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

One beauty…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies