For a 108-year old beauty business, change doesn't come easily, but in an age of digital disruption, L'Oréal realised that it had little option. And it has thrown itself into the process wholeheartedly.

At ad:tech London (London, November 2017), Stéphane Bérubé, chief marketing officer for Western Europe at L'Oréal, recalled a meeting of senior management in Paris several years ago at which everyone was congratulating each other on the excellent financial results only to be interrupted by someone declaring that everything needed to change, "because what we're doing now makes us win in the past but will not make us win in the future".

The need to change

It was, he said, "inspiring" that such a successful legacy brand understood the need to change – now! "The message was, let's not wait until the business is in trouble before we change. The time to make changes is when the business is doing well, not the day you start losing clients, losing business."