How 'brash' indie brands are surpassing hair care giants online

New beauty e-commerce insight reveals how start-ups and independents are gaining one up on cosmetics industry conglomerates

Indie brands are making waves in the hair care industry, as they optimise discoverability from the ground up.

According to the L2 Report, Hair Care and Color Brands, independents are creating products developed for Google and Amazon search algorithms.

The report reveals that 40% of Google hair care searches specify a brand, down from 44% the year before.

Consumers are increasingly researching products specific to their hair type, gender and ethnicity and by product ingredients; searches for tea tree, coconut milk and keratin were the most popular searches last month.

L2 noted that larger brands, such as Herbal Essences, are now tailoring their NPD to this, but smaller brands still have the digital advantage.

Indies are exploiting new social media marketing tactics, such as Instagram stories, and many are said to be testing the water with unconventional sales models, including chatbots.

The research also found that indie brands have enforced a mobile first strategy, with 100% of smaller brands having a mobile-optimised site as opposed to 93% of those owned by major beauty companies.

Giulia Prati, Associate Director of Beauty Research at L2, said: “Brash indie players are challenging heritage brands, who in lieu of large budgets, are rapidly gaining market share and consumer loyalty by taking a mobile-first approach to digital, exploring new growth channels, focusing on savvy social media strategies and forging unique partnerships."

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