Best known as the popular beauty and personal care subscription service, Birchbox recently launched LOC (Love of Colour), its first own-label make-up brand. Following the LOC launch at the end of 2015, the company has now released a second brand called Arrow, targeted at women leading busy lives. Formulated with a lightweight formula, the range is claimed to be ideal for women with active lifestyles such as those who exercise or visit the gym.

Mama mioExercise is an important part of the working routine for women in the UK as almost one in five female employees exercise at home or outdoors or take part in sport after work a few times a week. In order to fit exercise into their busy routines, 13% of female employees exercise a few times a week during their lunch break. In the US, 52% of adult women exercise regularly according to Mintel’s Healthy Lifestyles US 2015 report.

As such, beauty and personal care products targeting gym-goers or those who exercise during the working day is likely to appeal to busy, active women. Whilst skincare has seen innovations targeting pre- and post-exercise stages, such as the Mio Skincare Gym Kits, featuring workout wipes and Invigorating Muscle Gels, there has been little innovation in make-up for working out.

Cosmetics opportunities

Mintel’s Face Colour Cosmetics UK 2015 report shows high usage of face colour cosmetics. Just as there are products and advice helping women transform their make-up looks for different occasions, such as day to night, cosmetics designed for different levels of activity could appeal to women with busy lifestyles, as well as women who do not have time or prefer not to remove their make-up before exercising.

Birchbox’s Arrow range currently includes a Colour Enhancing Lip Balm which highlights the natural colour of the wearer’s lips and adjusts to the wearer’s pH; a Cooling Cheek Tint designed to be breathable and not clog pores, offering a cooling sensation; as well as an aluminium-free deodorant. The range will expand to also include a Soothing Facial Mist, On-the-Go Cleansing Cloths, Water-Resistant Mascara and Tinted Brow Gel.

Will we see more from Birchbox?

With the launch of its second own-label brand, Birchbox is indicating a move towards widening its own-label product portfolio. Birchbox has chosen not to include the company name on the branding of its own-label products, in a move to ensure the company is differentiated with its brands in the consumer mind. It also enables the company to position different brands for different needs, thereby underlining the expertise of each brand.

So far, the two brands offered by Birchbox target very different needs; with the LOC range focusing on vibrant shades and offering a new range of colours for each season. As a result, the company is ensuring the brands will not cannibalise each other, which also suggests the company could offer more brands targeting specific and varied needs.

What we think

Long-lasting is an important claim in a sector where usage is high, so products which can adapt to the skin and offer durability during different levels of activity are likely to appeal to women who may exercise or visit the gym during a typical day. With Arrow being the second own-label offering from Birchbox in the last six months, this indicates that the company may expand their own-label offerings further.

Roshida Khanom, Senior Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, joined in 2012 and writes about the OTC, Beauty & Personal Care industries. Prior to joining Mintel, she was a Senior Researcher at Procter & Gamble’s R&D department in the beauty division, where she launched products globally, identified trends and analysed consumer responses to new innovations with a particular focus in qualitative methods

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