6 Indie Beauty Brands To Watch (& Learn From)

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Millennials & Gen Z are buying into beauty in droves, and these six brands are ones to watch as social media catapults them to cult status...

Buzz about new beauty trends moves fast online and on social, where products, looks, and brands can trend quickly. Beauty knows their ad-skipping audience, and leverages Instagrammability and the Influencer Effect to boost their brands. Last year, Ulta Beauty saw sales surge to $5.9 billion from $3.9 billion two years ago, while Sephora’s revenue doubled between 2011 and 2017, according to the Financial Post. Social media has also propelled upstarts and indie brands, who can appeal to young consumers with a well-curated Instagram: Kylie Cosmetics raked in $420 million in 18 months, mostly via organic marketing courtesy of founder Kylie Jenner, while sales of cult favorites like Glossier and Colourpop are up 43%, according to the NPD Group.

This focus on beauty and skincare doesn’t seem to be on its way out anytime soon. In fact, buying makeup is on the list of things that Millennials are actually doing more than Boomers, and when many Gen Z and Millennial women “splurge,” they opt for fashion, beauty, and accessories over entertainment or wellness, according to Adweek. Of course, wellness and self-care play a role in young consumers’ growing skin care obsession—which they were quick to defend when The Outline sent shockwaves through the beauty industry by calling skin care “a scam” in their article: “The Skincare Con.” The social media response was swift as skincare diehards took to Twitter to defend their beloved routines.

In the midst of this booming interest, the following six up-and-coming brands are tapping into young consumers’ beauty obsession (and several other unexpected trends) to turn heads across the industry:

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingFLUIDE

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

Which brands had the most YouTube subscribers in 2018? In media, Warner Bros. topped the list with 6.4 million subscribers, followed by BBC and ESPN. Apple beat out last year’s winner for tech PlayStation, while Red Bull and Ford remained the reigning champs of food and beverage and automotive, respectively. Finally, Nike was first place in the clothing category for the second year running, with 30,000 more subscribers than their closest competitor, Adidas. (Tubefilter)

A “Little League for esports” is fostering future esports stars—and fans for life. Super League Gaming is bringing some much-needed organization to youth competitive gaming, building teams of young Minecraft, League of Legends, and Clash Royal players, helping them train and compete. But the program isn’t just for the next Ninja; just like traditional sports, kids get a sense of community among like-minded friends. (AP News)

Nielsen reports that Millennials actually consume less media than older demos, but more of it is digital. While the average adult consumes over ten hours of content a day, 18-34-year-olds spend less than eight hours with media. And the heaviest smartphone users are 35-49-year-olds, who spend 20 minutes more each day on average with their phones than Millennials. However, the younger demo does spend 44% of their media time with digital devices, more than older demos that spend more time with TV as they age up. (THR)

Vitaminwater is wagering $100,000 that you can’t give up your smartphone for a year. Contestants have to disconnect from internet-enabled devices where “texting is a pleasant experience” for 365 days and post a pic to Twitter or Instagram explaining why they need the digital detox. And when the year’s up, they have to prove it. Considering that 65% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they would be unable to unplug from their smartphones for a week, earning that $100,000 may be harder than they know. (Fortune)

Hard seltzer revenue skyrocketed over 400% over the past 18 months. White Claw leads the way for the category with top-of-the-results organic search (they’re the number one Google result for “hard seltzer”) and a social media presence that focuses on health and wellness-related imagery. Sparkling water is already one of Millennials’ favorite things to drink, and its hard version could rise through the ranks of their top alcoholic beverages. (Gartner)

Quote of the Day: “People call [video game culture] nerdy but I see nerdy as a positive connotation.”—Female, 28, MA

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