Alex Perez-Tenessa worked in the beauty industry for years, and it allowed him to see the biggest challenge customers face: discovering products. Equipped with his professional experience and love for videography, he created Trendio to improve the shopping experience of beauty customers.
Join us today as Alex shares what Trendio is, what it does, and how it can help creators.
Who is Alex Perez-Tenessa?
Alex Perez-Tenessa is the founder and CEO of Trendio Live Inc. He was born in Mexico, raised in Spain, and acquired his education between France and the US. After attending business school, Alex spent a decade working with McKinsey, a global management consulting company.
Ten years ago, he left McKinsey and took a role to run beauty for CVS Health. This served as an opportunity for him to learn more about the beauty industry. He adds, “I was very overwhelmed at first, but then I came to love the category.”
Alex’s stint with CVS Health enabled him to see how being able to explain products to people and what these products could do for them could engage customers in better and deeper ways.
After working with CVS Health for four years, Alex moved to Amazon, where he ran the US Prime Video business team. Videography is one of Alex’s hobbies, and this position at Amazon exposed him to technology trends emerging in videos that were non-existent even a few years ago.
What inspired you to create Trendio?
Alex brought back his experience in retail and beauty and thought there was a way to use video technologies and trends to create a better shopping experience for beauty customers.
After spending years working in the beauty industry, Alex saw that product discovery was the biggest challenge for customers. He explains, “Before, you would go to a store like Nordstrom, Macy’s, or Sephora, and someone would guide you on what to choose in a way that felt personalized. It might not have been personalized, but it felt personalized. And I think that experience in the physical world has pretty much disappeared or become unaffordable for most retailers.”
“Stores are empty today of personnel and online [stores] haven’t done a really good job either. I think that if you go to a place like Amazon, you don’t really discover brands. You shop for things that are recurrent purchases. But if you try to discover brands, you’re lost in the sea of information, and it doesn’t feel like you can trust the quality or you don’t know what’s real or not, so the discovery becomes a real challenge for customers,” Alex adds.
Alex shares that customers are usually bombarded with tons of information online, which usually prevents them from discovering new brands. For instance, when customers shop online, they’ll see information about the product’s stocks, variations, and stars, which usually don’t have anything to do with product discovery.
Looking at these trends and with his experience in beauty, Alex thought there was a real issue in the industry. This inspired him to launch Trendio.
How does Trendio work, and what sets it apart from other similar platforms in the market?
Three things make Trendio special, and all boils down to the idea of helping customers easily discover products and brands that they can trust. This is the ultimate goal of Trendio.
The first reason why Trendio is different is because the team placed a lot of attention on the people they bring into the platform. Alex shares, “While other platforms are very open to anybody and all brands are welcome, we don’t do that. We believe there’s a responsibility of curating brands and creators towards our customers because we’re not just putting the product out there, we’re actually promoting it.”
Trendio puts a lot of focus on the brands and creators they choose to ensure that they’re knowledgeable, engaging, and entertaining for their customers.
The second difference would be leveraging a form of creative AI, which is video AI, to hyper-personalize content to the customers. Trendio is still training its AI models, so new users can expect that everything in the platform is still done manually.
Alex explains, “What we’re doing is we’re using and training video AI to automate the content to match the interests and preferences of the user. So, for the same video, same brand, same creator, what you may see, what I may see may be different.”
“Maybe you care a lot about the ingredients, the demo, so we’ll cut that out for you, so you see that portion that interests you most. So, we take personalization one step further by using creative AI to truly drive relevance, to be helpful, and create that experience for the customer where they come into the store with products they can trust from people they will like who happen to say the things that are relevant to them,” Alex says.
The third thing that differentiates Trendio is that it’s available on mobile and Roku. Alex adds, “I think that companies, particularly in the commercial space, have lagged a little bit in creating an experience that’s really engaging and contemporary in shoppable TV. So, we’re bringing this to audiences who like to engage in that sort of immersive experience.”
Can you describe some of the features and tools that Trendio offers to help creators engage with their audiences?
Trendio offers several features and tools beneficial for creators. The first one is that we place a lot of focus on finding the right fit between creators and Trendio. Alex explains, “We audition all of our creators, and we let them choose from the assortment of products we carry. We let them choose the products they want to make videos for. It’s very different to be told, ‘Hey, why don’t you make a video on our product, whether you like it or not, and we’ll pay you’ versus ‘Hey, we have a broad assortment. Pick which product you think you like to make a video on.'”
Trendio gives creators the freedom to choose what products they want to make videos for. And for every product they choose, they’ll receive coaching and guidance on how to make videos available horizontally and vertically. Trendio has the technology that adjusts video formats, so they work on all devices.
In terms of engaging with their audiences, Trendio works with creators to give them their personalized pages on the platform, which works as their own channel. Trendio gives creators links they can use to guide their audiences to their channels. Trendio also gives exclusive coupons, which creators can use to engage with their audiences.
How does Trendio promote diversity and presentation within the content creator economy?
Alex proudly shares that Trendio is comprised of very diverse creators. Over 50% of the creators on the platform are non-white. According to Alex, their customers have responded very positively to how diverse Trendio is.
Alex says, “It’s voluntary for creators, but we track the background, gender identity, racial background, and cultural background of our creators closely. And we make sure that we offer diversity to our customers. It’s not only because we think it’s the right thing to do; it’s also because I think our customers are very diverse too.”
In the beauty industry, it’s crucial to find someone to whom customers can relate in terms of skin color, hair type, and culture. For Alex, “Beauty is all about a type of look with cultural connections. We want to make sure our customers find people that are relevant to them.”
How do you approach the issue of content moderation? Are there any steps Trendio takes to ensure content is safe and appropriate for all audiences?
Since it’s a curated platform, the team behind Trendio watches every piece of content published from the first second until the end of the video. The team does a lot of editing, too.
These processes are part of the value that Trendio gives to its users. Although the platform uses AI, many of its processes are still done manually. Alex says, “We have a very close eye on what is said and used in the videos. We haven’t had any problem with that type of content yet. And we want to ensure we provide a safe space and enable authentic expression from creators.”
Trendio also moderates comments and chats. These are done manually by either looking through the comments on the videos or having someone from the team moderate during live events in case anything goes out of hand. Thankfully, the latter didn’t happen yet.
“I think we have a very high-quality community on Trendio. It’s a safe community. It’s a diverse community. It’s a community that loves beauty. It’s a community that understands this is a place where people who love beauty are understood and loved. And everyone shares the same passion,” Alex states.
What are the biggest challenges creators face right now regarding monetizing content?
There are several challenges creators face today, but ultimately, the biggest one boils down to having difficulties in breaking through on any established platform. Creators who start today will likely find it difficult to break through Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube.
Alex explains, “So you’re going to create a lot of content, but frankly, the type of compensation available in the industry has only worked really well for the biggest creators. If you’re not one of those biggest creators, it’s very difficult to make any money from posting on Instagram or YouTube.”
Trendio believes in fair compensation to its creators. Since their revenue is tied to the revenue of their creators, Trendio gives them a sizeable percentage of the revenue they generate as part of their agreement.
What are some of the biggest opportunities you see for creators on this platform, and how do you plan to capitalize on those opportunities?
“I think that the opportunity for the creators is to join the platform to apply and create content. It’s a way to find an audience, which is very difficult on other platforms. And what we do is we help those creators that have all that talent that we identified by giving them a place where their voice can be heard,” Alex says.
Can you share some success stories about the platform?
“ I would say that we’re seeing a level of organic growth that exceeds all of our expectations,” Alex says.
“We’re seeing engagement, repeat, and time spent on app exceeding the numbers in comparable platforms,” Alex adds.
How do you stay up to date with the latest trends and developments in the creator economy?
Alex has an amazing team that ensures Trendio stays relevant and up-to-date with the industry’s trends and developments. He credits his content and category management teams with making sure that Trendio is in tune with everything happening around beauty.
Teams working for Trendio are working constantly to spot trends on and off social media. This way, they can better understand what’s hot and worth following. As a result, they feel more confident that they’re on top of the relevant trends for the customers.
What advice would you give to someone who’s just getting started in content creation and is looking to monetize their content through video or live streaming?
Alex advises aspiring or new creators to understand what their unique skills are. From there, they should align the platforms they use and the videos they make to those unique skills. This will help creators find their unique personalities.
Alex says, “One of the things we found is that people have a defined style or personality that will stand out very naturally. So, I would encourage them to experiment with different things and see which ones are the most successful. It might be that that’s a perfect fit for various established platforms, or it may be that it’s a perfect fit for an up-and-coming platform.”
Finding that personality or persona that feels authentic to the creator and expresses their individuality is ultimately the most important thing they can do.
What do you see as the future of live streaming and video in the creator economy?
For Alex, recorded video in different forms optimized through AI will gain the most relevance over time. He adds, “I think that live streaming video is so fun, and we offer it, and we love it. I don’t think we’ll see platforms that will be focused on live streaming alone. It’s always a mix, so people have a choice, which I think people here in the US, Europe, and elsewhere have come to expect.”
Alex thinks that breadth, choice, curation, and quality of content will ultimately drive the success of the platforms that will stay. He says, “It’s going to be content-first business yet again.”
What’s next for Trendio?
As Trendio finalizes training its AI models, they’ll put them into implementation and continue improving them. And that will create exceptionally relevant content for customers.