Do you have a great idea for a beauty product? Now is the time to let Volition Beauty know about it. The game-changing brand has just landed in New Zealand at Mecca and its crowd-sourced model of developing products lets you call the shots.
Volition Beauty founders Patricia Santos and Brandy Hoffman often joke it was the unusual combination of an unparalleled love of food and shared gripes with the beauty industry that brought them together. “We frequently travelled together when working for another beauty company and we found ourselves fixating on the product-development process,” Hoffmans explains.
The self-confessed beauty fanatics agreed that the way many products came into existence was flawed – white, male executives were traditionally making the call when it came to what consumers want from their skincare routines. “It was a light-bulb moment of ‘Why don’t we let our consumers tell us what they want?’, and the concept of Volition Beauty was born.”
On Volition Beauty’s website, Santos and Hoffman invite beauty enthusiasts from around the world to submit ideas for products. The idea is reviewed by the Volition team for feasibility, brand fit and market potential, then, if it ticks all the boxes, Volition works with the idea submitter to develop the concept, product profile, campaign and, eventually, a prototype. From there, a product campaign is launched on the company’s website and the Volition community vote on their favourite products.
Successful campaigns go on to become new Volition products, and the success is shared with the architect of the idea. Putting the fate of your business in the hands of complete strangers from around the world may seem risky, but the pair are passionate about letting consumers call the shots and say the decision to do so has always made sense to them. “We put trust in our consumers in a way no other brand we know of is doing right now,” Santos explains. “If we are going to challenge how and what products are made, we need to take the business model apart and rebuild it with our community at the centre.”
Changing the Game
Although they receive anywhere from 25 to 40 product ideas a week, it’s usually quite easy to tell which ones are winners from the get-go. Santos explains that the best ideas – the ones that make great beauty products – are fresh ones. “The most important aspect is differentiation. We don’t want to make another version of a product that’s already on the shelves.” Instead, they want to create products that shake up the beauty world. “It’s always our goal to create the most innovative, cutting-edge products that deliver greater skin benefits than anyone has seen before,” says Hoffman.
When product campaigns are gaining traction they’re usually able to anticipate which are likely to garner the most votes and start working with labs to create the first iteration of a formulation. “We have a network of more than 50 labs that we use, each with different specialities. We work with whoever has the most expertise with the product formulation at hand,” Hoffman explains. “Once the campaign reaches its voting quota, we can hit the ground running with our development process: formulation, marketing and presenting to retailers such as Mecca. We keep the innovator updated on everything because we want to continue the collaborative partnership throughout the whole process, right up to the product launch.”
Santos and Hoffman have had some quirky and unusual ideas land on their desks and although they won’t spill the beans, they say there are too many to list. “We’ve had a lot of interest in elevating home hacks or DIY formulas, which you can see in our core collection,” says Santos. “We always find those compelling because the innovator has already created a pre-production formulation and has typically seen promising results on their skin.”
Some of Volition’s success stories, which they like to call “home hacks turned high-tech”, include Strawberry-C Brightening Serum, Turmeric Brightening Polish, Snow Mushroom Water Serum and Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Peel Pads. Ideas that never leave the starting blocks are often those with ingredients that violate Volition’s clean-beauty promise – everything the company makes is cruelty-free and formulated with safe ingredients.
As for what’s on the horizon for Volition, they are excited about the company’s expansion into Australia and New Zealand, and their recent launch in the UK. “Different countries and a more diverse community will result in new ideas,” says Hoffman. “We are already getting amazing ideas for hair, make-up and body, so we will continue to expand our categories. Our community is growing day by day and we expect it to continually rise and broaden. It will steer us towards new frontiers.”
Volition Beauty is available at MECCA now. Click here to shop the range.