Memo Celebrity Brands

Today, let’s talk about… celebrity beauty brands!

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Did you see, there was another star/influencer/celebrity beauty brand launched today…
I wrote this sentence last week; I know it’s still relevant this week too! Every time I see a new launch (every other day, that is), I can’t help but wonder if all these celebrity brands will still be around in 10 years? That’s what I’ll talk about in this week’s Memo!

If you’re an influencer or a celebrity and you haven’t started your own cosmetics brand, you’ve failed in your life, apparently 😉

Yes, I saw Jennifer Anniston’s brand/ Ariana Grande/ Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye/ my downstairs neighbor who has 200K followers on TikTok… (cross out ALL the unnecessary mentions)
Honestly, I’ve stopped caring about all the influencer/celebrity brand launches because right now, it’s pretty much every other day!

Innovation… or buzz?

To tell you the truth, apart from a few rare exceptions, I find these brands bring nothing new to the market and that anyway, you can feel that they’re not there to last. The people who launch them know it very well, but apparently, it doesn’t matter.

I really get the impression that the idea behind all these new brands is to launch rapidly in order to make some cash quickly and take advantage of their popularity while it’s there, not to be innovative or particularly original.

Because if we are seeing a lot of launches like this at the moment, don’t be fooled: it’s because it creates a lot of buzz! As we know, the cosmetics business feeds on newness. Even more so in the age of social media, the consumer has to see something new almost every day!

For a multi-brand store (like Sephora for example), influencer or celebrity brands are a great opportunity to offer new products easily and at a lower cost too! Consumers already know the people behind these brands and they bring the promotional aspect just by being famous.

The other benefit for retailers is that they can frequently renew their brand catalogs. One influencer or celebrity brand pushes out the other, but at least in the meantime, it all makes a lot noise and a quick buck! Yay for “Fast Beauty”!

Are these brands really profitable?

Well… not that much! According to an article in the Beauty Independent, the sales revenues of celebrity brands only represent 3% of the sales in the prestige category of skincare/makeup/hair care/perfume.

The difficulty for all these new brands is indeed to keep their customers in the long run. If it’s quite “easy” for celebrities to create an event out of the launch their business and generate the desire to buy their products at the time of their launch, it’s clearly more difficult to keep all their new customers, and add more over time…

In most cases, the product formulas are not particularly innovative, and the brands often rely solely on the likability (or the aspirational capital) of the personality that promotes them.

You will notice that in the communication of most of these brands, there is always a light touch of greenwashing/”Clean Beauty” that makes you feel less guilty about buying new stuff. That way, you don’t feel you’re polluting more because, well, you’re buying into a very ethical brand (spoiler alert: it’s not true!).

Can it create an opportunity for well-established brands to be loved again by consumers?

I wonder if all this “emptiness”, based for many on a personality cult, won’t push consumers back to more reliable and trusted brands after a while…

Brands that have been around for a long time and have fantastic products in their catalog, and real R&D departments able to make true innovative discoveries, not “Yuka-friendly” formulas. Brands that don’t launch new products every 5 minutes but rather try to improve the formulas of their star products so that they’re always up to date

My Instagram friend @sambythecounter made a very interesting post about this recently on his Instagram account: Shiseido
He explains the Shiseido group was the first to use biotechnology to produce hyaluronic acid. Indeed, a few years ago, this well-known ingredient for dehydrated skin came from rooster’s crests (Yum!) but thanks to the Research & Development department and the investment from the Shiseido group, there are now other more ecological and cruelty-free techniques to make hyaluronic acid! It can now be synthesized using bacteria through bio-fermentation 🙂

This is only one example among many others; I also think about L’Oréal, which has done a lot to create alternatives to animal testing, especially in markets where it’s still mandatory for exported cosmetic products like China (it evolved in the right direction recently, finally!).

If these brands start to really emphasize all these innovations in their communication, it could definitely bring back consumers who are bored by the uniformity that is emerging in today’s cosmetic brands…

In short, the good old well established conventional brands haven’t said their last word!

Yes, I know, it might be wishful thinking. But, you never know, maybe after a while, people will get as bored as I am and we can focus on innovation and efficient products again? 🤞

And of course, I’m not even talking about the fact that all these new brands (which by the way are almost all “Clean” 🙄) will create unnecessary waste with their products that won’t sell in 6 months. While bragging about being “good for the planet”, of course 🙃

Anyway, can’t wait to move on!

What about you? What are your thoughts about this? Do you feel like supporting this type of initiative, or are you bored too? Tell me in the comments 🙂

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