09 AM | 22 Oct

Sophie Maxwell: Our DNA Will Break Radical Ground for Brands and Beyond

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Today’s consumers are increasingly demanding brands that are centered on answering their individual needs and wants, strengths and weaknesses—and radical breakthroughs in science and technology are increasingly making the answering of these demands much easier and more specific.

In the healthcare sector we are seeing diets being tailored by nutritionists around biological profiles, while in the beauty sector our genes have first been mimicked and are now being sequenced using new techniques to create optimized solutions inspired for the first time directly by their consumer. The Genomics revolution is upon us, and we are only just beginning to explore its potential and understand its implications.

In the immediate future, access to our DNA has opened up a new world of direct connection between brands and their audiences where a reciprocal relationship is created thanks to the sharing of their most vital information from consumer to brand. And as a result, brands are becoming holders of the most valuable information possible: their consumers’ genetic blueprints, the ‘code’ of their lives.

These advances are increasingly raising certain questions. Are both brands and consumers prepared for the commercialization of this kind of powerful information? What are the implications of having DNA stored and readily accessible? What data privacy challenges could it lead to for individuals? DNA is data, but this data is our own genetic blueprint. Maybe the ultimate question is, just how much information are are we prepared to handle at this point in time, and with whom do we want to share it? After all, this comes at a time when we are becoming increasingly aware of guarding our data.

But while this realization is understandably increasingly incurring caution, at the same time the wealth of information our DNA holds also opens up indisputably thrilling possibilities and opportunity. The beauty and wellbeing sector has always been defined by aspiring to ideals and today those ideals revolve around helping us become the best possible version of ourselves, with an increasing desire to discover new types of information about ourselves so we can use it to optimize ourselves at every level.

Today, as the knowledge around our DNA becomes more accessible, innovation is becoming further refined and targeted. Whereas brands like Chanel (Le Lift), Estee Lauder (Re-Nutriv) and Lancôme (Genifique) anticipated the behavior of our genes via ‘gene expression,’ this generation of technology has enabled a direct connection to them.

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