What’s Next: Becoming a fast-growing indie beauty brand
When a product or an idea catches on with a national audience and goes from nothing to something very quickly, some might say it’s like catching lightning in a bottle. In 2014, there was an awful lot of lightning being caught in the beauty market. According to Kline & Co., several privately owned indie brands have experienced massive growth in the double and triple digits at nearly five times the market average. Among the brands cited as most buyable are ELF cosmetics, Anastasia of Beverly Hills, eos and Hello Products. Over the past several years, they have come to have the same familiar presence in the beauty aisles as brands owned by such larger corporations as P&G and Unilever. So, how are so many private brands getting a piece of the action?
Kline explores this question in its marketing report “Beauty’s Most Buyable Brands.” Social media marketing is one of the biggest factors, allowing brands to compete with the marketing budgets of the big players. These superstar indie brands also tend to target niche markets, like the brand Anastasia of Beverly Hills. Anastasia practically created a market where one didn’t even exist, turning eyebrow grooming from an optional makeup step into a beauty ritual with its own artistry. Its success has had a huge impact on the cosmetics market. According to Mintel, nearly 6% of global eye color cosmetic launches in 2014 were eyebrow products – double the number from 2012 — and 26% of U.S. women use eyebrow makeup.
The report also looked at the trend of intense acquisition that has taken place over the past two years with many indie companies like NYX and Dermalogica being bought out by major corporations. Prior to its acquisition by L’Oréal, NYX was a brand that was typically found in strip mall beauty stores, surrounded by a myriad of cheap, accessible products that were more remarkable for their rock bottom price points than their quality. While NYX has always had a quality product, their marketing also sets them apart. Even in strip malls, they would have testers for their products built into their POS display. They really separated themselves from the pack by tuning into and capitalizing on the power of social media even before it was really a thing.
“We’ve seen the progression of NYX. They started out just by shipping packages of their pencils to vloggers. Just taking that small step can have a huge impact on the growth of a brand,” said Kelly Alexandre, analyst for Kline & Co.
Kline partnered with Tribe Dynamics to create the report “Beauty’s Most Buyable Brands.” Tribe Dynamics tracked the earned media value of each of the brands and Kline & Co. analyzed the fastest-growing brands in terms of their product offerings, focus and social media presence.
What’s Next is a weekly feature of Drug Store News, written by consumer beauty blogger Lonni Delane. The goal is to help give beauty merchants the cutting edge they need to stay ahead of the latest and greatest beauty trends.