. It is our most personalised innovation yet. We believe there will be hundreds of thousands that will buy it,” Vincent Nida, general manager of Kérastase, tells Marketing Week.
The product was developed through L’Oréal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator, which is also behind products including its 3D bioprinted skin, custom-blended foundation, an augmented reality beauty app and a smart UV patch unveiled at CES last year.
Some have dismissed such products as PR stunts aimed at generating headlines. But Nida says smart devices, whether hairbrushes or UV patches, offer a way of communicating with customers and establishing the brand as a leading innovator in the beauty industry.
“The reason we are presenting at CES is it is much more than a PR stunt. We’ve invested four years of our time in this. We are not known as a consumer electronics brand but it is important for us to be credible in that field,” Nida comments.
“Even though out main expertise lies in products, shampoos, treatments and creams, it is important for us to have this credibility too.”
Nida believes the product will have a huge impact on the beauty industry in terms of diagnostics and augmented reality, two things that are essential to the brand as a leader in the beauty industry.
The product aims to drive traffic to salons, with certain treatments only available in store. This factor will be used to determine success along with whether the sales of certain products related to the innovation increase or not.