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: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

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