Recently launching in Mecca Maxima, skincare brand Volition Beauty is all about clean, vegan, and crowdsourced products. Co-founders Patricia Santos and Brandy Hoffman built the brand on the basis that consumers could have their say, as they believe innovation lies within the community.
For Santos, her previous role as a venture capitalist meant she witnessed many female entrepreneurs with amazing product ideas but without any funds, retailer relationships, or lab access to support them. She realised there was an untapped well of excellent innovation and product ideas, which prompted her to start Volition.
Co-founder Hoffman has been in the beauty industry for over a decade, dabbling in all facets, including operations, product development, marketing, and sales. Her involvement in both big and small brands encouraged her to start Volition, along with the reward of making people feel happy with their skin.
The duo say that products with standards and values are important, which they hear directly from Volition’s community. Consumers are becoming more knowledgable and wary about the products they buy and the effect they will have on their bodies, which encouraged the duo to crowdsource from the beginning.
“The consumer is normally brought in way too late in the process. Consumers are intelligent and they know what they want, so why not have them tell us? It doesn’t seem right to have a boardroom full of executives or a single founder deciding whats new or trending when we can go straight to the source.
“We noticed a lot of brands have incorporated an element of crowdsourcing into their process and through social media. A lot of companies are realising the power the consumer has. Yet, we are the only true crowd-sourced beauty brand from idea to sales.”
The beauty industry suffers from a product failure rate close to 80 percent, costing the industry billions of dollars each year. Santos and Hoffman hope that including community wisdom in the creation of their brand will help to solve this problem.
“We give the customer a true voice in driving the direction of a brand while having a direct line to the labs and product developers solves one of the most basic problems beauty companies face, ‘how do you create truly differentiated products in a sea of sameness?’ “
To include a consumer input, Volition Beauty’s website shows all of their current ideas which are available to vote for. Since March, they have been accepting votes from consumers located in Australia and New Zealand, and with the recent launch at Mecca, the brand is hoping to receive innovation ideas from beauty enthusiasts. The brand also promotes on social media to help campaign innovators’ ideas.
“There are always inevitable challenges with any product development process because you can never foresee the unknown. We have the ability to work in parallel with campaigns that are gaining traction and can also brief the idea into the lab so we get a head-start before the voting window closes.”
The majority of Volition’s best seller products also have over 90 percent recyclable packaging. With how much waste the beauty industry contributes to the world, Santos and Hoffman are constantly looking for ways to minimise it.