Why indie brands are embracing crowdfunding

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Why indie brands are embracing crowdfunding
Indie brands may well be perceived as the welcome disrupters of the beauty world. These small, often independently-funded outlets, are making a big impact on cosmetic aficionados.

Making waves

Identifying a gap or current problem in the beauty industry, indie brands often launch with an innovative or insightful backstory capturing the interest and intrigue of millennial shoppers.

Design and packaging, product functionality, brand messaging and value propositions are all core considerations for a startup looking to get noticed in the competitive beauty and personal care environment.

As marketing strategies emphasise the importance of strong informative content, these niche market entrants strive to create captivating brand stories that result in significant engagement.

Jane Henderson, Global President of Mintel Beauty shared the importance of building consumer trust and authenticity​ with Cosmetics Design in May. Indie brands are synonymous with creating a relatable narrative that builds trust, engagement and loyalty. Beauty and personal care names are able to achieve this level of transparency through revealing personal backstories that connect the founder and brand with its target consumers.

Crowdfunding: Starting with splash

After crafting a compelling story, indie brands need a platform to reflects its position and engage users. Brands are increasingly leveraging the trendy reputation of an equity crowdfunding strategy to overcome a lack of funding.

Popular among startups, it enables them to not only raise capital to launch onto the market, but crowdfunding is also a proactive and resourceful way to conduct market research and gather customer feedback.  

Successful campaigns

Equity crowdfunding campaigns are popping up all over Asia-Pacific and the wider globe. We take you through examples of those new brands are using crowdfunding to build awareness, connect with consumers and expand their offerings.

  • Purely B

Malaysian-based PurelyB focuses on health, wellbeing and personal care through its online portal. When it first launched its campaign, its co-founders, Jesrina Arshad and Stephanie Looi had two main aims: to raise further awareness and to expand its health and wellness brand beyond Hong Kong and Malaysia to other Asia regions.

Concentrating on the thought-leader model, PurelyB offers users rich, engaging and informative content; new interactive features; and premium health-focused programmes. Embracing transparency, Purely B shared its crowdfunding opportunity with its engaged users to build an authentic relationship and encourage loyalty.

  • Volition

Beauty name, Volition, was fully-created through crowdfunding, resulting from the efforts of its founders, Brandy Hoffman and Patricia Santos. The vision for Volition was to provide an area where females can send product concepts and innovations that they would like to see hit the shelves to Volition's chemists.

Its laboratories would then explore these ideas further to see if they are possible. Embracing community wisdom and problem-solving, the brand’s business model responds directly to the interest and engagement of its users. From its crowdfunded roots, Volition has seen its new formulations stocked in Sephora.

  • Luna Noel

Natural perfume name, Luna Noel, accessed the creative-project led funding platform, Kickstarter, to garner support for its fragrance brand. After producing approximately 100 units, Luna Noel’s founders, Finnigan Jones and Lyndsey Johnson, required additional funding to test their collection of crystal-charged perfumes, known as Earth Moods.   

After encountering initial funding obstacles, Luna Noel asked for customer feedback and modified its product marketing strategy to carve out a unique and sought-after presence.  

  • MDMflow

Seeking to appeal to millennials, this retro-meets-modern name has created a selection of cosmetics that merge beauty, fashion, hip-hop and glamour. Its product range reflects the styles and trends of the mid-90s-00s decade.

  • Thomas Clipper

The premium male grooming name wanted to gather market and customer feedback, as well as generate awareness to propel the brand into its next stage of growth. Through crowdfunding, Thomas Clipper’s handmade shaving and premium cologne brand has launched its Unite Cologne Collection and Travel Set.

  • Nail Snaps

Tech is a leading industry in the crowdfunding space, and so the mobile app utilised crowdfunding to gain interest in its award-winning nail-based design solution. Users from all over the world can upload an image onto the app and Nail Snaps will then ship this design as a ready-to-use nail wrap.

Not just for Start-Ups

As well as providing a launch platform for names looking to generate investment to enter the beauty and personal care sphere, it is also proving a formidable and cost-effective choice for brands looking to further scale and gain customer loyalty.

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