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Personalized Skin Care from Beiersdorf

New brand will try to O.W.N. the skin care category.


By: Tom Branna

Personalized Skin Care from Beiersdorf

Indies are having their moment, but Beiersdorf will try to own the personalized skin care space with launch of O.W.N. The brand launches in key European markets with a simple routine: facial cleansing plus day care as well as evening facial cleansing plus night care. O.W.N uses artificial intelligence and is built around a proprietary algorithm that combines 140 years of skin care expertise and consumer knowledge. As a result, O.W.N. selects the single best unique product offering out of 380,000 formula combinations. The products are sold as part of a purely digital business model via the website, where consumers fill out a questionnaire to determine which care formula is best suited to their skin.

“The launch of O.W.N strengthens our focus on personalized skin care innovations – based on individual needs and scientific findings,” explains Beiersdorf AG CEO Stefan De Loecker. “The whole project is an internal startup: a few dedicated entrepreneurial people and a ton of passion and hard work managed to drum up support from all functions to make this happen.”

The product range of O.W.N is based on the particular combination of the consumer’s skin condition and the consumer’s specific wish to improve their skin.

“Our point of difference is that the products evolve automatically with every new order – including criteria such as lifestyle, people’s personal circumstances, or seasonal changes,” adds De Loecker. “With this holistic approach, we not only maintain a direct digital connection with consumers, but we also enhance our knowledge regarding consumers and their skin. This will help us to offer even better personalized solutions in the future.”

Behind the development of the personalized face care products lies a specifically designed algorithm based on insights and data from a survey of more than 4,000 consumers conducted in the run-up to the brand launch. Another actor contributing to Beiersdorf’s in-depth expertise in this market segment is the large-scale “Skinly” study. More than 10,000 women have already taken part in this study in Europe and Asia and have taken a total of over 2.5 million skin measurements to date. The data obtained in this way is continuously helping scientists to better understand external influences on the skin, such as those caused by UV radiation or air pollution, and to counteract negative effects more effectively. For Dr. Frank Schwanke, manager of the Personalization Accelerator launched in 2019, cross-functional knowledge transfer at Beiersdorf also plays a key role in the continuous development of personalized skin care.

“Our Personalization Accelerator is anchored in the R&D department and integrates a dynamic team from supply chain, IT, marketing and R&D,” said Schwanke. “We bundle, structure, and strengthen synergies from various initiatives within the company. This is another strong point proving that our unique consumer knowledge is an enhancer to unlock white spot potential and to win with skin care.”

Each O.W.N. product is specially made for the brand’s individual consumers. The jars and bottles are filled with ingredients that are formulated for individual skin care needs. With the O.W.N product range, consumers are provided with everything they need for their personal facial skin care. This is also reflected in the brand name: O.W.N stands for “Only What's Needed”. In the course of the online shopping process, not only the formulas but also the packaging is personalized so that the consumers’ first names form a unit with the brand name – for example “MARY’S O.W.N”. Their individual personality thus once again becomes the focus of the very shopping experience.

For a growing number of consumers today, responsible consumption plays an increasingly important role in their everyday lives. O.W.N products support these consumers in reducing their personal ecological footprint – among other things, by using as many naturally derived and biodegradable ingredients as possible for the products’ vegan formulations. In addition, the brand uses refillable jars, and bottles as well as outer packaging made from organic materials to reduce plastic waste. All single used components are recyclable. Hence, the new brand also pays directly into Beiersdorf’s sustainability agenda “Care Beyond Skin.”

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