3 Indie Beauty Brands Disrupting the Cosmetics Industry

3 Indie Beauty Brands Disrupting the Cosmetics Industry

Disruption by startups isn’t limited to the tech sector in Silicon Valley. Cosmetics companies are experiencing their share of industry shake-up, thanks to trailblazing brands such as these three: 

  1. Goldfaden MD

Goldfaden MD blends science and nature to deliver a truly unique product. Normally, high-end skincare brands offer consumers two choices: advanced doctor-developed treatments or natural, organic options. Goldfaden MD took it one step further by diving into dermatologist research to discover which natural components could match the power and efficacy of the prescription-strength products.

As the world moves toward healthier, more environmentally conscious lifestyles, Goldfaden MD is leading that charge in the skincare world. Consumers want products infused with as few unnecessary ingredients as possible and sourced in ways that minimize long-term negative impacts to nature but still provide scientifically proven efficacy. Combined with smart marketing and a loyal consumer base, it’s easy to see why Goldfaden MD is garnering attention for the products coming out of its natural skincare lab.

Leaders at Goldfaden MD encourage other companies to stay true to their core values in order to find success. From product formulation to packaging to messaging, every component of the brand message should convey a story that customers can identify with. For Goldfaden MD, natural ingredients and effective treatments speak directly to what consumers want to hear. By establishing a mission and sticking to it, other companies can emulate Goldfaden MD’s success and connect with consumers searching for alternatives.

  1. Glossier

Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier, combined her experience as a stylist assistant at Vogue with her personal flair to build a thriving skincare startup that now boasts a staff of 35 full-time employees. 

Glossier offers regular consumers affordable, effective skincare options. With a slim catalog of 24 products, each of which less than $35, Glossier is enjoying rapid growth — about 600 percent, according to Weiss.

The young company’s secret to success stems from its aggressive social media presence. Weiss uses social media data to monitor trendy products, track what customers are saying about those products, and study how the information is being presented. Then, she pairs that feedback with emerging market demands to deliver messages and products that customers truly want.

Beauty brand founders looking for results similar to Weiss’ should give similar deference to their own social media strategy. Customers might not know what they want until they see a product, but they’ll reveal their thoughts about a new offering through their enthusiasm to post about it. If the posts are negative, uninspired, or absent, the product may not be worth pursuing.

  1. MatchCo

A different kind of disruptor, MatchCo creates customized foundation products on the basis of individuals’ skin tones.

The magic is simple: Users scan themselves using the MatchCo app on the wrists, forehead, and cheeks, then send the data to the company. The app’s color-matching technology, coupled with evaluation by humans, analyzes the data and creates a custom skincare formulation, providing a unique, personalized and effective product for every customer.

Recently purchased by Shiseido, MatchCo is growing faster than ever. With new corporate resources and an already popular product, the founders of MatchCo have big plans for their future.

MatchCo’s example isn’t difficult to emulate. The key is to start small with a limited selection of products — we recommend no more than five — and focus on owning that small niche. Not only does this help companies manage their inventories of customizable products, but it also helps startups test trends without major investments in case risks don’t pan out.

With more innovative cosmetic startups appearing every day, it won’t be long before new skincare companies join these three on the list of top disruptors. What will the next companies do differently, and how will their products stand out from the crowd?

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