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Innovation & new products

Service technology is Natura’s latest strategy to satisfy clients and boost sales

A new device created by the company assesses clients’ hair strands and suggests to consultants which of the brand’s products are best suited to their needs.

Daniel Gonzaga, director of innovation and product development

Daniel Gonzaga, director of innovation and product development

Among Natura’s latest launches, one product surely stands out from the rest. But it is not a new fragrance, make-up or personal care product. In the same year it celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding, the Brazilian cosmetics label presented to the market a new device to assess the condition of consumers’ hair strands in real time.

Natura has always invested in technology so that it could innovate its products, but we realized there was also an opportunity to offer services that could help our consultants do their jobs better,” says Daniel Gonzaga, Director of Innovation and Product Development.

Spearheaded by Natura’s cosmetics technology group, the project was kicked off around five years ago with the creation of an exclusive methodology. The group mapped out the different types of damage that can occur in hair, such as the fading of color, color treatments, straightening and UV radiation. Over 18,000 images of hair strands in different conditions were analyzed to “train” the algorithm used to diagnose hair damage.

The entire process was conducted in the lab using cutting-edge equipment. Our main challenge was making the assessment tool small enough to fit into a portable and accessible system. For this reason, we developed a device that can be attached to a cellphone camera,” says Gonzaga.

The combination of the lens of Natura’s device and the lens in a consultant’s personal cellphone magnify hair strands, allowing for a detailed examination of them, as if seen under a microscope. In addition to the photos taken during examination, consumers must answer questions regarding their haircare habits. Afterwards, all of the pictures and information collected are sent to a cloud computing analysis service. As the algorithm uses machine learning, the more assessments that are conducted, the more precise the results obtained will be.

The solution we developed immediately diagnoses the current state of hair strands and is also capable of determining the best products we have in our portfolio to repair them, according to the results of the assessment,” says Gonzaga. He also explains that, with this new tool, consultants will have at their disposal the entire breadth of Natura’s technical and scientific knowledge on haircare, thus being able to carry out informed and customized assessments, which will aggregate value to their service.

Natura has not yet announced when the device will be introduced for use by its consultants. “We are now starting to test the device, which will provide us with more concrete input to put together a better business plan and design a better strategy in terms of usage and target customers. Our consultants will be the primary users of this new device, and so our initial tests will be carried out with a small group of them,” says Gonzaga.

With this new device, we hope to not only reach very high levels of customer satisfaction, but also possibly increase haircare product sales,” says Gonzaga. According to him, the tool is part of Natura’s broader digital transformation strategy, which seeks to provide consultants with new technologies developed internally by the company, so they can offer increasingly more sophisticated services. The company currently has a network of over 1,700,000 resellers, or consultants, with approximately 500,000 of them working out of virtual stores created using the company’s online platform.

We have many different innovation teams currently working on new opportunities for our company. These projects are presently in the testing phase and will soon be revealed to the public,” stated Gonzaga.

Renata Martins

Portfolio

© 2019 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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