Mubic is turning to emerging channels in the beauty market.
Beginning with cosmetic kit specialist One Click Beauty’s Amazon exclusivity, the new makeup brand incubator is steering clear of brick-and-mortar retail to uncover distribution opportunities that aren’t as saturated. Although its distribution strategy was developed prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Mubic’s emphasis on digital environments is particularly relevant at a moment in which physical stores are largely closed.
“What’s interesting today is that almost anything can be a distribution channel if you have the right fulfillment. Any social media network, media platform and venue can be a distribution channel,” says Jamie Glassman, who held marketing at L’Oréal, Rituals, Perch Interactive and Citibank before joining Mubic as CEO in November. “There are a lot of creative ways to think about distribution where people are having interactions with brands other than traditional retail and traditional websites.”
One Click Beauty, a new makeup brand from incubator Mubic, is exclusive to Amazon. It’s a participant in Amazon’s accelerator program.
Amazon is the biggest player in online beauty sales, and it’s making further inroads into the beauty industry. Beauty, health and personal care accounted for approximately 10% of total Amazon sales in 2019, per eMarketer. Last year, the giant e-tailer’s beauty, health and personal care sales were estimated at $20 billion. Amazon flexed its beauty muscles recently with the launches of in-house skincare brand Belei, Lady Gaga-fronted Amazon exclusive color cosmetics line Haus Laboratories and Fast Beauty Co., the first beauty brand out of its accelerator program.
One Click Beauty is part of Amazon’s accelerator as well. The accelerator enables brands to have private brand ties to Amazon, and tap into onboarding, marketing and merchandising support from the company. In the mass category where One Click Beauty resides, corporate behemoths don’t dominate on Amazon as they do in the big-box landscape, offering a less crowded route for upstarts like it to break through on the e-commerce hub. With 13% share, data from Edge by Ascential shows Maybelline New York holds the largest portion of face product sales on Amazon. The brand and L’Oréal Paris each command 18% of eye product sales. Virtual unknowns account for significant portions of beauty sales, including some 43% in the face product segment.
“There are a lot of creative ways to think about distribution where people are having interactions with brands other than traditional retail and traditional websites.”
“Price point is a serious consideration when you’re on Amazon and so is the way your packaging looks,” says Glassman. “The demand is always going to be there for universally wearable shades and high-quality products. To me, those are always mandatory in a brand. On Amazon, the additional mandatories are making sure the price point is accessible, and that the story is really easy to understand in two to three images.”
One Click Beauty is kicking off with 16 lip and eye makeup kits across two collections: B.active for quick, fresh makeup and B.seductive for bold styles. A collection called B.fabulous is due out in May and will bring the brand’s assortment to 24 kits. The eye and lip kits come in a variety of iterations, but are all priced at $24. One Click Beauty premiered last Tuesday and, during the short period it’s been live, the B.active The Cool Nudes three-piece kit with two lip crayons and a lip liner has been the overall bestseller. The bestseller in eyes is the B.seductive The Golds two-piece kit with a six-shadow eyeshadow palette and an eyeliner.
Jamie Glassman, CEO of Mubic and One Click Beauty
“What you have seen in makeup is this extreme artistry, and that’s from the YouTubers and makeup artists who are creating their own lines, but the majority of women aren’t creating these extreme artistry looks on themselves on a regular basis,” says Glassman. “Where One Click Beauty fits in is for ease and accessibility. It’s almost the opposite of artistry. You can get this great look for every moment of your life simply and without a lot of hassle.” She figures its core customers will be “women in their 20s and 30s who love how they feel when they are made up, but don’t generally commit to a full makeup artistry look.”
As result of coronavirus-related supply chain hiccups, One Click Beauty’s launch was delayed three weeks. It’s had to swiftly transition from Amazon handling logistics to handling logistics on its own through a partner, creating a social media campaign out of whole cloth that’s mindful of the ongoing crisis, and tempering sales expectations. The social media campaign, #facetheweek, invites people to embark on the day with a positive note by spotlighting a pop of color from their makeup routine that excites them. Glassman says One Click Beauty’s adjusted expectation is to sell 80% of the units it produced for its initial year in business. She declined to specify exact sales projections.
“You can get this great look for every moment of your life simply and without a lot of hassle.”
“What I have seen from our team is a focus, dedication to results and ability to pivot that has really impressed me. New issues arise every day, but we’ve found solutions to most of the issues,” says Glassman, continuing, “Outside of our financial objectives, I think the objective really is to build a community of like-minded people, and we have objectives around empowerment and being able to give back.” She mentions One Click Beauty will soon unveil a buy one, give one initiative for kits it sales on Amazon. The brand doesn’t have its own website and is sticking to selling only on Amazon.
Between full-time and part-employees, Glassman says Mubic has five to 10 people on its team. She says “private investors” back the incubator, but didn’t disclose their names. The next brand from Mubic is slated for release in 2021. It will pursue brand concepts spawned internally and externally. While it’s zeroing in on makeup brands primarily, Glassman says it wouldn’t rule out introducing skincare brands. Celebrity- and influencer-affiliated brands are definite possibilities. Mubic joins a growing group of beauty incubators. Among them are The Center, Maesa, Brandable, Luxury Brand Partners, SLG Brands, SL&Co. and Beach House Group.
One Click Beauty is kicking off with 16 lip and eye makeup kits across two collections: B.active for quick, fresh makeup and B.seductive for bold styles. Kits are priced at $24 each.
“Launching One Click Beauty on Amazon as Amazon starts to have a bigger footprint in beauty is the discovery phase of what brands under Mubic can and will do,” says Glassman, adding. “Mubic is unique as an accelerator and incubator in that we provide business management, manufacturing relationships and agency partnerships all under one umbrella.”