The big beauty brands – we all know who they are. In fact, we probably have at least some products sitting on our counters with their easily-recognizable logos.
Sure, the big brands are convenient, easy to find, easy to use and they feel familiar. So why even bother trying out smaller indie brands? To quote a cliché, "bigger is not always better."
The Money is in the “Banana Stand”
Larger brands spend millions and millions of dollars investing in big marketing and advertising campaigns or in creating fancy packaging. For indies like Source Vitál Apothecary, it is all about the product.
In order for an independent beauty brand to grow into a household name people have to buy into what they are selling. If they do not have a good product to start with this can’t happen.
Small brands spend their time and money on R&D and actually making products that solve problems for their customer base. It’s empowering for consumers to know that the products they use day in and out are actually worth the money they are paying for them and are not just a pretty package with a well-researched color scheme and a celebrity endorsement.
Ease of Innovation
It takes a lot of infrastructure to support the big brands' activities. From a Board of Directors to manufacturing to human resources to public relations, big brands have a lot of layers to their production. This often leads to the inevitable red tape which can slow down the decision-making process.
Smaller brands by comparison are much more nimble. The “little guys” aren’t as locked into production schedules, advertising timelines, or profit reports. This means they are able to respond more readily to meet their customers' needs and wants.
They are able to introduce new products to the market at a more rapid pace. There is a flexibility to try new things and introduce innovative ideas without having to wait for the bureaucracy to give the green flag.
Fueled by imagination and creativity, indie brands tend to serve niche markets. Think about the emergence of eco, natural beauty trends.
Unlike big brands they do not have to appeal to a huge audience – they don’t have to try to do everything for everyone. Instead, they can offer specialized formulas to solve specific beauty needs.
Smaller brands rely heavily on their fan base. There is a one-on-one connection a larger organization just can’t sustain. When a small brand grows and matures, their customers feel like they are a part of that success.
This means a better customer experience. Indie companies spend a lot of time engaging with their customers and understand how to fulfill their needs. Further, social media has further made it easier than ever for smaller brands to connect with a larger audience.
Independent companies interact more closely with their customers, allowing them to respond and innovate quickly to reflect the changing needs of consumers.
We live in a global society; the days of personally knowing the person who made the items you use in your daily life are definitely in the rear view mirror. However, in our growing, digital society there is a desire to reconnect within our communities.
Small beauty brands, even if they are an online retailer, start locally. When you buy products from an indie brand that money goes back into the community through the jobs the company creates, the suppliers it supports, and the tax revenue it generates. Plus, it’s fun to back a hometown hero.
Be a Trend Setter
We all have that friend who is the first to know about a really cool band, a hip new restaurant or the latest exercise craze. Discovering a new trend is fun – especially with beauty products.
Skin and body products can be very intimate. They can be positive influences in our lives. Maybe they improve our self-esteem, make our skin glow, or just feel really good. Sharing these experiences with friends and family is a way of showing your care and concern for their feelings as well.
Disrupt the Market
Indie beauty brands are having a huge impact in the crowded personal care market. More than ever they are leading the big brands to change the way they do business, interact with their customers, and talk about their products.
Natural skin care is a great example. The demand for cleaner, more natural products is changing the face of the skin and beauty market. We can see the big brands are trying to cash in on this by “greening” up their ingredient listings. One big reason this is happening is because the big brands are feeling the pressure from smaller brands that are committed to offering a more natural option.
Do you use big brands? Do you mix and match? Let us know in the comments section below.