Niche beauty brands have cleverly used online channels and social media to outsmart industry giants and build huge followings of loyal consumers. Here, Mintel’s Sarah Jindal, Senior Innovation & Insights Analyst, Beauty & Personal Care, shares three lessons digital marketers can learn from indie brands, including innovative case studies that highlight brands in action.

Lesson #2: Know your audience

Rather than trying to target every consumer segment, indie brands focus on a particular segment of choice in an effective way. By understanding who he/she/they are, the type of life they lead, how they want to be perceived, what and who influences them, and what they aspire to be, brands can create a persona that will resonate in an impactful way.

Case study: MDMFlow

UK-based indie brand MDMFlow started its life in a garden shed and has become a top-selling lipstick line. With a 90s hip-hop aesthetic reflected by gold metal packaging and products named after songs, MDMFlow has branched out from just lipsticks, but still stays true to its roots. MDMFlow’s social media, particularly Twitter and Instagram, tells the story of the lifestyle through images and video, drawing in like-minded consumers by the thousands.

MDMFlow was born out of frustration with the lack of lipstick shades to suit darker skin tones. The brand looked at consumer behaviors at the makeup counter and applied that knowledge to create a carefully-curated collection of lipstick shades that fall on the more unusual side of the color spectrum. Keeping the collection limited and seasonal makes the shade selection process much simpler for the brand’s target consumers who tend to buy on impulse when they see something they like.

“Listening to my consumer is really important. Every brand is personal.” – Founder, Florence Adepoju

MDMFlow’s founder Florence Adepoju sticks to her philosophy even as her brand gains in popularity. She believes that creating products is personal and knows that while not every shade of lipstick will appeal to every person, she believes they are wearable across skin tones.

One of the biggest beauty trends on Instagram today is sharing routines through the actual products being used, whether an image of a vanity or medicine cabinet, or products artfully arranged around a bathroom sink. Mintel research indicates that these posts could drive interest, particularly among America’s younger generations: three in 10 younger Millennials feel social media is a good platform for brands to reach them and nearly two in five tweens are drawn to social media posts with an artistic flair. This trend emphasizes the importance of attractive packaging when creating a buzzworthy brand.

Source: MDMFlow Instagram

Check out Sarah’s other post in this series here and here.

Sarah Jindal is Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care, at Mintel. In her role she regularly interfaces with key beauty clients and lends her expertise developing ingredient technologies for beauty and personal care.

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