INDIE BEAUTY & WHAT BIG PLAYERS CAN LEARN

The biggest strengths of indie beauty? Creativity and passion 'first and foremost'

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

'There’s a level of creativity that comes from being in a somewhat unstructured environment that is just profound' (Getty Images)
'There’s a level of creativity that comes from being in a somewhat unstructured environment that is just profound' (Getty Images)

Related tags: Indie beauty, Innovation, M&A, Branding

The creativity of passionate founders is indie beauty’s biggest strength, and with that comes a personal touch that big players can aspire to, say two marketing and branding experts.

Independent beauty brands have fast become ones to watch, and with a plethora of never-before-seen concepts coming to market, it’s no wonder why.

Neil Petrocelli, co-founder of Undrgrnd Beauty – an online curator and incubator of innovative, upcoming beauty brands, said a quick look at indie beauty’s strengths shed light on its success; “first and foremost” ​creativity and passion.

“A passionate founder expressing their creativity is just a very, very potent combination when it comes to skin care and beauty,” ​Petrocelli told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

“…There’s a level of creativity that comes from being in a somewhat unstructured environment that is just profound. I think, oftentimes, the weight of the structure [of corporate beauty] can weigh down creativity, and there’s less risk-taking.”

Big beauty in a ‘very good position’ to expand indie creativity

And risk-taking, Petrocelli said, was another important strength attached to indie beauty.

“Smaller players have less money to invest, so each dollar has to work so much harder. And each dollar has to accomplish so much more when it comes to generating awareness, so often that creativity is what they should really hone in on: creative ways to spend the money; creative ways to market the product.”

Corporate beauty was in a “very good position”​ to acquire this creativity, he said, and use its machine power to expand it. Although, with any indie merger or acquisition, Petrocelli noted it vital the personality of the brand was maintained.

“Oftentimes, you’ll see the original founder continue with the brand post-acquisition because the buyer is smart enough to realise there’s something there that shouldn’t be touched and should be allowed to grow and be nurtured by virtue of the machine behind it.”

The ‘personal connection’ is something to aspire to

Indie beauty founders were often representing the brand in front of the public personally (Getty Images)
Indie beauty founders were often representing the brand in front of the public personally (Getty Images)

Ehrin Fitzpatrick, fellow co-founder of Undrgrnd Beauty, said there was also plenty to be said for the “unconventional”​ and personal side of an indie brand.

“Being able to put a face to a brand is so important. The growth of indie happens so much more organically because of this,” ​Fitzpatrick said.

Petrocelli agreed: “An indie brand founder is literally at a beauty show and is literally talking directly to people and creating connections. That person then leaves and says to their friends ‘I just met the woman or man who founded this brand’ and that personal connection is something the bigger brands can really try to aspire to or try to make happen for themselves.”

This connection with consumers, he said, came back to authenticity – a significant aspect behind the success of indie. “Connection is huge and that’s something I think is to be replicated and commended.” 

Big beauty brands can work to connect through cover models (Getty Images)
Big beauty brands can work to connect through cover models (Getty Images)

Fitzpatrick said big beauty’s work to emulate these personal connections – through celebrity, model or influencer cover girls and guys – was one way to create a similar impact.

Indie beauty ‘to be commended’

Petrocelli said no matter how bigger beauty brands drew inspiration from indie, it remained critical to praise what had been achieved thus far.

“There’s a lot that goes into it – these indie beauty founders are to be commended for taking the chance. And, oftentimes, they’re learning as they’re going (…) We just hope the trend continues and that their experience is a good one because that will foster even more innovation. Success stories in the indie beauty world are just great – let’s keep them coming.”

Related topics: Brand Innovation

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