Clean beauty retailer Follain is getting in on the private-label game with the launch of four products on April 16.
While the company has released one-off products throughout its six-year history, including a refillable soap, a candle and a deodorant, this is the first time it’s launching a collection of products and calling attention to its activity in the product space. The new products include a body scrub, a lip balm, a soap and a body oil spray. Follain will expand its product portfolio in late 2019.
Currently, Follain has six store locations, including in Boston and New York City. It plans to open four more stores in 2019. Industry sources expect Follain to experience 200 percent growth in 2018, according to WWD, and retail currently accounts for 30 percent of total revenue.
“These are basic everyday essentials,” said Tara Foley, founder and CEO of Follain. “We want customers to experiment with these basics and [so we can] gain their trust before we expand into other categories.”
The four products were designed to fill a space the retailer’s 80 brand partners, such as skin-care brand Tata Harper and Herbivore Botanicals, were not doing with existing inventory. For example, Follain previously did not offer a body scrub in a tube or a body oil in a spray form. T
The development of the products was directly informed by customer interaction in-store, as well as feedback through customer service and unsolicited email inquiries. Future Follain products will also be based on customer feedback, including through e-commerce tools such as an existing online quiz.
“That has given us focus and assurance that when we go to market, we have something unique. That differentiation in the marketplace is what interests the customer,” said Cristina Bagozzi, product development director at Follain.
Follain is not the only clean beauty retailer to recently develop products. In October 2018, Credo Beauty came out with liquid hand soap and The Detox Market launched an in-house brand called Detox Mode, starting with body oil. In addition to finding a new opportunity for Follain’s business growth, it is also aimed at introducing the uninitiated to clean beauty, which still has a reputation for being earth-crunchy, Foley said.
“We want to bring down the barriers for women to enter clean beauty, as a whole,” she said. “What prevents them from entering is [a higher] price, and the fact that it’s still thought of as having [home-made] textures or ingredients or packaging.” Ranging from $9 to $26, Follain’s products are less expensive than similar products the company stocks.
To unveil the new collection, Follain is sending the full assortment to 250 unpaid influencers, who are considered “friends of the brand,” thanks to having moderated panels for in-store events or contributed to the retailer’s blog, according to Sarah Mountcastle Mitchell, the brand’s marketing director. She declined to say what influencers are participating. Additionally, on the blog currently has one post dedicated to the new brand and two more posts will be published this month. Also this month, and through August, the homepage will feature the four products. On Tuesday, an email announcing the launch will be sent to Follain’s existing database of customers, though Mitchell declined to share the quantity.
“As customer demand for clean beauty has grown, customers are more vocal about the opportunities they see in the space. We didn’t want to just bring in products and undercut price, but instead to create a brand of products that were filling a hole in the space,” said Foley.
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