Founders And Executives Share How Often Their Beauty Brands Launch Products

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions relevant to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 19 brands founders and executives: How often do you launch new products, and what are the reasons for the product release cadence?

Lauren Lovelady Co-founder and CEO, Each & Every

We try to launch new products quarterly so that we have a steady drumbeat of new and exciting things to try. Launch timing is always a puzzle of when products are ready and when we can fit them into our content calendar to give them time to shine.

ALEXIA WAMBUA Founder, Native Atlas

We aim to have new products launch seasonally, but we definitely don't limit ourselves to that. The reason we typically structure our launches to be seasonal is that people are ready for something new with each season. More importantly, your skin needs differ at various times of the year due to changes in the weather, environment and other stressors.

Tiffany Brown Founder, Bathe Brand

We focused our first year on pushing our debut collection and brand story. I felt that introducing new products too early could actually hinder our customers from understanding our unique ritual and core products. It’s been great to see our community grow, and we look forward to the release of additional offerings, which are designed to enrich the experience of our core collection.

LISA PINEIRO Founder and CEO, Glotrition

In general, we have a strategy of launching at least one meaningful innovation per season or two per year.  However, with the dramatic surge of the beauty wellness category in 2020, this accelerated our normal strategy.  Consumers' interest in self-care and in finding products to not only enhance their appearance, but also their overall well-being, increased dramatically during the pandemic.  This led us to accelerate the launch of additional ingestible formulas targeted to specific needs like sleep and immunity support, with three new formulas launched by January 2021 to better align with consumer trends.

Janelle Friedman Founder, GoodJanes

We try very diligently to stay current with the market and launch new products every six months. However, because of the COVID pandemic and the numerous industry layoffs in our laboratories, it has been difficult to maintain our new product launch schedule.

Jordan Schindler Founder and CEO, Nufabrx

Once per quarter is the maximum operating efficiency that we’ve seen from our company. Too fast and steps get missed. Too slow, and we’re not bringing innovation to market quickly enough and risk losing customers.

LISSETTE MONZON Founder, Lilly Be

It used to be that I would simply create a new product and take it to market. I would introduce it to my customers, and it would become a part of my line. Now that I have been in business a bit longer and am expanding my reach digitally versus only locally, I have researched much more about the art of launching. To be a truly successful launch, there is a lot of pre-planning involved, from formulating, manufacturing, marketing, photography, email campaigns and more. 

Launching is a much more focused and intentional process for me. I studied books such as "Launch" by Jeff Walker and have started working with brand strategist Aggie Burnett in her Beauty Brand Launch Method. So, over the past year or two, I haven’t launched any new products. Rather, I have been researching the process and planning. With that said, you can expect to see some fun seasonal launches in 2021. I can’t wait to share the new formulas and amazing new ingredients.

Daisy Kalnina Founder, PEACCI

We try to adhere to a quarterly launch schedule, but primarily we focus on delivering market-ready and customer-centric products. For us, a product launch is an exercise in creativity and imagination. Yes, there are timely trends at play there, but what we always strive to do with every launch is exceed our customers’ expectations and wow and delight them. 

I’m typically very hands-on and definitely a creative force behind the operation. I also have a natural sense for what the market needs and a vision for how to deliver it. Without sounding like a cliche, we do really listen to our customers. For example, our Nu Nudes Collection, which came out last year, was released in response to our customers’ requests for a more diverse nude palette that would complement a variety of skin tones. This collection celebrates diversity and inclusion, the core principles at the heart of everything we do. 

We are constantly brainstorming and keeping our ear to the ground. In most cases, inspiration strikes unexpectedly, and we’re working in full mode to make it come to life. Ideally, we try to work two quarters out so that we have plenty of time to get our customers excited and tell the story. 

I’d say listen to your customers and create an environment of collaboration within your team. We’re so lucky to have such a strong following of engaged and passionate individuals. We truly feel that every customer is part of #TeamTGB. Bottom line is know your market, listen to your customers and put quality first.

SIRKKU HAHN Founder and CEO, Inari Arctic Beauty

After two and a half years, we are still a fairly young company and, so far, our launch schedule has not followed a strict pattern. We stand for effective simplicity in skincare, avoiding over complexity with too much layering and won’t launch products with a tight schedule just for a sake of offering newness. Our goal is to have a range that holds only the essentials, which I guess is a typical Nordic way of thinking. 

We are certainly working on new formulations, but analyze carefully what is really needed and in which order. Our product development is a slow process, as all formulations are developed from scratch, and we do not buy ready-made formulations. Due to COVID-19, we have postponed our R&D plans and focused instead on our relaunch. We wanted to bring the brand back to its roots, to its birthplace in Northern Finland, and invested time and resources on this.

PURVISHA PATEL Dermatologist and Founder, Visha Skincare

We are a cosmeceutical beauty brand, and we launch products when we see a need in the market or a change in the future needs. The launches are scheduled depending on the need. For example, our Face2Feet body balm would be launched before fall when there is a need for a moisturizing product. 

We do not always launch new products. You can also relaunch a product for a different indication. For example, our Top2Toe all-over body wash was formulated and developed for athletic skin or sweaty skin needs as it is an antimicrobial wash to be used as a shampoo, face wash, shave wash and body wash. This product has come to the forefront in this pandemic as there is a need for such a wash to use during our second "COVID showers" after being in public. Keeping your pulse on the needs of your consumers should influence your launches.

Alison Romash Deputy CMO and Head of Sales, BH Cosmetics

As a digitally native omnichannel masstige beauty brand, we have a very robust launch schedule and launch anywhere from one to four new collections per month, creating well over 100 new SKUs per year!  We ensure we’re dropping innovation every month so as to maintain a constant dialogue with our always-on beauty enthusiast community. Our consumers are highly engaged and not afraid to tell us what they like, hate or want—and they expect us to listen and deliver. 

Agility and speed to market are critical components of our launch schedule, so we ensure flexibility in our calendar as needed. The biggest launch periods are aligned with our consumers’ makeup purchase habits such as Halloween and holiday along with seasonal trends. Having such a large innovation pipeline also allows us to create exclusive products for some of our key retail partners' specific customer preferences such as Ulta in the U.S. and dm in Germany.

Chris Payne CEO, Jane Iredale

While we don’t have a set schedule, we like to pulse innovation and newness throughout the year. Makeup is fun and playful, and yet also can make a major impact in our customer lives. So, we want our calendar to keep her engaged, whether that’s a major launch with skin-loving clean formulations, a shade extension of an existing fan favorite, an update to a classic formula or even a seasonal pop of fun. The key is to provide newness without overcrowding, and only launching when the formula is truly deserving to be launched.

SELMIN KARATAS Co-Founder and CEO, Kazani

I launched a new product three years after my first product. I was on the verge of launching more, but then the pandemic happened, and it changed our plans. The pandemic seems it will stay with us for a while. Thus, I am thinking of launching some new products by the end of 2021.

JOE FREEMAN CEO, MedZone, Zone Naturals and SweatZone

We launch new products when we can identify a need. Annually, we review to see what we can add for our customers, but, if a great opportunity comes up, we will work quickly to get the best product possible into the market.

Emma Zwissler Founder, The Sunday Standard

We launched our line in November 2018 with four products and have yet to launch another. It’s been something we’ve been working on very hard for the past 12 months, but, as a single-founder-run company where the product formulator is also the one answering emails and shipping orders, time to formulate is hard to come by and, of course, we want to get it just right. 

I feel fortunate to have a very supportive customer base with clients who have been with us from the very beginning. We rely on information and input from them to determine what kinds of products they want to see from us, and use that information to guide our planned product rollout.

Max Oberloher COO, Niche Beauty Lab

We do not have any launch schedule for new products simply because we never know when we may find a new niche. Whenever we detect a new trend or a market niche opens up, which has been paid only little attention in the past, we activate our brand development process. 

Simultaneously, the right formulas are developed, packaging solutions are designed and sourced, and a marketing plan is established. This may not usually apply to an indie beauty brand, but the main idea is clear: Launch a new product or brand soon after a trend emerges or consumers start demanding something you could do, but is not already part of your portfolio. However, the key is to market your products always in the shortest possible time after the detection of the need. In our case, this means in less than six months, and we try to launch several new brands per year depending on trends and consumer demands.

Jennifer Lee VP, LAPCOS

As has been our process since inception, we work directly with my product development team in South Korea. It is a core part of our heritage and mission to utilize the finest ingredients, technology and research to create our products, and much of that lives in the global beauty capital in Seoul, South Korea. 

Because of the nature of last year, we mainly focused on one core innovation, our Dr. 14 Vital Care Shampoo, which was an entirely new category for us and took a lot of research and development as we executed nine clinical studies to prove its efficacies. We also debuted our Live Well Face Masks, which have become a media and celebrity darling beloved by the top A-listers across the country. This is also due to its very unique fabric created with special technology in Korea that makes it both ultra-protective and super breathable.  

For 2021, LAPCOS is already working on five to six launches, with even more to come down the pipeline. Our 2020 marketing calendar was directly informed by what consumers needed most during quarantine,as well as the fact that I was limited in my travel to Korea to oversee R&D. Two of my trips to Korea were canceled due to COVID, which has been an interesting and almost a backwards way of working virtually with my team. Nevertheless, it was a highly successful year that led to unexpected growth in new and different categories, and we are excited to see what 2021 brings.

Regis Haberkorn President and Co-Founder, Priori Skincare

It is part of our DNA to source advanced skincare technologies all the time. So, once we have developed an innovation, we launch new products. We also analyze gaps in our assortment, and listen to our client’s feedback and needs and, then, launch products.

Carolyn Aronson CEO and Founder, It's A 10 Haircare and Be A 10 Cosmetics

We launch new products based on our distributors' calendar. We align on the best time for the distributor to launch our products, which varies. However, it’s typically once or twice a year.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, please send it to [email protected].