How Well Do Indie Beauty Brands Speak Millennial?

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 12 founders and executives: How do you market to millennials?

Teodora Saguna Co-Founder, Sarya Couture Makeup

The millennial, that individual that every marketer strives to catch. I read in a study some time ago, that millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.

That being said, our strategy is very much focused toward social media and authenticity. Our key communication channel with this target is Instagram. We know for sure that the millennial likes authenticity and real content. All our content, messages and product benefits are real. We collaborate with a lot of influencers and makeup artists that endorse and talk about our products because they love them, not because they are paid. We do not pay for product reviews, so all of our product reviews are true to the product benefits.

Our core philosophy is transparency, and we respect that from the ingredients we use in our products to communication. On Instagram, we encourage our fans and consumers to write us and tag our products so that we can always be in contact with them.  

As part of our millennial strategy, we also opted for subscription beauty boxes to help us build distribution for our products. Beauty boxes are a great way to obtain honest and real reviews from the subscribers. We believe in an honest and open communication with the millennial because that's the only way to win their hearts.

Janet Schriever Founder, Code of Harmony

I feel like "real" is always the way to go with millennials. There is so much out there to choose from and so many brands trying to sell you something on social media that it is overwhelming for consumers.

As an indie brand, I don't have a marketing team making posts for me, which means that my voice as a business person and experiences with my product are much more authentic than a brand that is trying to sell them something.

I also try and educate about the ingredients I use and the struggles of running a small business: a little education and a big dose of reality! I don't think that millennials, or any age group, follow companies as much as they follow the people behind the companies. I am very much of an introvert in many ways and have had to force myself out in front of the camera sometimes.

Jenni Curtice Founder, Luna Tea Co.

I am a millennial, so this comes naturally. I mostly use social media to market my brand and often I use slang words or phrases that are commonly used by people of our generation: terms like "goals," "bae," or "AF," for example.

I also like to include humor in my posts because it's authentic and that is important to me when branding. This usually resonates with our age group and also provides a more personal feeling behind the brand. I want people to know it's real people running this business, not some PC corporation with no feelings.

Trisha Watson Founder, Trisha Watson Organics

Millennials appreciate minimalism. I strongly feel simplistic skincare, organically and naturally-made, is ideal when marketing to millennials. Clean, artisan, waterless products with a reasonable price point, in my opinion, falls under the criteria of a minimalistic lifestyle and the preferred regime for the millennial generation, boasting a large potential in boosting millennial spending.

In my personal experiences, prior generations are still seeking water and oil, viscous-type emulsifications infused with additives and extracts to suit specific needs. Also, significant buzz words are essential in millennial marketing, words such as “effortless.” 

Sarah Marcus Founder, Lines of Elan

Millennials are flooded with marketing messages everywhere, so we definitely aim to be more relevant, timely and valuable with our messages to this segment. We’re also working to create more streamlined brand experiences between digital and brick-and-mortar touch points, including our key messaging and imagery, as well as working with partners to ensure brand knowledge at the retail level. The great news is that adopting this approach is important for all segments, so what we do well with millennials will help us with all of our customers, current and future.

Shayan Sadrolashrafi Co-Founder, Wakse

Our entire brand concept was meant to appeal to the social media consumer and millennials are right in the middle of that group. Every product we produce is meant to entice the consumer to want to post on Instagram.

Sally Olivia Kim CEO, Crushed Tonic

Millennials are reviews-driven. They turn to peer reviews before purchasing than any other generation prior. Of course, they still find white papers and clinical trials to be very important, but would rather hear from a user what actually happened after using the specific product rather than how the product performed under unnatural pressures of a laboratory or how many hertzes an electronic product can pick up.

Natasha Jay Founder, Pump Haircare

Our advertising imagery and video content has more of an organic or viral look and feel rather than slick, professionally-produced agency ads. I think millennials respond better to that. We use more traditional production for our more mature target audience.

Hedieh Asadi Founder, DeoDoc

We have a mission to empower and educate and our marketing in that sense does not change from generation to generation. Our retail partners do help us reach our core demographic of women, which is why we have been super selective in who we choose to partner with. They must have similar ideals of education and empowerment, like Violet Grey in the U.S., pharmacies in Scandinavia, Sephora in Germany, and Isetan in Japan.

PETER SCHAFRICK Founder, Schaf Skincare

My philosophy is to create something that improves people’s lives. I believe if I can do that, it appeals universally and across all demographics. While millennials are far and away the largest demographic that Schaf engages with on social media and on the website, I believe our message resonates with that market. I also believe that millennials are far more open to researching new brands. This is certainly an advantage to new brands that are honest, passionate, transparent, and strive to make a difference in people’s lives.

Katherine Ragusa Co-Founder, Lab to Beauty

Millennials want to be part of movements for change. We speak to millennials because we are on a mission. Our mission is that we are more than just skincare, we are a clean beauty movement. Just as the farm-to-table movement transformed the food industry, putting plants first and making clean eating a priority, Lab to Beauty is transforming the beauty industry and luxury market with our clean skincare movement centered around the pure potency and sensuality of plants with the supernatural healing effects of CBD, bottled fresh in the lab and brought right to your beauty routine.

Melinda Herron Founder, 103 Collection

Our target market is 24-45 so we definitely include strategies to attract millennials. We have been very creative on social media with IG Live, Facebook Live, but experiential marketing such as event activation seems to be very successful right now with millennials.

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