Beiersdorf backed the startup via its corporate venture platform OSCAR&PAUL – an ‘indie brand business unit’ launched back in 2019.
Routinely launched its direct-to-consumer (D2C) offering of 13 unisex skin care serums today in Belgium and the Netherlands, selected and bundled according to consumer needs after completion of an online questionnaire. Consumers then received ongoing, real-time guidance via the brand’s app that enabled them to “track, review and refine” skin care routines, according to the startup.
The app and range of serums, including one for microbiome balance, an awakening ferment for eyes, and a detox and defence algae serum, was set to launch more widely across Europe soon.
‘Our goal is to create more clarity in the skin care segment’
Charlotte Van Loock, co-founder and CMO of Routinely, said the overarching goal behind the brand was to offer consumers “exactly and exclusively” what they needed to improve skin health.
“We must reconsider the traditional, static way of thinking when it comes to skin care,” Van Loock said.
“Our skin is a living, breathing organ that is influenced by a myriad of factors, such as eating habits, day-to-day environment, sleep patterns, hormonal balance, and many more. Generic products fail to cater to this individual specificity of our skin. Our goal is to create more clarity in the skin care segment,” she said.
The self-assessment questionnaire combined with Routinely’s algorithm individually adjusted personalised daily skin care routines for its consumers, taking into consideration a plethora of measurements such as skin care requirements, air quality and solar radiation, among others.
Ascan Voswinckel, head of OSCAR&PAUL Beiersdorf Venture Capital, said it aligned well with current skin care trends.
“We know from comprehensive feedback and studies how relevant personalised skin care is to the consumer,” Voswinckel said. “…Our investment in Routinely also reflects the potential we see in serving the increased online consumer demand – a trend that has been further reinforced by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Beiersdorf planned to “collaborate closely” with Routinely to provide necessary expertise and help the brand get to market quickly and evolve successfully, he said.
A personalised, digital drive – O.W.N and Nivea skin guide
The co-investment in Routinely marked part of a wider push at Beiersdorf to invest in and develop products that plugged personalised skin care needs.
The skin care major recently launched its first personalised, artificial intelligence (AI) powered face care brand O.W.N – a vegan range of formulas that were blended according to individual skin care needs using a proprietary algorithm and scientific questionnaire. The range launched online via subscription in select European countries in February this year, in a move Beiersdorf said added “true value” to skin care routines for consumers.
In 2020, the company also developed and launched an AI-based web app for its flagship brand Nivea – Nivea SKiN GUiDE – that used selfie photographs to analyse individual skin needs and provide personal product and care recommendations.
Earlier this month, as Beiersdorf reshuffled its leadership, the outgoing and now ex-CEO Stephen De Locker said he had taken great pleasure in leading the company through “an era of digital disruption” – one the company firmly believed would continue.