The unprecedented success of India’s first crowd-sourced beauty product, Just Herbs’ Skin Tint, is the reward of the brand’s ‘bottom-up’ approach to product development. Arush Chopra, CEO, Just Herbs, explains why in this digital age it is relevant for a modern beauty brand to connect directly with its audience and create bespoke formulations with a sharp focus on the customer.
Last year, we created beauty history with the launch of the Skin Tint. The 99.3% natural Tint, that blurred the boundaries between makeup and skincare, was the first product of its kind in India that was made entirely based on customer feedback. This year, we’ve tried to go a step further. Thousands of women came together on Instagram and Facebook to launch new shades for the Tint to be able to cater to all possible skin tones – no mean feat in a diverse country such as ours. We now have four new shades of the Tint suitable for most Indian skin tones.
Why is this a big deal?
Is the Tint being a path-breaking invention? Perhaps not. You may have come across similar products earlier. But what makes this special is how it was conceptualized, made and what it signifies for us in the context of the fairness-obsessed mainstream beauty industry in India.
“Indian beauty companies, both big and small have followed an extremely formulaic approach to product development over the years: Spend on advertising, create ideals of beauty, form trends, fuel them with more advertising and then sell products to these trends. But, there is one important piece missing in this ‘top-down’ approach to selling beauty: you, the customer”.
For us, that is a problem. How can the consumer not be a part of the product development process? After all, we live in a ‘pick-and-choose’ world rather than a ‘take-what-is-served’ world. We’d rather stream a show on Netflix over watching what’s on television. We’d rather seek out what we want than pick what’s readily available. Why shouldn’t it be the same with the beauty industry?
Why should you be told what you should look like and what products you need to use to look that way? Why can’t a beauty company, instead of defining the ideals of beauty and offering products to achieve those ideals, first listen to what you really
“At Just Herbs, we are trying to build a direct-to-consumer, new-age beauty brand that stands for challenging the status quo. This means pushing the boundaries on what is traditionally being done in the beauty industry whether it’s around product development or around product distribution”.