We’re continuing today with this month’s content theme – hot beauty news! All throughout September I’m giving you just a small taste of what’s current and relevant in beauty today. Last week I complied a great big list of the newest foundation launches from Kevyn Aucoin, to Charlotte Tilbury, to NYX and beyond. It’s a good one so make sure you give it a read!
This week we’re going to take a step back from the products and talk a bit about the business behind beauty. I don’t think anyone can deny the enormity of Fenty Beauty, the Rihanna-founded beauty brand, in terms of sales, media exposure, public opinion and strength of messaging. Last year Time Magazine named it one of their Top 50 Genius Companies. Without a doubt, it’s now an integral player in the game of beauty. What’s the key to their success?
When the brand debuted in 2017, it made a big bold statement about inclusivity when the original Pro Filt’r Foundation launched with 40 diverse shades. This started a ripple effect that’s still strong today (the “Fenty effect”), as 40 has become the new industry standard. And guess what, it turns out that putting inclusivity at the heart of your business model is also great for your bank account. Apparently in its first month of life, Fenty racked up $72 million in sales alone; in its first year of life, that number ticked up to over $500 million.
For the brand that seems to have it all, what is Fenty Beauty’s next big move? Let’s talk about what’s already occurred, what’s likely to come, and what could possibly happen.
MORE INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION
Fenty debuted simultaneously in 1600 stores across 17 countries in 2017; they were not playing around! But oh wait, there’s still more of the globe to be conquered! I recently read that Fenty has – just this month – finally expanded into parts of the Asian markets, particularly into China and South Korea. This piece of news is actually what inspired me to write this post. China is the second biggest market for beauty after the U.S., so this is huge news for Fenty. This will expose the brand to millions of new customers and promotional opportunities, all without compromising their cruelty-free status apparently.
Expanding into skincare seems like a logical next move for the brand, as more and more customers adopt the whole “skin-first” approach to beauty. Skin is a category that doesn’t seem to be slowing down in terms of interest, engagement and sales; Fenty would do well to try and capture some of that dynamic. In fact, when they released their Pro Kiss’r Lip Balm and Scrubstick earlier this year, I was sure they were testing the waters in that direction. Well, it turns out a trademark was filed back in March of this year for “Fenty Skin” which includes “…medicated and non-medicated skincare, soap, body care and personal care products (excluding color cosmetics, perfume and other fragrance-only products), and related accessories such as kits, tools and applicators.” So it appears skincare by Fenty is definitely in the works. My guess is it will debut sometime in 2020 or 2021.
WHAT DO I THINK WILL BE FENTY BEAUTY’S NEXT BIG MOVE?
So it’s prediction time! These are listed in no particular order.
My first prediction is FRAGRANCE. Rihanna already has a long history with fragrances (she’s released something like 11 perfumes already), so to me this seems like a no-brainer for Fenty. Main-stay brands like Estee Lauder and MAC have released their own scents, as well as newer e-commerce brands like Glossier; there’s definitely a template for beauty brands to cross-over into the world of fragrance. (Not that Fenty needs a template for anything, but you know what I mean!)
My second prediction – and this one may seem crazy and wild-cardish – is INTIMATE CARE or “V-care” products. I’ve been seeing this pop up time and again this year in various articles and even some industry reports. You had the natural/green beauty movement, then you had the CBD phenomenon, and now there’s products coming out to help you take care of everything “down there.” If you don’t believe me, just do a quick Google search and you’ll see – V-care is an actual trend. It’s an offshoot of the overall body wellness movement that aims to educate and empower women about sex, their bodies, and their mindset. Both Fenty and Rihanna’s tendency to be industry leaders, trendsetters and statement-makers could potentially lead them down the sexual wellness path.
My last prediction has to do with INCREASED SALES CHANNELS. If you haven’t already heard Rihanna is now the head of Fenty Maison, a new luxury fashion house where she is the first female, first celebrity, and first woman of color to launch her own label within the LVMH group. (Fenty Beauty is owned by Kendo who is owned by LVMH, by the way.) It’s been covered by tons of publications, and given tons of importance not just in the world of fashion and luxury but also in personal and celebrity branding. I have no doubt that Fenty Maison will either have a flagship store or pop-up’s around the world; this could potentially expose Fenty Beauty to a whole new luxury market of buyers both in store and online. I see no reason why Rihanna’s beauty line wouldn’t be sold alongside her namesake fashions.
Now it’s your turn – what do you think will be Fenty Beauty’s next big move? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I’ve listed, but also what you predict as well. Pop them in the comments below!
NOTE: all images courtesy of Fenty’s Instagram.