Beauty Brands Entering the UK Market - Bespoke Advantage

How Beauty Brands enter the UK Market

We have been in discussions with numerous companies over the past few weeks on how they can enter the UK beauty and wellness market. There are a number of different ways, but also some key considerations. The beauty and personal care industry contributed £24.5 billion to the UK economy in 2022. This was a drop of 28.1% compared to pre-pandemic levels (British Beauty Council). That said, this is a resilient sector that continues to evolve and grow. Despite no longer being a part of the EU, many international brands see the UK as their entry into the EU due to the strong brand exposure they may gain.

Launching a beauty brand into the UK market involves a combination of strategic planning, market research, regulatory compliance, and effective marketing. So, what should you be considering when looking to enter this cosmopolitan and pivotally positioned market?

Conduct thorough Market Research – start identifying your target audience and analysing the competitive landscape. Understanding current beauty trends and consumer preferences in the UK will help tailor your offerings to meet market demands.

Develop Compliant Products – ensure your products meet UK cosmetic regulations. This includes safety assessments, proper labelling, and ingredient compliance. Register products with the relevant regulatory bodies and securing product liability insurance is vital.

Craft a Strong Brand Identity – creating a unique brand identity with a compelling story, eye-catching logo, and consistent visual style is vital to your success. Your brand should resonate with UK consumers and stand out in a crowded market.

Implement a Strategic Marketing Plan – leverage digital marketing channels such as social media, content marketing, and influencer partnerships to build brand awareness. Setting up an e-commerce platform is essential for reaching a broader audience.

Establish Retail Partnerships – consider stocking products in well-known UK beauty retailers like Boots, Superdrug, and online platforms like Cult Beauty. Retail partnerships can significantly boost your brand’s visibility and credibility.

Focus on Distribution and Logistics – and partner with reliable logistics providers to ensure efficient and timely delivery. A robust customer service system is crucial for handling inquiries, returns, and complaints, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

PR Event  – organising a launch event to introduce your brand to the UK market will create buzz and drive brand awareness and visibility. Support these events with experiential retail through masterclasses, education, sampling.

Monitor and Adapt – collect and analyse customer feedback and sales data to continuously improve your products and strategies to stay agile and responsive to market trends. This will help sustain your brand’s growth.

We spoke to Andrea Meikle – Cosmetic RP Team Leader from Advena, one of the leading regulatory and compliance companies in the UK regarding their advice for new beauty and wellness brands entering the market.

As a starting point what do new beauty and wellness brands need to consider when looking to enter the market? ‘Before your product can be placed on the UK market it must meet Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 on​ Cosmetic Products, as amended by the Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. For The European Cosmetic Regulation EU 1223/2009 requires you to appoint a ‘Responsible Person’ in​​​ the UK for each of your products. Ultimately the UKRP defaults to the UK distributor but can be delegated by the distributor to another party.  The ‘Responsible Person’ must ensure compliance of the products, particularly compliance relating to human health, safety and consumer information, Article 4 UK Cosmetic Product Regulations.  At Advena we can work as your Responsible Person to ensure you are compliant.’

What are the labelling and packaging requirements for cosmetic products in the UK? ‘Cosmetic products shall be made available on the UK market only where the container and packaging of the products, bears the information listed in Article 19 of the UK Regulation:  The requirements are the name and address of the Responsible Person on the container and packaging.  The full INCI list of ingredients including allergens, country of origin, best before date/period after opening (PAO), warning statements/s and precautionary information, batch code and any claims which meet the UK requirements.’

As you expand your brand across markets, not only do you need to consider which retail partners to approach, you also need to consider how you are going to fulfil your stock requirements, what implications this has on your regulatory and compliance and the tax implications of expanding internationally. Entering a new market requires a carefully thought-out strategy, get in touch today to discuss your market entry strategy going forward –

Bespoke Advantage is a London based brand consultancy specialising in working with award-winning brands, retailers, investors, trade bodies and embassies to support you in developing and growing your brand across the marketplace.