The brand’s philosophy is greatly influenced by co-founder Antoinette Barnardo, who has a background in nutrition science and was previously involved in product development for multinational companies such as Sanofi, Swisse and Aspen Nutritionals.
“When we decided to launch this brand, one of the key issues we focused on was looking at the person from the inside out – it’s not just about what she slaps on her skin. We take a functional and integrative approach, so we don't just look at skin and skin care in isolation to the rest of the body. We look at it from the inside out,” said Barnardo.
YORA was launched about six weeks ago with 23 SKUs ranging from concentrated ampoules to face masks. The products fall into three categories: Pro-age, hydration and pollution protect.
“We wanted a brand that could approach a broad spectrum of women. We know women collectively share things like physiology, but they can differ in terms of life stages. With so many products, we are able to reach a lot more women. Our three categories can speak to different women at different stages of their lives,” said Barnardo.
To help consumers select products, YORA has pre-set nine different routines to help them discern which products they will need.
“Our customised skin care routines come with a small description of a person. So, if you identify with one particular routine, you can choose the products that we recommended,” explained Barnardo.
Barnardo told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that it was imperative for the company to launch its brand at this current time.
“It’s an important time to launch a brand that speaks to wellness from the inside out because the consumer now is so educated about innovation, sustainability, climate change, ingredients... because they are exposed to much more from social media.”
Unlike most brands, YORA is open about the ingredients it uses so consumers can trace actives back to each supplier.
“We like to be transparent. We sign IP agreements with all of the suppliers we deal with, such as DSM, Lubrizol and Seppic, so we can talk about the efficacy of the actives,” said Barnardo.
The company currently focused on strengthening its foundation by increasing its brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention.
In terms of expansion, Barnardo said the company is in talks with brick-and-mortar retailers in Australia and is already considering overseas expansion.
However, the company is still unsure which markets to take on first.
“We absolutely want to expand into Asia but first we must make sure our products are suitable for Asian consumers. That means connecting with them on the ground, adapting our website, branding, communication strategies. Maybe we will need to change our products or product development so that its suitable for people in the region,” said Bernardo.
As an Australian brand, she acknowledges it may be easier to connect with consumers in western consumers.
“It would probably be easier to expand in the West first but there’s a lot of competition to consider. On the flipside, we know that brands that establish themselves in the West will be trusted by other geographies.
“It’s really a dilemma for us at the moment – is it more important to gain a foothold in the west or create a strategy for Asia or South East Asia? We’re looking for the right people who can help us decide which makes more sense.”
In the next year, the company will be extending its line with more products.
Drawing on Barnardo’s expertise in nutrition, the brand will launch a supplement that contains lycopene from Isareli tomatoes as well as selenium, biotin and vitamin C.
Barnardo revealed that the company also has a number of products under development which are likely to be released mid-2021.
“Even as a young brand, innovation is absolutely key. We are considering a few things such as hemp-derived, CDB products, bio-retinol and probiotics.”