Passionate in Marketing caught up with Mr. Suraj Vazirani, Founder & CEO, The Beauty Co. & tried to understand from him the growth of the company, how they are catering to different segments of the market and what future holds for them.
Here is the full interview with him where he throws light on host of factors which has made The Beauty Co. to occupy a space in the beauty products market.
How did you start the company and how were the initial days like?
I had seen that despite the presence of countless beauty brands in the market, there were still a few crucial and untapped segments in the women’s grooming industry. Just as ecommerce was gaining momentum in India, I fell in love with ecommerce at the right time.
Since I always wanted to create a business and brand of my own and be a part of its journey and success. After my hand at Beardo and building its brand and run operations, I launched my own small business and private label – The Beauty Co., in 2018, in Ahmedabad.
How did you arrive at the brand name The Beauty Co. & why this brand name?
We were clear about keeping the brand that resonates with our offering. A brand name that is concise, easy to remember and informs the customer exactly about the offering. The team researched and brainstormed and came up with ‘The Beauty Co.’ which is apt.
Can you please elaborate on the brand journey of The Beauty Co.?
The Beauty Co. started by launching Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder and Coffee Scrubs on Amazon, which became instant hits. Soon after, the company launched a complete range of skin and hair care products, and started selling to Nykaa, Flipkart, Amazon, BigBasket, and Paytm, among others, who, in turn, sold directly to customers.
After they became hits on Amazon, the team and I decided to scale up. But we saw many women still preferred the traditional way of buying established and trusted beauty products instead of experimenting with new varieties.
Which target segment are you targeting with your products?
Our target audience is primarily women between the ages of 18 and 45. But our offerings are suitable to both men and women. Our customers are digital-savvy and spend time on social media, online shopping platforms and other digital activities.
We reach them through our domestic clients in the online space, such as Nykaa, Flipkart, Amazon, Big Basket, Paytm, etc. and our offline client, Nail Spa.
How are you trying to position the brand in the minds of the customers?
We are constantly reminded that our gender, colour, size, and sexuality defines us. Beauty brands play an important role in creating these stereotypes. As a beauty brand, we wanted to take a stand against these stereotypes.
We wanted to show that beauty lies in how we feel about ourselves. We ran a campaign named ‘UnType’ in November and December 2019, where our aim was to reach out to people of all genders and sexual preferences. It was a highly thought-provoking campaign. This campaign wanted people to feel beautiful regardless of the stereotypes that surround them. The objective of this campaign was to encourage everyone to embrace themselves. This proved to be a success and we got a total reach of 10.3 million in a short span of 12 days.
How the products are different from the other products in the market & what is the USP?
The Beauty Co. is a brand that aims to make its products with 100 percent natural ingredients. Most of our products are 99 percent to 100 percent natural, and they are carefully crafted to suit our customers’ needs. Made from natural ingredients, these products are pure, gentle, no-fuss and easy-to-use, even on the go. Further, the compact packaging makes them convenient to carry everywhere. We got the first mover advantage, pan-India, with our Coconut Shell Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder, dry Coffee Scrubs, Activated Charcoal Glitter Glow Mask or our bestseller – Rose Gold Oil.
How the products are competitively priced?
The products are priced between Rs 150 and Rs 1,450. We would like to say our brand is for the mass market in terms of the price points. The level of domain knowledge our team has is commendable. To stay of the competition, our in-house technical and marketing team gains an upper hand in understanding and rectifying our customers’ needs, wants, and issues at a fast pace.
You have taken ecommerce route. How successful is it and do you intend to take the traditional route in the future?
The Beauty Co.’s business is both B2B and B2C. B2B sales happen when we get clients who want our products for corporate gifting, or entities like Flipkart, Amazon, and Nykaa, who directly buy from us. The dealings with these online partners seem like B2B, but they ultimately sell our products to customers under our brand name, and this eventually becomes B2C. After finding success in selling our initial products online, we diversified into various skin and hair care products.
Which all mediums are you using to promote the brand? Recently you signed a brand ambassador who is a social media star so will social media be an important part of your growth strategy?
We began aggressive use of social media and targeted the audience with the right content, tried to figure out the needs and wants of today’s customers, and attempted to fulfill them, gradually. We will continue the use digital media, such as social media ads and influencer marketing, to target them. We curate multiple videos that they can relate to, such as the right way to use the product and its outcome.
How do you see the market in 2021 especially when the post-Covid impact will be seen in the market?
As per a study, India’s Rs 4.3-trillion fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market rebounded in June to pre-Covid-19 sales levels, but a big surprise was that the revival was led by the beauty category.
As far as the beauty category is concerned, customers are wanting to lay their hands-on products that make them look and feel good especially after stressful lockdown. And we’re expecting to see an uptick in the demand.
Considering, customers are going to more aware about what they use and avoid physical contact for grooming and pampering services. The Beauty Co. is offering made from natural ingredients, these products are pure, gentle, no-fuss and easy-to-use, even on the go. Further, the compact packaging makes them convenient to carry everywhere.
The road ahead for The Beauty Co. & what are the challenges you are facing now?
Our vision is to spearhead the online beauty sector with products made from 100 percent natural ingredients.
Being a bootstrapped brand, availability of capital remains the toughest issue. Building a private label, both online and offline, requires multiple resources to grow. For us, this process is being delayed. If we had surplus funds, the growth curve of our brand could have been three times what it is today. However, over the next three years, we aim to establish ourselves as a market leader in the space and get 4 to 5 percent market share.