We are so excited to present Goldn to the indie beauty world! Our main goal is to create a discovery platform for innovation in the beauty industry, and this exciting new platform is doing just that. Goldn allows indie brand owners to pull together the different phases of product development into one tool. Their efficient platform covers everything from creative ideation through vision boards, to connecting you with the perfect manufacturers, labs, and packaging companies, to the development process, to bring your vision to market faster than ever before!
This allows small businesses to stay on top of trends and create to their heart’s content while also working with the perfect suppliers for their brand. High-quality cosmetic creation is faster, more accessible, and better. Did we mention the core features of Goldn are completely free for product creators to use? This is the indie beauty world’s dream come true!
To learn more about Goldn, we spoke with Arianna Andrews, their Head of Sales and Marketing, to learn more about how the platform can help beauty brand owners – or anyone else who wants to start their own brand and create new products – with product development.
IM: What was the spark that led to the creation of Goldn? What led to the focus on the beauty sphere in particular?
Arianna: Beauty and Personal Care is an incredibly innovative space, with more new brands and new products entering the market every year. However, for so many brands, especially the small and medium-sized ones, managing the supply chain and product creation process can be really challenging. It’s common for brands and suppliers to spend up to 24 months getting a new cosmetic product to market. That’s a long time. And the process is not easy – it’s technical, subject to changes in the market, and usually involves many people.
We think cosmetic creation could be helped with better tools because the tools available today are either too specialized or too generic. It’s difficult for cosmetic creators to manage the entire process, like your contract manufacturer, your regulatory consultants, your ingredient suppliers, your packaging company, and so on and so forth.
We believe that solution-oriented tools can make beauty product development simpler and more delightful for everyone in the value chain– and that time-to-market can be significantly reduced. What Goldn is providing is a single digital platform for simple and collaborative product development, from idea until launch.
IM: Can you tell us a little bit about the team behind Goldn?
Arianna: The Goldn team is a truly dynamic group and, I think, really practices what it preaches. We value openness, agility, and collaboration. It’s a great culture to have in such a diverse and international team, and we try to reflect it in the platform as much as possible. We want simplicity and collaboration to be part of the user experience.
Our leadership is in Europe (Germany) and the US (San Francisco) and combines extensive experience in digital technology as well as deep domain knowledge in the cosmetic and personal care industry.
The company was founded at the start of this year, on the heels of a successful project (now concluded), in which the same core team developed similar technology. Goldn was founded thanks to the overwhelmingly positive market response then, and in less than nine months we launched the first piece of an entirely new platform. Our team is growing and we are working hard to develop the most collaborative SaaS platform for cosmetic creation in the industry.
IM: Exactly how does Goldn work? What makes it different than a process like private labeling?
Arianna: Well, Goldn is a platform, not a manufacturing company, or an ingredients producer, or a packaging supplier. We do not represent any one individual supplier – Goldn is an open platform – nor do we physically handle goods.
Goldn is a digital ecosystem where cosmetic creators, like brands or agencies or manufacturers, and cosmetic suppliers can connect with one another and work together to ideate, plan and develop new beauty products simply and intuitively. Reducing the time to market and saving costs are the problems Goldn is solving by giving users a workflow engine for the entire product creation process.
Multiple search engines and e-commerce-driven marketplaces exist today, but none offer a holistic end-to-end solution for complete product creation.
Goldn is the first, easy-to-use SaaS platform that addresses the entire development process and connects all parties throughout the value chain. And users do not need training or a technical background in order to use it. We wanted to make the platform as accessible and delightful as possible.
IM: What is digitalization? How does Goldn apply the concept to its services?
Arianna: Digitalization has been a buzzword for the last decade, maybe more. It’s no different in the beauty and cosmetics industry, especially in this post-Pandemic era where digitalization has meant “sink or swim” for beauty retailers, many service providers, and a whole host of beauty brands.
We know that digitalization improves speed. It usually lowers costs. It makes businesses more efficient and helps people simplify complex operations. But digitalization does not mean just selling materials online: e-commerce is only one, small piece. Digitalization is about applying technology to enable completely new processes online so that people can realize new opportunities.
What’s missing from the cosmetic product creation value chain is a true digital ecosystem that actively assists in the process with the right information at the right time and with a focus on delivering a solution, rather than just a focus on efficiency, like webshops or pure marketplaces. That’s what we envisioned when we first conceived of Goldn: a solution-focused ecosystem that brings the demand side and the supply side together on one platform.
IM: What is a product brief and where should it fit in the development process? Why is it so essential for brand owners?
Arianna: Once on the Goldn platform, creators can follow a guided quiz to define their product idea at the start of development. From there, they move on to complete a “smart” product brief, which contains all the information needed in order to develop their product and work with suppliers.
Our brief template and guided tasks allow creators to track and complete critical steps before launching a new product to market. This helps minimize risks, lower cost and cut time to market.
The product brief is an essential step in product development. It is important because it enables brands and suppliers to define specific and actionable steps to develop a new product. On Goldn, creators of any level of experience can refine their idea and fill out a Product Brief that they know will make sense to vendors and will reduce communication and development time significantly.
IM: How does Goldn connect business owners with suppliers?
Arianna: We launched the Goldn Product Builder at the end of September, which helps cosmetic creators in planning and development, and at the same time we released our Supplier List. It is a free resource and a great way to find suppliers across the US, from manufacturers and packaging suppliers, to ingredients distributors and testing labs.
In early 2022, we will release a suite of functionalities specific to Vendors. These will help cosmetic suppliers showcase their products and services securely to the right brands at the right time. “Smart” matchmaking will be a big step forward for brands looking for solutions to very specific needs and for suppliers looking to serve new segments.
Goldn aims to empower brands through clearer processes, and more visibility into suppliers’ products and services, helping them to scale sustainably. And suppliers will have better tools to service smaller and underserved brands, which will allow them to tap new markets and maximize success.
IM: How have you been reaching out to brand owners, and how easy is it for brand owners to begin using your services?
Arianna: Goldn is free for cosmetic creators–so brands, beauty founders, indies, cosmetic companies, and agencies can all open a free account and start using the platform. Our blog is also a great, free resource for anyone interested in beauty product development.
We are on social media on Instagram as @goldn_us, Facebook, and LinkedIn and recently started a YouTube series for Cosmetic Creators. Brands reach out to us through social media, through our website, and have found us at speaking events and webinars with FaB Beauty Tech Community, Global Cosmetics Industry, and Cosmetic Business. We’re also a part of CEW and are looking forward to returning to in-person events and trade shows next year.
IM: What is your hope for how Goldn might transform the beauty space for brand owners?
Arianna: Our hope for brand owners, and all cosmetic creators, is that Goldn will help accelerate innovation and help get products to market faster. It sounds simple, but anyone in the industry will tell you that it’s not. We hope to change that!
IM: What other services do you see Goldn providing for brand owners in the future?
Arianna: The “smart matchmaking” features that I mentioned before in the context of suppliers will be a significant help to brands as well, and will be a big step in reducing time to market.
Goldn guides brands through the Product Brief stage and with the next set of features the brand will be able to use their brief to receive secure recommendations for most well-matched suppliers for the specific products and services needed for their phase of growth.
Smart matchmaking will be followed by other functionalities that will support brands and suppliers through multiple phases of business from orders and transactions, to communication, project management and finally product launch.
We feel that performing a B2B task shouldn’t be any harder than, say, comparing and selecting a product on Amazon, or finding and booking a rental on Airbnb. People are used to secure, convenient and delightful solution-driven services and that is our main focus.
IM: Arianna, you have a ton of professional experience in many aspects of the beauty industry. If you could design your dream product line, what would it be? Would it be themed after your favorite book or series? Skincare or color cosmetics? We want to hear your wildest beauty dreams!
Arianna: What a great question! I am completely passionate about Beauty–about cosmetic products, the business, and the people in the industry. My professional background is in skincare manufacturing, but I have had a long-time fascination for hair care. After the Pandemic, we are living a sort of “renaissance” in color cosmetics, as we slowly emerge from behind our surgical masks. The possibility for creativity with color is infinite and very “instagramable,” but I think there is a lot yet to be discovered in hair care, particularly with natural ingredients when it comes to performance products and to color. I think this would be a fascinating category to get into–and maybe I will yet…on Goldn!
*Thank you to Goldn for sponsoring this post.