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Morgan Howen

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Why a Gen-Z Beauty Brand Is Selling Anti-Aging Products

My interest was piqued when an e-mail with the subject line “The Fastest Growing DTC Brand in History” landed in my inbox a few weeks ago. It was a pitch for Gen-Z-focused beauty and wellness label SpoiledChild, which launched earlier this year and sells skin and hair care products and ingestibles in colourful tubes that look like pills, vials of blood or tiny vibrators.

The e-mail described the line as a “personalised age-control experience” that offers beauty products with a “sustainable refillable system that includes reusable dispensers and a patented recyclable capsule design.”

It’s the second brand from Oddity Tech, parent company of makeup line Il Makiage, which uses AI to match foundation online and says it did over $260 million in sales last year. Oddity announced a $130 million round of financing in January, led by investor Thomas Tull, with participation from Fidelity’s investment arm, Franklin Templeton and First Light Capital Group. Similar to Il Makiage, the line uses AI to pair customers with products best suited for their scalps and faces.

SpoiledChild is indeed a “tech-first” brand; less apparent is who it’s for.

The name SpoiledChild implies that the label is for Gen-Z, or roughly anyone aged 12 to 27, supported by loud packaging and branding that’s become a go-to in the space. There are 22 products, including hair-growth serums, facial serums and moisturisers, ingestible collagen and biotin gummy vitamins, with skin care positioned as “anti-aging.” Prestige prices — a “G25+ Anti-Aging Retin+ Night Rewind Serum” and a “A22 Biotin Boost Hair + Scalp Serum” cost $69 and $59, respectively — suggest the target is a more mature customer, but is a Boomer, Gen-Xer, or even a Millennial going to buy from a brand called SpoiledChild?

The brand was unable to share data to support the “fastest growing” claim at this time, including revenues, growth metrics or what portion of Oddity’s $130 million round was allocated to SpoiledChild.

According to Suzanne Fitzpatrick, co-general manager of SpoiledChild, the line’s advantage is Oddity’s technology, which includes four products: Powermatch, a tool to help consumers get accurate makeup shade matches online; Kenzza, a creator-fuelled beauty content platform; “hyperspectral image recovery” software; and SpoiledBrain, a technology similar to Powermatch that matches customers to skin and wellness products. A third brand is on the way.

“From the start, we knew what consumers were looking for, what products they were interested in yet unsatisfied with, so when we launched SpoiledChild we had all that data,” Fitzpatrick said. She noted that while it has its own team, the label shares technology resources with Il Makiage. “We have that R&D platform really powering that experience.”

The brand has no plans to go offline. SpoiledChild will stick to an online-only, direct-to-consumer business model, similar to the first wave of D2C companies that debuted about a decade ago, like Harry’s or Glossier. Today, brands are going into retail earlier, some even upon launching, finding the tactile nature of beauty lends itself to in-store shopping, no matter how good one’s online experience may be. The vast majority of beauty purchases still happen in a store.

The brand has to tighten its focus. Despite having advanced AI capabilities and access to data from the 30 million users who’ve interacted with Oddity’s various tech platforms in the last three years, SpoiledChild’s overall positioning is unclear. The line taps into the beauty trend of the moment — “Gen-Z” — and it also wants to be a brand for all ages.

Trying to do both at the same time presents a challenge. How do you sell anti-aging products to Gen-Z customers who don’t resonate with “anti-aging” messaging and sell “anti-aging” products to older shoppers who don’t want skin care that looks like it was designed for a teenager? To stand out from every other maximalist beauty label, SpoiledChild has to first figure out who its consumer is.

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