Vera Koch is Vice President of Global Marketing at eSalon and Colorsmith. She’s been instrumental in leading the creative redesign for eSalon, its expansion into new markets, and the brand’s strategic pivots in response to a significant increase in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, among other notable achievements.
Prior to working for eSalon and Colorsmith, Vera was Vice President of Global Marketing for PRAVANA, she also served as Head of Marketing for Schwarzkopf Professional USA.
Vera is a graduate in International Business from the European Business School in Germany, the University of Queensland in Australia and CERAM Grande École in France. She also earned executive education degrees at the Harvard Business School and INSEAD Business School in the U.S.
When she’s not dreaming up the next big marketing campaign, she enjoys winding down with yoga, spending time with family and friends, and indulging in craft coffee.
Tell us more about Esalon, How did the company start?
Our mission at eSalon is to deliver custom, salon-quality hair colour to all of our clients. Never compromising time, money, or quality, our clients receive hair colour made just for them delivered to their door with everything needed to colour at home like a pro, including personalised instructions. And, our expert colourists are there to help every step of the way. From a colour adjustment (down to a quarter of a shade difference) to an application question, we are there through their hair colour journey.
A decade ago, five friends started a mission to expand the limited options of women’s hair colour. Historically, there have only been two options for consumers: frequent and expensive afternoons at the salon or one-size-fits-all boxed hair dye. eSalon was launched by five friends in 2010 to fulfil a consumer need for an option in the middle: custom, salon-grade colour shipped to your home to apply at your convenience for an affordable price. Since our launch, we’ve formulated over 241K unique colour combinations and have shipped over 9.3M orders throughout North America and Europe.
When did you launch in the UK and what does Esalon offer UK customers?
eSalon expanded to the UK in April of 2013. We started with Custom Hair colour and quickly expanded to offer our colour-safe hair care products from shampoo and conditioners and nourishing treatments to styling products and pigment enhancers to help our clients maintain their vibrant colour and healthy hair.
To better meet the demand from European countries, we opened our UK office and production facility in 2019. We also have a team of licensed colourists and customer service representatives who can help with any hair colour or hair care questions our clients might have. Our clients have several ways to contact their personal colourist or customer service: phone, email, social media, or adding a note in their personalised eSalon account.
How does the colour process work?
The process begins when clients take a quick questionnaire online. Here, they answer questions regarding their hair colour history, grey percentage, hair texture, length, etc. Once the client completes the one Hair colour Profile, their request is then sent to one of our licensed colourists to review and approve. If the colourist has questions, they’ll reach out via email or phone call to make sure they have all the detailed information needed to formulate their custom colour. Then, the formula is sent to our production line where their colour is dispensed into a bottle labelled with their name and the date it was made. It’s then capped and packed with everything needed to colour at home, including personalised instructions, and shipped directly to your door.
How does it differ from salon hair colour and home colour services?
While the colour clients can receive in the salon are premium, frequent salon visits can be expensive, time-consuming, and clients might not always get the same colour results every time. With other at-home options, it can be tough to choose the right boxed hair colour standing in front of a sea of one-size-fits-all choices. Without personalised instructions, consumers are left to figure it out on their own.
For too long, these have been the only options women have had to colour their hair. eSalon fulfils the consumer need for something in the middle. Our clients never have to compromise time, money, or quality of product to get amazing, salon-worthy results. Their colour is mixed just for them and can even be adjusted down to a quarter of a shade difference. Our clients also receive personalised instructions that take their grey percentage, hair length, and texture into account to determine how long their colour should process. The eSalon experience is truly custom and personalised from beginning to end.
Have you seen a change in the way people colour their hair during lockdown?
Yes, many consumers have had to learn how to complete their normal salon-visit beauty routines at home who might not otherwise have opted for at-home DIY beauty. Many have found this to be more convenient and cost-effective with comparable results. Moving forward, colouring at home continues to be the best option for people who don’t feel safe going back to the salon or don’t want to spend time at the salon. Trend forecasters expect a spike in demand for events, travel, and entertainment post-pandemic. So, consumers may especially value the opportunity to save time by colouring at home rather than spend their afternoon at the salon.