Make the Professional Products Division's education a leading O+O academy in the hairdressing industry and a new source of value creation

L’Oréal, the French company which operates in over 150 countries, has 36 brands and is organized into 4 divisions – these being: Consumer Products, L’Oréal Luxe, Dermatological Beauty and Professional Products.

The Professional Products Division (PPD) was created over 110 years ago. This division directly supplies professional hairdressers, both independent and franchised. It has a total of 6 brands worldwide: L’Oréal Professionnel Paris, Kérastase, Redken, Matrix, Pureology and Pulp Riot.

The PPD’s commitment is to go beyond the product: it’s about providing a high-quality service that develops all aspects of the haircare profession through education and training. Historically, it was offered on-site to professionals and focused on two major themes:

  • How to use PPD’s brands products?
  • How to manage a hair salon?

In 2020, the Covid-19 health crisis led to major changes in the training sector, and accelerated the transformation of companies, particularly through the integration of digital technology. In this context, L’Oréal has developed an online training offer via a Learning Management System platform, i.e a software that accompanies and manages a training course. The software is called “L’Oréal Access” and provides educational content to hairstylists.

This education offer has evolved towards a hybrid O+O (Online + Offline) model and became precise and personalized. This offer, based on professionalization and personalization, is the one that L’Oréal now wishes to monetize.

Thanks to this high-quality offer, L’Oréal has thus defined new objectives for its trainings: to be recognized as the leading O+O academy in the haircare industry, and to create a new source of value for the division. To achieve this, the PPD has redefined the scope of its education strategy to support hairstylists throughout their careers and meet their needs for skills upgrading, expert certification and inspiration.

The Division has therefore defined its offer of monetizable services:

  • Seminars to develop technical and business skills
  • Master classes to develop expertise and creativity through exchanges with peers or artists
  • Events, organized to create links between professionals and the Professional Products Division
  • Webinars to develop skills through online development tracks
  • 1 to 1 mentoring for personalized, tailor-made support
  • Diploma certifications

To monetize these 6 product families and create an operational guide for all countries, L’Oréal entrusted Wavestone with the task of creating an adapted methodology and utilizing its wide range of expertise (creation of the pricing model, identification of profitability improvement levers, benchmarking, construction of the model to be replicated internationally…).

360° analysis to operationalize PPD’s education monetization strategy

Wavestone teams worked on several streams to build the operational guide for monetizing the education offer. This 360° analysis was carried out on all L’Oréal training courses in France, the original market of the Professional Products Division.

Seminars, master classes, events, webinars, 1 to 1 mentoring, diploma certifications.

What do L’Oréal’s competitors offer in terms of training modules? Above all, the aim here was to know how to position the offering in a relevant way vs. the competition.

The second topic was the profitability of the various training modules and their cost models. The teams identified the various costs (trainer, venue, materials, etc.) and revenue variables (price, number of participants, etc.). The aim – to build a profitable sales model.

The format of training modules was an important component improving profitability. To support this the teams came up with two new formats, in addition to the traditional ones (100% online or 100% in-person):

  • The O+O format: preparation and theory are done online, followed by the practical workshop in person.
  • The hybrid format: premium customers attend the in-person training, while others attend remotely, with or without the assistance of L’Oréal trainers.

Concretely, it was important to optimize the capacity of each module (especially for in-person trainings) whilst also maximizing the number of participants and being ambitious about the participation rate.

Wavestone’s consultants carried out two types of studies to refine their recommendations:

  • Twenty qualitative interviews with hairdressers to understand their perception of PPD’s training offer (vs. its competitors), and of the various modules on offer…
  • A quantitative study, sent out to several thousand hairdressers to confirm whether they were interested in the new training module formats on offer, and their prices.

These studies enabled the teams to readjust their recommendations to meet their potential customers’ expectations as closely as possible.

All the recommendations and steps for successfully monetizing the education offer were grouped together in a final deliverable, constituting a detailed guide for L’Oréal teams worldwide.

The monetization project will soon be extended to all L'Oréal markets

The final deliverable produced by the Wavestone teams is intended for all Training Transformation Directors and their teams. Its aim is to help them put in place a wide-ranging education offer, including a monetized component, to meet the different needs of hairdressers, and make the sale of these services a constituent part of their revenue stream.

This booklet, called the “Playbook”, gives all the operational keys to successfully monetize the training offer. It explains:

  • The Methodologies to apply,
  • The models to follow,
  • The KPI’s to use to measure training performance, beyond profitability,
  • The Key players to involve

It aims to set up a monetization strategy specific to the context of each country, defining its costs, revenues, and margins, but also and above all ensuring the quality of the training and the customer experience.

In France, these recommendations are already being applied from 2023.

Elsewhere in the world, L’Oréal teams can access all the information and replicate what has been done in France. Today, each region is working on its own strategy, pricing, and training services.

Katia Dezoteux

Katia Dezoteux

Global Education Transformation Manager

The operationalization of the project in France, through the work carried out by the Wavestone team, was a major achievement for L’Oréal’s Professional Products Division, as it enabled us to activate the deployment of our strategy worldwide. While we didn’t necessarily have the resources or the necessary hindsight, Wavestone enabled us to give substance to our vision, thanks to a structured methodology.

Romain Pointereau

Romain Pointereau

Senior Manager Digital Customer

One of the key factors in the success of this project was the understanding and quality of the exchanges between L’Oréal and Wavestone. The L’Oréal teams expressed contagious expectation and enthusiasm: we all enjoyed working on this project!