Business expert Simrita Dhillon explains how to launch a beauty brand in India

Business expert Simrita Dhillon shares her experience and advice on how to launch and establish a beauty brand in India.

The beauty industry is booming. From Nykka’s Falguni Nayar becoming India’s richest self-made billionaire woman to MyGlamm’s status as a unicorn business, 2021 has seen rapid growth in local beauty businesses. And while the business is going well, getting into and establishing yourself in the beauty industry is no easy task. We have Simrita Dhillon, founder of SANDA and business expert who has been instrumental in launching various beauty brands in India, to talk about the beauty industry.

“In light of the rapid digitalization of business, a tremendous impact has been observed on the beauty and skin care industry which has transformed the retail landscape in India. This has not only enabled brands to harness the power of digital media to shape brand perception, but has also helped them understand how the Indian consumer is ready to consider new names in the market. Because of this, a myriad of D2C beauty brands have surfaced desirably taking advantage of the digital sphere, e-commerce platforms and a large influencer base on Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms. », Shares Dhillon.

The independent global D2C brands have undeniably come into the limelight over the past decade. Taking the example of the giant brands – Shani Darden, Nabla Cosmetics and Mellow cosmetics, Simrita Dhillon helps us understand how to identify and fill market gaps.

Simrita Dhillon uses 3 independent brands to illustrate how to launch a beauty brand in India:

Darden and the power of a unique formula

Darden has incorporated the knowledge she gained from working with people with all kinds of skin conditions into her product. This helped her find some kind of formula for her mild retinol serums that had never been on the market before. Having imagined a product different from all of its counterparts has definitely given it an edge over the competition. In a way, she gave her customers what they asked for, and with any brand that keeps the interests of her customers in mind, she is surely monitoring Indian consumer behavior. Shani Darden offers tailor-made formulas according to the exact preferences and needs of her clients’ skin types. Indian clients tend to swoon over solutions that directly target their areas of claim.

Nabla Cosmetics and the magic of beauty influencers

Nabla Cosmetics, on the other hand, strives to provide its customers with a wide range of skin-friendly beauty products through its comprehensive marketing approach. Their merit lies in providing high-quality cosmetics at an affordable price. They choose to increase their sales effectively, through beauty influencers and their large subscriber base, which an average Indian beauty consumer seeks to foster in their purchasing decision.

Mellow Cosmetics and the importance of packaging

Mellow Cosmetics started out in a small garage with just four products. He began to see the light of success with his exceptional marketing attitude and his way of focusing on customer demands. Besides the quality of the product, founder Ima Asali pays special attention to packaging as she realizes that people want something that looks great on their shelves and vanity. A strong point for cruelty-free cosmetics and a strong point for purchasing from an ecommerce site’s perspective where the buyer cannot actually physically test the product.

“Just like these brands, a brand that is interested in the Indian market can capitalize on the fact that Indian consumers are always looking for brands that offer a personalized solution and meet their aspiration quotient,” adds Dhillon.

Tips for starting a beauty brand in India, according to Simrita Dhillon:

1. Create the e-commerce ecosystem

DTC beauty brands have chosen to develop a dedicated website in order to connect with their customers and showcase their products to their target audience in India. Owning a digital real estate dedicated to Indian consumers helps to track the SKUs that are working positively in the market and at the same time to share information about the consumer journey on the website. An added benefit that comes with this investment is that business owners have access to customer information and generate it which can further be the guiding medium for future business decisions.

The branded website address also links to e-commerce sites where the customer has the freedom to shop effortlessly from any site where they are registered. The sites make marketing efforts that are sure to show effective results and achieve market goals.

According to a recent study by Essence, 49% of Indians make their buying decision on a social platform – encouraging the emergence of the next form of retail, namely social commerce. And needless to say, the same report tells us that the beauty industry was the most purchased category with 39% of all purchases in India related to beauty products. To put this into perspective with the leader in social commerce, the most purchased category in China is clothing and groceries (64%).

Image courtesy of NABLA Cosmetics Instagram.
Image courtesy of NABLA Cosmetics Instagram.

2. Find the right partner

Choosing the right Indian partner for a D2C business or any other brand looking for growth opportunities in the thriving Indian market is one of the key aspects of its success. Finding the right person to represent the brand is very important when it comes to operating on a large scale digitally. It becomes imperative for the brand to define the right consumer profile and the right market segment. Every brand is unique and there is no one size fits all. The partner must really be invested in the vision of the brand and have diligent efforts to make the unexplored ground work with it. This allows the brand to present itself among the best resources on the market.

3. Boots on the ground

The first step to being successful in the Indian market is to have your boots on the ground. A reliable team that is familiar with the market conditions in which they operate and the demands of their clients will save a fortune in travel and infrastructure costs. This can only be made possible when there are strong brand decision makers who can help a business owner achieve the sales and marketing metrics, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) for Indian marketing efforts. as well as the presentation of work strategies in accordance with consumer trends.

All contributions by Simrita Dhillon.

Header Image: Courtesy of Darden Instagram. Featured Image: Courtesy of Nabla Cosmetics Instagram.

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