In a landscape where celebrity backed ventures continue to stagnate and fail (think Blake Lively’s Preserve, Gwneth Paltrow’s Goop, the Kardashian Kard etc.), how is Jessica Alba’s Honest Company not only surviving but flourishing? The Honest Company is currently valued at $1.7 billion dollars, only four years after its inception. How are they achieving such rapid growth? Aside from the size of the target market, roughly 3 million babies are born in the US every year, and the longevity of the product, an average child stays in diapers approximately 2.5 years and requires between 10 – 12 diapers a day – you do the math, the company has developed the perfect strategy for the perfect niche.
After capturing the attention of millennial moms with their safe, organic products, the company began to expand, leveraging its sterling reputation with the “guardians” of the home to expand the product line to cleaning products, personal care and vitamins. The safe, all natural brand promise continues to trend positively with young moms, who are putting more and more emphasis health for themselves and their families. This position leveraged with their heavily digital emphasis is setting the company apart, keeping it from being just another subpar, celebrity business endeavor. Targeted ads, market segmentation and an increasing number of digital launches are just a few of the ways that the Honest Company is embracing the millennial lifestyle. (As a side note, the Honest Company is one of the few companies whose millennial-centric business model can actually make them profitable. Diapers and organic family products are some of the essentials for which millennials will spend their relatively small spending power. Millennials may be the next big consumer market, but they just don’t have the spending power yet…)
Last month, Alba and the Honest Company launched their newest line, Honest Beauty. The line features makeup and skin products with fewer harsh chemicals to treat your skin the right way. However, this launch features a slightly different strategy than previous products. The product has its own website, HonestBeauty.com, its own mobile shopping app and the company’s first branding campaign under #LetsBeHonest. Alba and the Honest Company are fully embracing the connected experience craved by consumers with this latest launch.
The website is beautiful designed, featuring an online shop and a blog which houses makeup tips and tutorials from Jessica Alba and her stylists. The launch also features a sort of “hybrid” approach to beauty. In wake of recent beauty company successes, like Birchbox and Ipsy, the website offers a bundle option where customers can pay a subscription of $50/month and receive three full sized beauty products of their choice in addition to the traditional online shopping experience. While we have yet to see whether this particular strategy will work, I think it shows remarkable adaptability and understanding of the customer on the part of the company. Whether the bundle subscription initiative works or not, the company responded to shifting consumer needs and preferences in the space.
The app also provides a unique experience and reasons to download. In a Pinterest world, fashion and beauty are constantly viewed on mobile devices, setting the standard for the industry. The app allows users to “try on” different featured beauty looks with their iPhone camera with a link to purchase all products used in the mock up if you want. Users can also share those looks with others and access any of the blog tips and tutorials, making the experience more social and connected. To prove their focus on detail and status as a tech company, the app supports 3D touch! Finally, to top it all off, a portion of proceeds from the line support Girls Who Code, showing Alba’s and the company’s dedication to the next generation of female tech leaders.
The company’s unique strategy combined with a tech focus make it a force to be reckoned with. Jessica Alba has truly proven herself a worthy entrepreneur with this venture.
By: Sarah Wright
Edited: Vanja Djuric