With internet retail giant Amazon having just announced that it is opening a store dedicated entirely to independent beauty brands, the potential for indie online has never been clearer.
We hone in on some leaders in the space - The Hero Project, Finding Ferdinand and Sara Hill.
Customisation: personal products
Finding Ferdinand is a platform that allows customers to create their own makeup products through its website and iOS app.
Via the platform, users can create their own lipstick colors and build palettes for their face, eyes, and cheek.
“Customization will change the way people expect to be treated, and in turn that will dramatically affect the future market,” the company’s CEO, Nhi Le, tells Cosmetics Design.
“People want to be heard, and they want brands to cater to their individual needs.”
Reviews and conversation: authentic identity
The internet, with its now well-established reviewing systems for consumer products, offers a great sounding board for brands to work out what consumers like, what works, and what’s not good enough.
One company maximising on this is British brand The Hero Project.
The company scours online beauty stores, blogs and reviews looking for consumer favourite products: they hunt down not just the best items in consumers’ estimation, but also dig out the areas where these products can be improved.
The Hero Project then invests in the R&D of formulas and packaging to craft - in theory - the ideal beauty product. A sort of crowdsourcing of curation.
“We’re using social media as the heartbeat and barometer to what we do; If we do get significant feedback we can change the formulas, because we’re very nimble and responsive,” the brand’s global head of marketing, Holly Tomlin, told CosmeticsDesign.
Word of mouth: digital-style
Indie brands don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel, though, to maximise on the engagement opportunities offered by more connected consumers.
Sara Hill offers a good example of a beauty brand making the most of existing social media channels to reach customers.
The brand’s Instagram page, for example, boasts over 20,000 followers, an impressive showing for a smaller, niche player.