Makeup – and the cosmetics industry as a whole – is having a bit of a moment. From the innovations propelling the cosmetics game firmly into the future, to the social media makeup trends blowing up online and racking up millions of views on the daily, it seems that makeup has evolved from a simple cover-up and enhancement technique that few could correctly mimic, to one of the key ways a plethora of people – of all ages and genders – express themselves and their inimitable quirks and kooks, as well as build an inner confidence to match whatever persona they create.
It stands to reason, then, that there’s a growing competition in the cosmetics world that continues to up the ante for everyone involved, from MUAs, cosmetics companies, and up-and-coming makeup stars. To stand out in this game, you need to put your heart and soul into your work while remaining fresh, accessible, and open-minded.
If you’re enmeshed within this world as an up-and-coming cosmetics brand, you’re going to need an abundance of fierceness and focus to help you climb to the top of the pile with your products and outshine your rivals at every twist and turn. But how exactly do you do this? Luckily for you, we’ve collated a handy list of suggestions to help you get there.
An essential step for every single business, big or small, is to delve into market research. While it may initially seem data-driven and onerous, nailing this aspect prior to building your brand and products can ensure that you make big bucks and build a cosmetics brand that has longevity.
Market research will help you to identify which brands are flourishing amongst which age groups, which demographic is the most receptive and marketable to cosmetics brands, how brands have utilized their unique elements to stand out from the crowd, and where there are existing gaps that you can mold your brand to fill.
Once you’ve established these aspects, you can start to build your brand and products around this information, including your marketing techniques, logo designs, and method of selling (i.e., ecommerce of brick-and-mortar shops).
Embrace the techy side
Technology has been making huge leaps forward in recent years, in order to cut down the volume of waste produced by various industries and identify ways to create and distribute products in an efficient manner.
One technology that’s worth looking into is a 3D cosmetics configurator. Made-to-order and fully customizable, this kind of tech makes it possible to create infinite variations of a product’s design that can be used on packaging and web visuals, as can be seen on Apviz’s cosmetic ecommerce solution. You can generate 3D product visuals, personalize your items according to your brand specifications, and even embed these customization rules onto your own website. Not only is it user-friendly and secure, but it also it boasts real-time interaction and API automation that aids upscaling while reducing your costs. Pretty perfect sounding, right?
On top of the trends
As in the fashion world overall, makeup trends are quick to come and go, and your job as a member of the cosmetics industry is to keep your eye on the ball and make sure you’re hitting all of those trends before they become obsolete. For example, it’s crucial to recognize that what’s trending on social media may not be what’s trending on the catwalks or in music videos, and provide products that play to each of these trends, with marketing that emphasizes this focus. If you don’t do this, you may find yourself sinking into the mire with other failed beauty brands who have been deemed irrelevant.
Inspiration can be sought from various places: TikTok, MUA’s Instagram pages, catwalks and fashion shows, music videos, and the average person on the high street. And remember, variety is the spice of life – the more places you can source your inspiration, the better your products will be and the more ways you can market your brand’s products.
Keep it fresh and unique
All the old, faithful staples of the makeup world have fully established themselves with distinctive logos and products – just think of Maybelline, Rimmel, MAC Cosmetics, and Barry M. They have their stand-out products, their continuous output, and their chosen demographic. To find their own place amongst the jostling hype created by various newer brands, up-and-coming brands have had to find ways of exemplifying themselves as fresh and unique in comparison to the staple brands, whether it has been about themed product design, an emphasis on being gender-neutral, or shouting out about their eco-friendly, ethical credentials.
To understand how you can achieve this with your own brand, closely eye examples set by other up-and-coming cosmetics companies, such as Beauty Bakerie (a Black-owned cosmetics brand that is baking-themed, from product names to packaging and design), and Sey Cosmetics (an independent brand that is vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly).
Be bold, be brave
When it comes to marketing, the bigger and bolder you are, the more you’ll be noticed. This is why you want to invest heavily in your marketing and branding techniques, because they are what will initially grab the attention of your chosen demographic.
Want to build a following amongst 18–24-year-olds? Time to consider working with makeup influencers on the likes of TikTok and Instagram, who can model your products, sing their praises, and recommend them to their viewers. Looking to market your products at 25–40-year-olds? Then consider advertising your products in bridal magazines and on Facebook and Instagram.
The key here is to step outside of the box and think BIG. You want to be noticed, right? The key is confidence and self-assurance that translates into your products, design, and marketing.
As already mentioned, there is a particular niche within the makeup world dedicated to eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and ethical cosmetics that’s currently pioneering products that are completely trustworthy and, in terms of ethics and the environment, far superior to many of the bigger, well-known brands.
While you may not be a scientist as such, with the knowledge needed to create products that are harmless to the world and that reduce waste, you can certainly allocate a certain amount of your budget towards researching this area.
While this may seem to be an extra step that will take up a lot of time and money, it will be worthwhile, particularly as more and more consumers are looking to find products that are fully transparent in this respect. We only have one world, and while you may want to build a brand that has staying power, it’s also important to consider your impact on the world – not only will you create a brand with staying power, you will gain the trust and loyalty of consumers, too.
The cosmetics world has really come into its own in the past decade, particularly since the dawn of social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok, and the emergence of social movements, including Black Lives Matter and the climate change movement. More focus than ever is being placed on how the industry can keep up with the times and reflect the attitudes that pervade society today, as well as become a unifying, uplifting aspect of beauty and fashion.
As a small business owner building a cosmetics brand, it’s essential to bear in mind the role that makeup can play in propelling the world forward into the future – however it may look. You need to remain current, pick up on new trends and technologies that will advance your brand, and be fierce. Let nothing – not even your own doubts – hold you back and you’re sure to stay ahead of the game.