ISSUE#42FEBRUARY 12, 2021A Publication of WWDAccountability MattersSeven months after beauty companies vowed to step up diversity and inclusivityefforts in the wake of the social justice movement, Beauty Inc looks at what firmshave done so far. For more, see pages 7 and 8. PLUS: Esi Eggleston Bracey on theCROWN Coalition and a spotlight on Black gaming influencers.ILLUSTRATION BY CAMILA GRAY
THE BUZZ2FEBRUARY 12, 2021Beauty BulletinBy theNumbers:BlackOwnedBeautyBusinessesOn YelpData from Yelp showsheightened interest inBlack-owned beautybusinesses. BY JAMES MANSODiverse brandcampaignsgarner higherengagementandconversion,according toreports fromEyecue andMagicLinks.Report: Beauty Brands Returned toPosting Darker Skin Tones Over Holidays Datafrom Eyecue andMagicLinks suggests that raciallyinclusive influencer campaignsperform better, with Black influencersgarnering a particularly highengagement and conversion rate.Following a spike in Instagramposts featuring darker skin tones,and a steep regression thatsuggested the initial increasewas performative, beauty brandsreturned to posting darker skintones on their feeds throughout theholiday season, a new report fromEyecue found.Presence of dark skin tones inimages grew by 25 percent overthe holidays in comparison to2019, according to Eyecue's report.That growth was still less than thesignificant increase that camein June 2020, though it is higherthan the subsequent regression inOctober. The trajectory suggeststhat “brands (re)focus on inclusionand diversity when planning contentfor key times of the year,” Eyecuewrote in its report.The largest increase in contentdiversity came from influencerand user-generated content,with medium or dark skin tonesaccounting for two-thirds of thiscontent during the 2020 holidayseason — up from half in 2019.Eyecue applied its artificialintelligence technology capabilitiesto analyze more than 170,000images from more than 80 beautybrands over the course of 2018through December 2020 for itsnewest report. The companyidentified at least one skin tone on65,000 portrait and closeup images,accounting for nearly 40 percent ofall of the content.The report was created in tandemwith one from influencer marketingagency MagicLinks, whose diversity,equity and inclusion team recentlyimplemented a 30 percent minimumTk Captionrequirement for racial diversityoftalent in all campaigns. In its report,the agency found brands thatincorporated greater racial diversityin their holiday campaigns sawbetter performance.“With instituting this 30 percentminimum in racial diversity, ourteam has been able to, in mostcases, double that,” said BryanMirabal, MagicLinks’ global creativestrategy and diversity, equity andinclusion lead. “It's been greatto see from brands that there'sinterest, there's cooperation.”Andrea Renee was the topperforming influencer in a Sephoracampaign run by MagicLinks.Influencers of color garnered a clickrate three times higher than thenorm in the campaign, which drovean engagement rate 52 percentabove goal. Additionally, the viewthrough rate was 110 percent higherthan expected.In a Giorgio Armani Beauty holidaycampaign, Monroe Steele garnereda conversion rate three times higherthan her peers', as well as thehighest amount of engagement.The campaign drove anengagement rate of 8.5 percent— twice the industry average — anda view-through rate of about14 percent — four times the industryaverage. —Alexa TietjenTHE PUSH TO BUY Black isn’t justhitting beauty products. Black-ownedprofessional beauty businessessuch as nail and hair salons, spasand barbershops have seen a liftin searches on Yelp, in spite ofchallenges to the professional sectorcaused by the pandemic.According to Yelp, searches forBlack-owned service businessesskyrocketed 2,400 percent in 2020,and Black-owned businesses sawa 232 percent increase in reviewmentions.“We’ve seen our user showunprecedented interest in Blackowned businesses,” said Tara Lewis,senior vice president of communityexpansion and trends at Yelp.Although momentum hasslowed — a statement from Yelpin August 2020 pointed to a 6,520percent growth in searches forBlack-owned businesses during thesummer months — the companycredits consistent growth to its owndiversity commitments.“This year, we launched asearchable attribute that givesbusinesses a way to identifythemselves as Black-owned,”Lewis said. Here, the top cities andsectors for Black-owned beautybusinesses in 2020.Tk CaptionTOP 5 CITIES FOR BLACKOWNED BEAUTY BUSINESSES1. atlanta2. st. louis3. philadelphia4. washington, d.c.5. baltimoreBEAUTY BUSINESSESBY PERCENT GROWTH1. barber shops 1,122 percent2. hair salons 499 percent3. nail salons 164 percent4. spas 55 percentSource: YelpTime period: Year-over-year, 2019 to 2020.
P O W E R E DB Y :WINNING CHINAMEANS PLAYING THELONG GAMEAs China’s beauty regulations shift, GED helps beauty brands decode thestate of play and navigate opportunities to build and scale.As China eliminates animal-testing on many beautyproducts, ethically mindedbeauty brands are eyeingthe market in a freshlight. Cruelty-free brands,and especially indiebrands, have long looked forward to thepotential opportunity.Entering China means connecting withsome of the world’s most discerning andhighly engaged beauty consumers. Withthe beauty market projected to grow to 60 billion in 2021 it will be the largestbeauty market in the world, according toGED. Though entering China will not bewithout its challenges as brands navigatecross-border distribution and launch to abroader audience.For cross-border beauty accelerator,GED, who has worked with brands including Caudalie, GlamGlow, and currently withDr. Barbara Sturm, RéVive Skincare, ToccaPerfume, T3, and Clark’s Botanicals, amongothers, to bring omnichannel experiences to life in China, commitment to brandbuilding is paramount in the cross-borderjourney. GED knows that to create a meaningful connection with China’s discerningGen Z and Millennial audience, brandsmust build awareness by localizing brandDNA and enhancing cultural relevance.Through education and social engagement,GED continues to establish brands’ lastingimpact and long-term success.Here, Jean-Philippe Benoist, founder and chief executive officer of GED,talks to WWD about the opportunityin cross-border distribution, de-riskingmarket entry, and how to resonate withChina’s beauty consumer.Fairchild Studio: How do you work withbrands to know if they are ready tolaunch in China?Jean-Philippe BenoistJean-Philippe Benoist: Brands must beclear on the strategic vision for their brandin China, and do their internal due diligence around appetite for risk, must-havesfrom their future partner, growth targets,marketing support, and financial, operational and supply chain readiness.Brands must understand their targetconsumer, the products that will resonateand why, and how their brand will be experienced and consumed. At the sametime, it is helpful to understand the driversof brand building – from seeding and organic engagement on social media, sellingthrough social commerce on RED, WeChatand Weibo, and increasingly on Kuaishou,Douyin and Bilibili, and eventually, harvesting on e-commerce platforms like Tmalland JD.com .Fairchild Studio: How does GED workwith brands to empower an omnichannel experience?J.P.B.: Pre-cross border, brand buildingwas concentrated in a few specialty beautychains including Sephora where GEDbuilt several brands from the ground up inChina including Caudalie and GlamGlow.Since the advent of cross border, the customer journey takes place on digital withthe last mile experience managed by Tmalland local resellers who deliver to theircustomers. Recently, with the emergenceof online to offline luxury beauty stores,GED is creating a seamless online to offline experience for its brand partners inluxury retail settings.Now, with the elimination of animaltesting, GED will help brands to prepareand position for brick-and-mortar retail.Initiating product registration is the firststep in this process. Cross-border distribution allows brands that aren’t registeredin China to sell to customers in mainlandChina. Distributors with warehouses withinfree trade zones in China and Hong Kongsell these brands on digital platforms such asRED, Taobao, and Tmall Global as well asin specialty brick-and-mortar beauty storesthat integrate online to offline selling.Fairchild Studio: What is China’s beautyconsumer looking for today?J.P.B.: China’s beauty market is fueled byavid Gen Z and Millennial consumers seeking innovation, quality and performance.The Chinese consumer takes their cue fromthe brand in its homegrown market – be itthe U.S. or elsewhere. They want to experience the brand on their terms and in theirvernacular. For instance, we help some ofour partners customize sets and packagingfor Chinese New Year to amplify their cultural relevance.The Gen Z and Millennial audiencelooks for a differentiated and authenticA beauty brand’s entryinto China meansconnecting with some ofthe most discerning andengaged consumers.China’s beautymarket isfueled by avidGen Z andMillennialconsumersseekinginnovation,quality andperformance.”Jean-Philippe BenoistFounder, chief executiveofficer, GEDbrand story with a value proposition basedon science-led innovation, a strong ingredient story and performance driven products. They do brand deep dives, extensively researching and reading reviews acrossmultiple platforms as part of their purchasedecision making.Fairchild Studio: When launching abrand in China how does GED builda strategy to maintain its DNA whileenhancing cultural relevance?J.P.B.: Educating on brand story, valueproposition, ingredient story and productperformance through handpicked KOLsand influencers who decode brand messaging for their micro-communities ofavid brand followers. In turn, they generate brand momentum and drive growthon leading social commerce platforms andsocial media platforms.Fairchild Studio: To that end, how arethe social media platforms in China similar or different than those in the U.S.?J.P.B.: China’s leading social media platfoms optimize shopability. As a datapoint,WeChat - China’s largest social messagingplatform – doubled total transactions in2020 to 247 billion in and the goal is togrow this further through short form videosto compete with leading short form platforms like Kuaishou and Bilibili.To scale sustainably and build brandequity, GED avoids the peaks and troughsof high-octane promotional selling by prioritizing organic engagement over live streaming on Tmall. We help brands set up theirown channels on WeChat, Weibo, and REDin addition to driving micro-communitybuilding collaborations and activations withkey opinion leaders, influencers, and celebrities on leading social media platforms.
NEWS FEED4FEBRUARY 12, 2021Carra Platform Gives PersonalizedAdvice for Textured HairThe U.K.-based beauty-tech service aims to scale internationally.BY JENNIFER WEILCARRA, a new beauty-techplatform, aims to become the premierdestination for personalized careroutines for Afro, curly and texturedhair, involving expert advice andproduct recommendations tailored toa client’s specific needs.It’s the brainchild of London-basedWinnie Awa, who started her careeras a software tester at IBM, afterstudying management and technology.Growing up in Nigeria, Awa saidshe was meant to pursue a traditionalcareer, but each one (think doctor,lawyer) was already snapped up byher six older siblings.“So I was like, ‘I’ll do computerscience,” she explained.However, while at Ernst & YoungAwa got the itch to work in fashion.“I was so overjoyed when I got inat Net-a-porter. They were still verymuch a start-up at that stage, and itwas an exciting opportunity to bringmy experience there,” she said. “Youcan imagine it was so hilarious when Ihave to tell my dad that I was leavingthe well-worn path of technologyconsulting to go to fashion. Iremember my sister counseling me:‘Just tell him e-commerce.’”Next stop was Asos and LVMHCarraMoët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. “Again,in the capacity of digital-customerexperience,” she said. “It really cameto a head when I was spending timebuilding really exciting consumerexperiences but when it came tohair care, specifically my hair care,I just struggled. It was a nightmare— be it in terms of finding the righttypes of products, services. There wasalways, as we call it, a k-leg, like anirregularity, somewhere.”That led her to start AntidoteStreet, an e-commerce platform ofcurated products for textured hair.Bevel Enters Walmart,Adds Products to HairAnd GroomingBevel is launching at 2,000 Walmart stores thismonth, continuing the momentum of a positivebusiness year in 2020. BY OBI ANYANWUBEVEL IS heading to Walmart thismonth with three new hair productsto start the year.This February, the men’s hair andgrooming brand will be available at2,000 Walmart locations in the U.S.and online, expanding its retail reachthat already includes Target, CVS,Sally Beauty and Amazon.The new products, a curl crèmeand two-in-one pomade for wavesand beard, serve the styling needs ofmen with longer hair and beards, andexfoliating pads aid shaving needs byclearing clogged pores and dead skinreducing the likelihood of ingrownhairs. The products ranging in pricefrom 11.95 to 13.95 will also beavailable on the Bevel website.Bevel kicked off 2020 with 11new hair and body products and anexperiential event in Chicago duringNBA All Star Weekend. Tia Cummings,vice president of marketing at Walker& Company Brands said the newproduct launch was a huge success,and since then they had seen businessgrow “tremendously.”“Sales are up over a year ago,” sheadded, with April, May and June beingvery strong months for the business,especially with grooming productslike home trimmers as barbershopswere mandated to close due to thepandemic. They also benefited fromretail partners like Target and CVSbeing allowed to remain open at thestart of lockdowns. June, in particular,was one of the biggest month