Pauline Prescott, Founder and CEO of FPrescott Skin tells TRBusiness why her multi-tasking, travel-friendly skincare range, Formulae Prescott, is ideally suited to travel retail and how the channel is a lynchpin of the company’s omnichannel strategy.
For frequent travellers, finding waterless, lightweight, multi-tasking skincare you can rely on makes keeping your skin in tip top condition while jetting around the world a great deal easier. Step forward Formulae Prescott, which has found a fitting environment in travel retail for its ‘smart’ skincare range that speaks to a generation of time-pressed people in search of high-quality beauty products.
When TRBusiness caught up with Pauline Prescott, Founder and CEO of FPrescott Skin earlier this year, the Formulae Prescott skincare range was about to launch on Aer Lingus. (TR Partners has announced that the Tri-Balm 20g is available now onboard the Boutique Catalogue, thanks to the support of Retail inMotion).
Prescott explained how, wherever possible, her team carries out training and education with the in-flight crew to ensure there’s a good understanding the products and how best to use them. It’s a key part of the plan to raise awareness of the brand, supported by media exposure and social media content.
“We are engaging in an influencer campaign to focus on travel, creating landing [web] pages for travelling consumers, and putting QR codes on our packaging that people can scan for further information,” said Prescott. “It’s easy for people to get to information really quickly – and they can see product demonstrations.”
There is a lot to learn about the products – not least because they’re multifunctional. Each and every product in the range offers at least three benefits, utilising natural active ingredients derived from foods, plants and botanical oils. The Eye & Lip Contour Cream (15ml), for example, combines peptides, vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics to leave the skin feeling hydrated, firm and nourished.
The initial capsule collection of products was three years in the making, achieving Prescott’s vision for an easy to use, nutrient-dense formulations that deliver a streamlined yet indulgent skincare routine.
The first product that officially launched to market was the Tri-Balm 3-in-1 multitasker, which cleanses, exfoliates and moisturises the skin, with the nutrient-dense balm helping to keep the complexion clear and radiant. The product is a great fit for travellers, with its various size formats and lightweight stick applicator.
Its invention turned out to be a game-changer for the company with well-known beauty columnist India Knight giving it a glowing review in The Times newspaper, attracting attention to the brand.
“That article changed everything for us,” said Prescott. “When that came out and we got traction with the travel retail business, everything was going amazingly well. All of a sudden, we were overwhelmed with orders, and we were flat out after just a year in the market, so it was extraordinary growth.”
And then came the pandemic.
“The channels closed down and it was a difficult period, but what I have learnt now is that we want to be an omnichannel product,” said Prescott. “Travel retail is a perfect channel for us, due to the nature of how our products are designed. But I want us to be in really nice food stores, chandelier pharmacies, department stores and on channel platforms with other luxury skincare and clean beauty brands because I want to make sure our consumers find our products where they like to shop.”
Considering the business journey so far, it’s fitting that Prescott’s mantra is: ‘This too shall pass.’
“All our experiences have put us in a really good place now where we have had out fingers burnt and we have made our little mistakes and there were challenges, which we constantly wrenched our hands over, but now we have moved on and learnt from those experiences,” said Prescott.
“We were fortunate in one way in that we had all of those orders coming in and then Covid came quickly so we had inventory for clients. If I could do the journey again, I would be an omnichannel brand from the start but we fell into travel retail because we were embraced by it really early on.”
The company exhibited at TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes last year and is heading to the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference in Singapore next month with a view to developing its footprint in the channel.
“Travel retail is a discovery channel and we are so well designed for that,” said Prescott. “It leads us into the clean beauty space in the stores and into mainstream consumers’ everyday shopping life, which is my ultimate goal.”
On the brand’s easy approach to skincare and wellness she said: “I’m a busy woman and I think everyone I know is like me. I’m sure there are some women and men who have an easy, calm and relaxing life – I just don’t know any.”
The brand has green credentials, too, and actively seeks to reduce wasteful packaging, conserve water and source ingredients sustainably. It’s another key aspect that is sure to pique the interest of the travelling consumer.
“Most people when they go to an airport or a duty free shop, they know what they are looking for,” said Prescott. “Most people will go in and buy the brands they know. So getting involved with inflight and sampling programmes – all of those things are our friends.
“They introduce the brand to consumers so when we do go into the Dufry’s and the airport lounges and other places, people have actually heard of us before, and they do go and seek us out.”