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The Future Of Beauty Is Indie Brands

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For decades, the beauty industry has been dominated by large corporations and household names like L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, and Unilever. But as millennial and Gen Z shoppers rise as the dominating buying force in the beauty industry, the big players are quickly losing market share to indie beauty brands–small, agile companies that are better-suited to meet the needs of a digital-first shopper. 

A 2017 beauty industry report from Deloitte made the bold claim, “small is the new big” with corporate brands “losing share as small brands and disruptors are gaining.” This shift is especially relevant in the prestige beauty category, where consumers are leaving behind heritage brands for more exciting newcomers. The report notes, “over the past few years, niche and ‘indie’ brands…have been the most important drivers of prestige beauty growth.”

Big industry players are taking note with high-profile acquisitions of beauty’s most influential indie players, including Unilever’s $500M purchase of Tatcha and Shiseido’s $845M acquisition of Drunk Elephant.

While some worried the pandemic might slow the growth of category, indie beauty brands led the entire market across sales growth, unit growth and velocity growth according to a report from Byzzer, NielsenIQ’s new CPG retail analytics platform. 

Amidst this industry revolution, the pressure is on for traditional retailers to keep up with consumer demand for indie brands. While large beauty retailers have historically had the upper hand in determining which brands win and lose in the marketplace, more and more indie brands are turning to DTC digital models rather than traditional retailer relationships–putting even greater pressure on retailers to secure lucrative partnerships.  In response, retailers like Sephora have developed initiatives like Sephora Accelerate–an incubation program that in 2021 onboarded 8 entirely BIPOC-owned indie beauty brands. 

Landing is here to help make partnerships between retailers and indie brands a reality: with hundreds of emerging brands available on our marketplace, our platform can help retail buyers find the most promising newcomers. Once indie brands are onboarded, our tools make it easy for smaller brands to comply with retailer standards and support sell-through without the large budgets that more established brands bring to the table.

For more information on how Landing can help you find the next big thing in indie beauty, sign up for a free demo with our team. 

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