Despite its vast size and market share, the global beauty industry is continually growing. In fact, experts predict it will be worth more than $700 billion by 2025—just three years from now.
Whether you are shopping for skin care, cosmetics, or personal grooming products, it is often the big players that come to mind first. However, while broad-reaching mainstream brands such as L’Oréal, Unilever, and Estée Lauder still control much of the market share, in recent years we have seen a rise in smaller, independent beauty brands looking to make their mark on the industry.
The recent success of countless “indie” beauty brands proves that consumers are always open to trying out fresh new names and products, especially if they offer something unique or if their messaging resonates with consumer values. For would-be beauty entrepreneurs, the recent indie explosion is ripe with the possibility for success.
The positive impact of COVID-19 on the indie beauty market
Though challenging for many business owners, the COVID-19 pandemic was something of a blessing in disguise for many indie beauty brands. Suddenly, instead of going to the salon or spa for regular beauty treatments, consumers had no choice but to expand their at-home skin care regimen as many businesses closed their doors temporarily. That meant they were shopping for new and different products to round out their daily beauty routine.
People were also spending a lot of hours online in those early days (like, even more than usual) and that happens to be where up-and-coming indie brands truly shine. From Instagram to TikTok, smart startups reached out to their customers where they were spending the most time—with buzzworthy products and fun tutorials that showed them how to look their best for the next Zoom meeting.
COVID-19 also presented some interesting new skin care challenges thanks to prolonged mask wearing and constant hand washing and sanitizing. Many indie brands rose to the challenge with products formulated to help protect and support moisture-starved or irritated skin so that it could not just survive but thrive amid a global pandemic.
Our top 3 reasons why we love independent beauty brands
1. They’ve got heart.
Behind every indie beauty brand is a story, and that story often becomes an integral part of how their business communicates with consumers. Fostering a personal connection with customers helps to inspire trust in the brand, and independent beauty sellers are more likely to build a strong, enduring foundation of loyal users.
And where best to cultivate that consumer connection? Our favorite social media sites, of course! To learn more about growing your indie beauty biz with the power of social media, check out our Social Media Marketing Quick Guide for easy-to-follow tips and helpful pointers.
2. They fill a void.
More often than not, indie beauty brands are born because everyday consumers were unable to find the products they needed or wanted—so they made their own. Minneapolis-based Odele, for example, offers a line of “clean, premium beauty essentials” that can be used by everyone in the family, regardless of age or gender. According their website:
“Our bathrooms were once packed with products for us (the fancy kind), our partners (the whatever kind) and our kids (the safe kind). It wasn’t working. The reality was that we wanted something premium, practical and safe for everyone, so we decided to throw this whole his/hers/theirs nonsense out the bathroom window and start Odele.”
Founded by Lindsay Holden, Britta Chatterjee, and Shannon Kearney, Odele was among several indie beauty brands to win an Oprah Daily Beauty O-Ward in 2021.
3. They say no to harmful ingredients and practices.
Do a quick online search and you’ll find that a lot of indie beauty brands share a common goal: delivering high-quality, easy-to-use skin care and grooming products that are a.) free of potentially harmful ingredients that have no business being there, and b.) gentler on the human body and the environment. Not too big an ask, right? Especially when you consider that the majority of U.S. consumers prefer natural/organic skin care products.
Independent beauty sellers also share a love for eco-friendly packaging. From refillable bottles and containers to plant-based packaging and biodegradable packing peanuts, products made with and shipped using sustainable materials (those that can be recycled, reused, or easily broken down) go a long way toward protecting and preserving a healthy planet.
Is yours the next big indie beauty brand?
Onoxa was created with the independent beauty entrepreneur in mind. As the first-ever online platform for custom-branded personal care products for the skin, hair, and nails, we provide everything you need to create and launch your very own beauty brand—with safe and effective premium-quality products that your customers will love. And don’t forget to join our Onoxa Insiders Facebook group! There, you can connect with your fellow indie beauty rock stars to share marketing advice, business tips, and more.
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