LONDON, United Kingdom — The UK’s first-ever beauty accelerator has launched in support of emerging talent, as indie beauty brands, particularly those with wellness-focused and clean credentials, continue to reshape the $532 billion global beauty industry.
A joint initiative between international beauty brand consultancy Red Tree and early-stage investment firm SFC Capital, The Beauty Accelerator will see one emerging independent beauty brand receive £150,000 in funding, as well as 12 months of support and guidance from The Red Tree. The aim is to support the next generation of beauty brands and aid in the beauty market’s recovery post-COVID.
Speaking about the launch, Stirling Murray, Managing Director of The Red Tree explained: “There is an incredibly vibrant independent beauty brand scene in the UK with dynamic entrepreneurs driving game-changing innovation and creating disruptive brands.
“We will give one of these brands the chance to dramatically accelerate their growth through significant investment from SFC Capital and a year-long collaborative partnership with The Red Tree. Our world-class team has a wealth of commercial beauty experience and will provide strategic insights as well as access to a wide network of beauty industry contacts.”
Despite the fact there has been a frantic level of M&A activity within beauty and skincare in recent years, with wellness-focused indie brands such as Saie Beauty, Kosas, Kinship, Topicals, Versed and many more attracting investment, according to Stephen Page, CEO of SFC Capital, the beauty sector has been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. The Beauty Accelerator, is therefore, an important way to help activity return to normal as well as to continue highlighting the beauty industry as being an attractive and rewarding investment area.
“At SFC we are always on the lookout for impressive companies that will become world-leaders in their field, and we are confident we will see some incredible applications for this accelerator,” he commented.
The 5 finalist brands will have the chance to pitch directly to The Red Tree and SFC Capital in order to demonstrate that they are the worthy recipients of investment and collaboration.
But what exactly makes a game-changing wellness-focused beauty brand?
Here, The Red Tree shares its top tips:
Make sure your products work: Although marketing plays a huge part in a brand’s success, the single most important factor that makes consumers buy and rebuy your products is their functionality. There has been a huge amount of innovation in natural products, so it’s no longer the case that natural products are deemed to be less effective than their synthetic alternatives.
Know what makes your brand stand out: Vegan and cruelty-free are not enough to differentiate a beauty brand in any space, and particularly within the wellness category. A game-changing brand needs to be clear on its unique selling points and why they are relevant at both a consumer and retailer level.
Be a conscious brand: Wellness consumers want to look after and invest in themselves, therefore they have expectations that these conscious choices will be continued in the beauty products that they purchase and use. Considerations here can range from environmentally friendly packaging, raw materials and the impact your brand has on the world. If you do have a purpose linked to your brand, this needs to be relevant, personal and authentic.
Demonstrate honesty and transparency: Clean beauty is a term used very frequently, yet there is no clear definition of what that actually means. Brands that push the boundaries in both the choices they make and how they communicate them to their communities will really stand out.