ESTETICA USHERS IN A NEW ERA AFTER 35 YEARS IN THE BEAUTY BUSINESS
Company reinforces its position as an industry leader by trailblazing R&D collaboration with A*STAR and launching redesigned boutiques to enhance their customers’ experience[Singapore, 12 February 2015] – Not one to rest on their laurels despite 35 years in the beauty and wellness business, Estetica is now looking to enhance the consumer’s experience by developing the next wave of cutting-edge skincare technologies and revamping their treatment facilities and equipment. All of this, in a bid to ensure customers that they are indeed, “in good hands”.
Estetica may have started in 1980 as a humble business selling beauty products and simple treatments with a single retail presence, but that has certainly not stopped this Singapore born- and-bred brand from scaling new heights.
Fast forward to 2015, Estetica has not only thrived in a highly competitive business landscape, they are also continually reinventing themselves in many ways, including launching an e- commerce platform (esteticabeauty.com/eshop) and producing their own multi-award winning skincare brand, ést.lab, that now retails in Hong Kong. Today, Estetica is one of the forerunners in the adaptation and application of skincare science and technology to their products and services.
“If you were ever looking for a feel-good story about a company that started out in the heartlands of Singapore with nothing but a big dream, progressing little by little through a sequence of blood and tears, pushing through the times only by an indomitable spirit and the support of our loyal customers; to grow the company into a multi-million dollar brand with global ambitions…that really is the Estetica story in a nutshell.” says Lim Ker Han, Director of Estetica.
The science of beauty
Staying at the forefront of skincare innovation is nothing foreign to Estetica. The brand has spent the last few years working with leading minds in both the local research and development circles, in an effort to produce quality and highly efficacious skincare.
Estetica’s trailblazing approach to innovation is not bound to just their skincare products. The same top-notch technology is also being applied to their facilities. This is evident in the custom- tailored treatment beds used in their salons, which were specially designed and created through careful consultation with chiropractors and designers. These one-of-a-kind beds are fitted with NASA-grade memory foam with no less than three silent hydraulic engines to enable a “zero gravity posture” effect, providing customers with maximum relaxation during treatments.
A*STAR grade collaboration
Estetica’s unwavering commitment to R&D is exemplified by them being the first homegrown beauty retailer to collaborate with A*STAR, Singapore’s leading public research agency.
This approach is in line with Estetica’s founding principle: to focus on a scientific approach towards beauty. In 2010, Estetica entered into a collaboration with A*STAR to expand their R&D capabilities for development of their skincare products.
In 2013, Estetica commenced work with the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), a research institute focused on furthering knowledge about materials.
Spearheading this collaboration is Dr. Loh Xian Jun, Head of Research Planning and Co-Manager of Consumer Care Technology Programme, IMRE, whose expertise lies in the development of novel and functional polymeric biomaterials; and Dr. Ye Enyi, the lead scientist for this project from IMRE.
“A*STAR provides opportunities for our local SMEs to get ahead through business-friendly licensing schemes, ready-to-go technology platforms and research expertise to translate R&D to industry’s use. We’re excited to be collaborating with Estetica in the dynamic field of personal care. We hope to facilitate the growth of more SMEs by helping them leverage our technologies,” says Dr. Loh.
Another key element of this collaboration is knowledge sharing, made possible through the active synergies between a large research institution and a commercial retailer.
IMRE assisted Estetica in co-developing the SkAITM (Skin Analytics and Ingredients) Matrix with knowledge tapped from IMRE’s vast polymer bank. This Matrix is an evaluation tool and
active ingredient database to guide Estetica in selecting and formulating the most relevant and effective products in beauty cosmetics.
Containing a comprehensive list of ingredients and materials obtained from the world’s leading manufacturers, SkAITM benchmarks each ingredient across four main categories – Safety, Efficacy, Compatibility and Marketability.
The synergy between Estetica and IMRE is set for more growth with the signing of a MoU for deeper study into materials for personal care products. “This partnership with Estetica marks the birth of innovative made-in-Singapore beauty-care formulations that meet Asian needs,” says Prof Andy Hor, Executive Director of IMRE.
Aesthetically designed, brand refreshed
Besides investing in product R&D, Estetica is also sprucing up their retail spaces and treatment facilities to up the ante on the sensory retail experience.
“Given the scarcity of retail space in Singapore, it becomes easy to forsake brand identity in favour of functionality. But at Estetica, we feel that revenue and profit are a function of having a set of unique, strong and recognisable brand values, which the customers empathise and affirm,” says Han.
For this reason, Estetica has worked with Colin Seah, founder of Ministry of Design (MOD), one of the leading design firms in Singapore, to refresh the brand and come up with a viable retail concept that not only unites functionality and aesthetics, but also demonstrates the application of technology right at the doorstep of the stores.
MOD designed the branding and spatial DNA of the new Estetica store and all implementations into actual sites will be undertaken by the Estetica in-house team.
“I love it when clients approach design without preconceptions. Estetica presented us with a clean slate, a chance to critique their current store designs and to strategise a different and relevant retail experience,” says Colin. “What motivated them to do this was a desire to align themselves with consumer psychology and behaviour, and to that we responded with a series of critical analyses followed by a projection of what the ‘ideal’ retail space for Estetica could be.”
Consequently, MOD has applied a stringent process of analysis and questioning to evaluate and determine a strategy for product placements, store furnishings, lightings and corporate identity; all redefined within a retail environment to enhance a customer’s retail experience at Estetica.