Heritage Beauty Brands Driving Growth - Bespoke Advantage

How are heritage brands winning over new customers?

There was a time when beauty was considered something of a luxury – products you bought for a special occasion. However, these days, beauty is about expressing yourself. The beauty industry comprises of different categories from skincare, cosmetics, haircare and wellness.

Thanks to social media, digital access and huge volumes of online content throughout various platforms, the beauty industry has been transformed. Consumers are doing their research to discover product ingredients, trending items, and the latest skincare regimes. They are also starting to explore the worlds of D2C brands, digital shopping platforms, beauty tech, and VR. And it goes without saying that millennials and Gen Zer’s are leading this change and have turned the industry on its head over the past few years.

Heritage beauty brands are riding the wave of change, shifting gears from old-school marketing to crafting stories with purpose that gel with a younger crowd. It’s all about what makes Gen Z tick. This isn’t just a change in strategy; it’s a whole new playbook designed to capture the hearts of Gen Z and Alpha consumers, who crave fresh, innovative approaches. From collaborations and brand extensions, certain legacy brands are building exciting experiences for their customers.

Maybelline is hitting the mark with younger audiences by making social media its battlefield, especially on TikTok, where its Sky High mascara line has become a sensation thanks to clever promotions and a mix of different online activities. The brand caught the eyes of consumers with an imaginative and interactive mascara campaign in London. The L’Oréal-owned company adorned trains and buses with colossal eyelashes, which were met with giant mascara wands protruding from buildings and posters across the London Underground. The brand wanted to disrupt the market by putting their products in the limelight. By showcasing their product in a fun and imaginative way, they have successfully garnered attention and sparked conversations amongst consumers.

Estee Lauder is another big industry contender that everyone is aware of – it has several brands underneath it’s umbrella which are turning heads. The brands are recognised for their collaborations. Last summer, they announced an exclusive partnership with football brand Manchester United. The major focus was to extend  their footprint in China and APAC through the engagement of Manchester United’s fans in the region. The club has 250 million followers in China alone. The new partnership kicked off by shining the spotlight on Advanced Night Repair, which is their number one selling serum. The brand recently collaborated with Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukerjee. The designer is best known for his genre-defining bridalwear. The exclusive collaboration between Sabyasachi and Estée Lauder celebrates the colours and culture of India. Each lipstick shade has been inspired by the intricate threads of Sabyasachi’s designs. The 10-limited edition collection of lipsticks boasts rich, warm and intense hues that are formulated with creamy matte textures for a luxurious feel.


British cosmetics brand Rimmel London, founded in 1834 which is now owned by Coty is one of the world’s oldest cosmetics brands, with a rich history that includes Royal Warrants from all over Europe, including from Queen Victoria. The brand has a long tradition of innovation, having pioneered many beauty products, including the first-ever non-toxic mascara. Today, the brand is still at the cutting-edge, with trends, rather than its abundant heritage, taking centre stage. Rimmel uses digital platforms to full effect as a springboard for engagement. Virtual makeovers, “backstage” views, news, competitions, collaborations, advertisements and street style are all evolving from the brand.

Another brand which has been around for over twenty years that has been pioneering the skincare category is Paula’s Choice. Created in 1995 by internationally renowned beauty and skincare expert, Paula Begoun in a commitment to consumer advocacy and education, the brand mainly consisted of customers who are now Gen-Z’s parents and grandparents. However, the brand is loved by everyone from teenagers with acne to adults with anti-aging concerns. With innovative new products, personalised experiences paired with results is what the new age customer is looking for.

As hard as it is for heritage brands to develop loyalty and repeat purchases from new customers, it’s the same for new indie brands vying to attract their fan base. Brands are entering the beauty world on a daily basis hoping to become the next best thing. In this current climate, indie brands have quickly risen to be a strong segment in beauty, representing $30.5B in sales and capturing a 32% dollar share of the category.  Topicals is a Gen Z founded brand by two young girls of colour. They  both suffered from skin issues growing up. Their mission was simple: To help others. Their products target skincare concerns using only scientifically studied ingredients with proven results. Additionally, they have a scientific advisory board of chemists and dermatologists to ensure their formulas are safe and effective. Bubble, another skincare brand has exceeded all expectations. Bubble burst onto the scene in November 2020 with input from a community of more than 10,000 consumers and celebrities. Bubble’s plant-based, science-backed formulas address a number of skin concerns in young people from acne to sun protection and dryness, housed in vibrant packaging at an affordable price.

If you’re an existing brand planning to diversify your current lines and need help with a creative strategy to attract a new customer base, get in touch. We would love to help you – www.thebespokeadvage.com.

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.