The teenage and preteen market for skincare and cosmetics is growing at an exponential rate as young girls become more brand aware and have an ever-increasing spending power. In the US alone, 8-12 year old girls spend $30 billion of their own money and $150 million of their parens money on self-treats. There is a noticeable gap in the market for a range of products for young girls that are cool and aspirational without being overtly girly (covered in images of flowers) or too sexualised (inappropriate advertising, product formats that are not tailored to the age group) and at the same time are formulated carefully, using cleaner alternatives to some of the harsh chemicals on the market, and fragrances that are collectable and commercial yet suitable for these younger sensitive skin types.
I’ve always wanted to create a new beauty brand, having had 20 years experience in doing just that for other big names such as The Body Shop, Boots, Fresh and Easy, Sanctuary Spa, Dr Nick Lowe and more. The inspiration for exactly what I wanted to achieve hit me a year ago and I have been refining the idea since then. Developing a brand that also gives back to the global community in some way is an ambition of mine, but finding the right vehicle for this has eluded me. I now have 3 young daughters and have seen their growing obsession with and interest in pocket-sized beauty treats. From EOS lip balms to pocket-bacs from Bath and Body Works, anything cute, collectable and with a fragrance is a huge hit; unusual or limited-edition versions are highly prized swaps. Following some informal market research with groups of girls aged 11-13, I am creating a uniquely collectable offering for younger teen girls using cleaner ingredients with fragrances that won’t irritate. All products will be subject to extensive panel testing with the most demanding of consumers – the girls themselves. The line-up will comprise:
– Lip balms
– Tinted flavoured glosses
– Pocket sized fragrant hand cleansers that also moisturise
– Innovative bursting ball cleansing balms
– Water essence toners
– Pod-packed face masks
– Mineral powder BB perfectors
– Softening Body Essences
– Fragrant sparkle and shine hair mists
Whilst there are already brands offering this experience, they tend to stick to one category, i.e. lip balms, or bath and body, or cosmetics. There are a couple of exceptions, but brands offering on-trend desirable products also tend to be highly fragranced, irritating to skin and not formulated carefully or cleanly enough for younger skin. I haven’t yet found a brand that encompasses the many beauty needs a girl of this age has, or does it in a cute yet effective and collectable way, let alone one that also shows girls the positive side of beauty and harnesses their spending power and youthful innocence and desire to do good. If girls are going to spend money on beauty, which inevitably they do as part of growing up and building their own self-esteem, we should use the opportunity to also teach them about being part of a global community, the responsibility that we all have to use our buying power wisely and also to show them the feeling of strength that comes from contributing to a great cause and helping to build something for the future. Girls can make a great change in the world and now more than ever before it is even more important to help inspire them to see this.
Girls of this age have more disposable income than they’ve had before; my own daughter now has collection of 50 funky pocket size hand sanitisers (pocket-bacs) and her own instagram account, dedicated to lip balms, with over 1000 followers…all in 2 months! Newer digital sales channels and those linked to social media accounts i.e. instagram, snapchat etc are key to this age group and I will be maximising exposure within these channels by working with a specialist digital marketing agency. Making products available to buy via Instagram etc is key.
There’s a gap in the market for a fun and iconic British brand to do something exciting in this space with long-term commercial potential that also shows girls the positive side of beauty. Every product will be in line with overall brand strategy, delivering cool, collectable and innovative beauty formats that are highly desirable, cleaner in terms of formulation and accessible.