Private-brand beauty taps into new palette of innovation
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times — it’s not your parents’ private-brand landscape anymore. Retailers can no longer be successful simply by filling their shelves with lower-cost “me-too” alternatives placed next to national brands. That applies not just to food and beverage, but also to the health-and-wellness space, including beauty and skin care.
Thanks to a confluence of consumer trends — including growing interest in health and wellness, as well as increasing brand agnosticism — the stage has been set for drug, grocery and mass-market retailers to successfully innovate and differentiate in the beauty and skin care space.
One retailer already leading the way is Walgreens Boots Alliance, which operates Walgreens and Duane Reade banners in the United States and Boots banners internationally. The drug chain recently launched two new private-brand lines in the beauty space: CYO, a trend-forward makeup line aimed at younger Generation Z consumers, and Your Good Skin, a skin care line designed to promote “preventive” skin health.
Both lines represent innovative forays in the world of drug store private-brand beauty care. For example, the Your Good Skin line is promoted as being more about having everyday healthy skin, not just going after a specific problem, such as anti-aging. This is a new approach for the mass consumer.
The CYO line also steps out of the usual drug store beauty mold by using an edgy hashtag — #MixLayerHack — to encourage consumers to make the brand their own. Where the Sephoras of the world have helped democratize access to higher-end skin care and beauty products, this line is getting into that territory at a lower pricepoint.
Another area that remains ripe for private-brand innovation is clean-label beauty and skin care. Just as consumers have become empowered to take control of their health through food, more also are seeking out beauty and personal care products that are free from lab-made chemicals, heavy metals and other ingredients they believe are potentially harmful. While some natural and organic products already exist in these categories, many are from smaller, niche brands. There’s nothing to any great degree in the private brand space — an opportunity that’s being overlooked.
Consumers are absolutely looking for clean label, including natural and identifiable ingredients, as well as organics. And one real benefit that private brand has when it comes to winning and owning this space is that they can be a lot faster with speed to market. If a retailer is behind it, it can launch relatively quickly and capture relevant trends, while there’s still a lot of interest.
That said, it’s important for retailers to remember that they can’t simply “launch it and leave it.” Just as consumer input needs to be part of the development process, retailers have to keep the conversation with consumers going even after the brand and assortment have been launched. If you keep that conversation going outside the store, you’re building both brand awareness and that loyal base of customers who feel like their voices are being heard and responded to. Though many retailers aren’t used to doing this with their private brands, you have to in order to keep up with the rapidly changing retail environment.
Rebecca Young is senior manager for health, beauty and baby at Daymon Worldwide.
Betting on beauty
Mintel report breaks down global trends for 2018
Just as the seasons change, so do the latest beauty trends. One minute everyone was recreating Cara Delevingne’s full brows, and the next they were on to Kylie Jenner’s overlined pout, or the contouring and highlighting trend.
Those trends may not have fallen to the wayside yet, but soon they may exist within a beauty space with a strong showing from natural products, personalized marketing, brands with consumer-aligned values and new technological tools, according to Mintel’s Global Trends report for 2018.
Consumers are putting an emphasis on wanting to know what exactly goes into creating their favorite bold, red lipstick. Many are opting out of purchasing the big-name brands and choosing to shop smaller companies with a focus on ingredients.
“These efforts appeal to those who want products that reflect who they are and where they live, and that instill a sense of pride and guardianship for ingredient sourcing and production, as well as manufacturing processes,” Mintel’s report said.
Among the consumers Mintel surveyed, 50% of U.K. customers admitted that when purchasing beauty products, they often searched for ones made with natural ingredients, and 45% of those surveyed in China revealed that they planned to use products crafted with natural herbs and plants more often, as it improves their skins’ conditions.
Mintel’s report highlights that beauty consumers also are changing what they want from companies marketing products to them. Brands who don’t target a shopper’s age, sexuality or gender with advertisements were seen in a much more favorable light than those who did.
“In the past, brands had sole control over what defines beauty; however, perceptions of beauty based on age, gender, skin, hair and body type are changing, and control has shifted,” the report said. “Now, the consumer dictates what beauty is to the brand. An influx of information online has educated consumers, and they believe they know their skin/hair/body best and appreciate that everyone is different. They want their individual needs to be answered with options or customizable beauty.”
Among companies responding to these new demands has been Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. With its tagline “Beauty for All,” the line — whose foundation offerings include 40 shades — focuses on creating universal products for all skin tones, even ones that have traditionally been hard to match.
In order to win over most consumers, companies also need to be transparent. Thanks to the power of the internet, people can now find out exactly how their favorite tube of lip gloss was manufactured. Was it tested on animals? Created ethically?
Fifty-six percent of Americans surveyed by Mintel admitted to stopping to buy products from a brand or retailer if they believed their practices were unethical, and 37% of U.K. consumers revealed that they considered whether or not a product is tested on animals when shopping.
“Younger generations in particular don’t like labels and increasingly strive to live in a society that’s free of ‘isms.’ When purchasing products, they want to be sure their brand choices are aligned with their personal values,” the survey said.
As companies respond to demands for natural and cruelty-free products, they also are focusing on technology as a tool to facilitate customers’ shopping journey.
“Looking ahead, the days of social media being purely social will have long since passed as companies transform these online interactions into shopping opportunities,” the study said. Less foot traffic means fewer shoppers sampling shadows and palettes in person, which is why such big-name brands as Estée Lauder and L’Oréal have looked to augmented reality applications, including YouCam Makeup and ModiFace, which L’Oréal acquired in March. The AR-powered apps allow consumers the opportunity to sample products straight from their phones — cutting out in-person swatching.
Another big trend is shoppable posts on social media, in which Instagram plays a key role. Now when consumers see a lip color they like in the app, all they need to do is tap on the post and add it to their shopping cart. And the service is meeting a need, as 30% of Spanish-speaking consumers who viewed beauty content on social media told Mintel they would be interested in buying directly through the social channel.
“Over the next three years, holistic approaches to biometric data and the blurring of lines between social media and online retail will encourage brands to drive unprecedented customization of the shopping experience, giving consumers more control over where, when and how their data is used,” the report said.
Maybelline taps Josephine Skriver as newest spokesmodel
Maybelline New York announced a new addition to its team. Josephine Skriver, an international model who has walked for designers such as Calvin Klein and Rag & Bone during fashion week, has been named global spokesmodel for the beauty brand.
Skriver joins the likes of Adriana Lima, Gigi Hadid, Herieth Paul, Jourdan Dunn, Cris Urena, I-Hua Wu, Emily DiDonato, and Christy Turlington, who also have previously been named spokesmodels for the beauty brand.
“Being a part of the Maybelline New York family is a dream come true! I have been wearing Maybelline since I was a little girl,” Josephine said. “I am honored to represent not only Maybelline, but all of the girls who are wearing Maybelline, because these young girls are the future. They are powerful and beautiful, and that to me is what Maybelline stands for. I could not be prouder to represent them and make it happen.”
The model who grew up in Denmark has appeared in campaigns for Bulgari, Gucci, Max Mara, Michael Kors, Tom Ford and was even named a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2016. Josephine also has been featured in various issues of American Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Germany, V, Dazed, W, and Interview.
“We are beyond thrilled to have Josephine as part of our Maybelline family,” Leonardo Chavez, global brand president for Maybelline New York, said. “A partnership with Josephine was completely organic because she resonates with our global customer and is a dynamic and fresh addition to our roster of talent. She embodies determination, grit, energy and spirit, while having a true connection to New York and the dream of making it happen in this city.”
In addition to modeling, Josephine also is a vocal advocate for global LGBTQ rights, and is involved with organizations such as Family Equality Council, Colage and Keep a Child Alive, which focuses on children’s HIV fight.
The brand’s first campaign to feature the model will be for the launch of the Super Cushion 2-in-1, which will launch May 2018. She also will participate in brand activities on a global scale, the New York City-based company said.