“Our goal is always to support the beauty entrepreneur,” Jillian Wright IBMG co-founder tells Cosmetics Design. The Indie Beauty Media Group (IBMG) is the business behind not only the BeautyX Summit series but also the Indie Beauty Expo events around the world and the online news and information publication Beauty Independent.
“By having a community, or a tribe, of like-minded people working together, you can really achieve things that you never thought were possible,” believes Wright. “It is important to have a sounding board to run ideas by, it is so valuable to learn lessons from others and teach based on mistakes you have made.”
And, she observes that this network effect among indie beauty brand leaders is making a difference and amplifying the impact of the independent beauty movement: “As we continue to grow together, the market has had no choice but to take notice. No one needs to be on this journey alone, and BeautyX is one of the many ways IBMG supports and empowers brand founders,” says Wright.
Always be learning
The BeautyX Retail Summit program includes keynote presentations, panel discussions, fireside chats, as well as both structured and live learning. This year’s event also includes face-to-face ‘buyer time’ sessions with retail buyers working for some the industry’s key stores and online shops (pre-registration is required for these). And, of course, there is built in time for networking with speakers and peers.
“It's an immersive experience,” emphasizes Clarie McCormack, head of IBMG’s content and thought leadership. “We give as much thought to what happens off stage during the two days of BeautyX as what happens on stage, so the networking opportunities with speakers and fellow attendees are as impressive as the educational content,” she tells Cosmetics Design.
“This year we've introduced small group meetings with coveted retailers like Whole Foods and Neiman Marcus, which are filling up fast. We've also partnered with a local fitness studio to offer a complementary class for attendees, and Credo is hosting a party at its Plano store at the completion of BeautyX,” says McCormack.
Retail strategy matters
“These days,” notes Wright, “there are so many options when it comes to retail, whether you envision your brand to be in brick and mortars of beauty hubs like Sephora, Ulta, or Credo, or you feel selling direct to consumer is your best path….No matter which path you decide to go down, digital content and awareness will be an increasingly important piece of this pie,” she tells Cosmetics Design.
McCormack agrees: “A retail strategy is always critical; it's something brand founders should be thinking about from the very earliest ideation. Your retail strategy impacts what your products look like, how much they cost, even what they're named.”
“Your brand's digital identity needs to align with your retail strategy, and vice versa. You not only want your brand to catch your target consumers' attention online, but also the attention of your target retail partners,” says McCormack. “Buyers have told me time and again that Instagram is one of the first places they go to find new brands, so making sure your brand accurately represents your retail strategy in the digital space is key.”
Accordingly, the BeautyX Summit coming to Dallas, Texas, next month is all about retail strategy for indie brands. To learn more about the BeautyX Retail Summit and find a link to buy tickets, click here.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.