Last week Escentual had the honour of talking to Clarins’ UK MD Robin Vincent – and it really was a privilege to talk to such a charismatic and knowledgeable man about the brand that he is clearly passionate about.
I have always been conscious of Clarins as a beauty brand and as such regularly use many of their products, but until now I didn’t actually know a great deal about their background and beliefs because even they don’t speak about it too much. But having heard what Robin had to say, I am genuinely impressed!
Jacques Courtin-Clarins started the Clarins brand way back in 1954. After having realised that cosmetics could have a therapeutic use he founded the Clarins Institute in Paris, introducing innovative massage techniques using creams and oils based on pure plant extracts.
Even today Clarins bases its formulas on plants, creating a “marriage of plants and modern science”. With an open-ended research budget, their ethno-botanists scour the world to find the latest in plant technology to enhance the products. This practice was fundamental in their latest wonder product – Vital Light – which is based on the technology of ‘pioneer plants’ which are able to survive in the planet’s most extreme climates.
Robin also describes how the brand is ‘ecologically conscious’ with a commitment to improving the lives for local farms and communities that supply the botanicals ingredients. Past initiatives include installing new water supplies and building schools. They also insist on paying the best price to ensure the community’s long-term sustainability.
Customer interaction also plays an essential part of Clarins success – the company spends as much on training their consultants as they do on advertising, to ensure Clarins consultants are as knowledgeable as possible about the products. Robin quotes that around a 3rd of the current range has been developed off of the back of customer requests and comments, and unlike other brands Clarins claims to provide “results not miracles”.
Despite the fact Clarins is now considered to be a “David amongst the multinational beauty giants”, Robin is confident that Clarins’ product quality, highly trained staff, salon network and a constant drive for product innovation will secure a long and lucrative future for the Clarins brand.
Having met with Robin Vincent, experienced his enthusiasm and discovered the ethics and beliefs behind the brand, I feel an even higher level of respect than I did before, and it has left me with desire to find out so much more!