Microsoft and Estée Lauder Power Gen AI for Beauty Industry

The Estée Lauder Companies is expanding their partnership with tech giant Microsoft to power prestige beauty with generative AI (Gen AI)

An AI Innovation Lab has been launched as part of a collaboration between Microsoft and The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) to enable closer connections with consumers, drive greater speed-to-market and further enhance local relevancy. 

The lab is operating as an extension of the global strategic relationship between both organisations. Microsoft will leverage its cutting-edge generative AI (Gen AI) capabilities via its Azure OpenAI Service so that both companies can develop solutions together and empower ELC’s 20 beauty brands.

Both are aiming to create closer connections with ELC consumers, harnessing AI technology to position both companies as thought-leaders reimagining the beauty industry.

The expanded partnership also seeks to further support and build impactful Gen AI across a broad range of enterprise use cases within ELC business operations.

AI as a beauty industry tool

AI is becoming a more frequent tool within the beauty industry, as it can analyse an individual’s features, preferences and previous purchases to create personalised recommendations. According to the video report below, the market for AI and beauty and cosmetics is expected to hit more than US$13bn by 2030.

Likewise, with facial recognition tools, beauty brands can offer customers personalised makeup recommendations and empower customers to embrace their appearance. Some companies are even harnessing robotics to make certain services quicker and more affordable.

However, an initial use for AI within an enterprise context is data and analytics. Microsoft and ELC’s collaboration aims to enable a faster response and execution to social trends and consumer demands. 

Both organisations have successfully created an internal-facing Gen AI chatbot to enhance marketing effectiveness globally. The tool utilises conversational AI technology to efficiently navigate and further leverage ELC’s extensive database of product and claim data, ensuring that brands can launch locally relevant campaigns more rapidly.

Additionally, the companies want to ensure fast and more effective product innovation, which is being actualised via Gen AI tools being applied to research and development. This should result in faster product development and allow scientists and product development specialists to respond to emerging product and ingredient trends more rapidly.

“At ELC, technology is always in support of our enduring strengths of high-quality products and high-touch consumer experiences,” says Jane Lauder, EVP, Enterprise Marketing and Chief Data Officer at The Estée Lauder Companies. “With Microsoft’s Gen AI tools and extensive expertise, we are able to leverage ELC’s tremendous data to create more personalised consumer experiences and faster insights to action.”

Transforming an existing partnership

ELC and Microsoft first developed their strategic relationship in 2017, with the new AI Innovation Lab representing the next stage of the partnership.

Prior to this, ELC has been utilising Azure AI as the platform for its Voice-Enabled Makeup Assistant, a pioneering mobile app to help visually impaired users more easily apply makeup. First launched in 2023, the app is available on iOS and Android in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland, with plans to be rolled out to additional markets and languages in the coming months.

“Gen AI represents a significant opportunity for the beauty industry - creating more engaging customer experiences, getting products into the hands of consumers faster, developing new products more efficiently and sustainably and much more,” says Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President, Global Industry Solutions at Microsoft. 

“We’re proud to collaborate with The Estée Lauder Companies to provide not only a platform for AI innovation, but also deep partnership to bring these new innovations to life.”


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