The Secret to Success for Celebrity Beauty Brands, According to Coty’s CEO

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In recent years, the beauty industry has seen a significant rise in celebrity-owned and celebrity-backed beauty brands and products. Some of them, such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty, have established themselves as powerful and successful brands.

However, not all beauty brands and products that bear the names of well-known personalities have been on the same triumphant journey. For some, the road to finding a space in the saturated beauty market hasn’t exactly been smooth.

Sue Nabi, CEO of beauty giant Coty, which invested in Kim Kardashian’s beauty brand and bought a stake in Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics company, explained to Fortune that a famous name is not enough for brands that want to achieve long-term success.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna launches into select Boots stores(Photo : Getty Images/Ian Forsyth)
Fenty Beauty will be available in 32 Boots locations. For the ultimate convenience, you can even place your order online with Order and Collect on May 10, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

“I love to say that people might buy your product once because of your name, but they’ll only buy it two or more times because of the quality behind it,” Nabi told the magazine. 

While it’s a factor and a real advantage to already have a well-known name slapped on the packaging, it’s just “part of the story,” Nabi said.

According to the Coty CEO, quality will drive people to embrace the brand and products in the long run, celebrity-related or not.

“The full story is about building a business that will stand the test of time,” Nabi added.

In the interview, Nabi was also asked how Gen Z shoppers differ from older generations in terms of their product and brand preferences.

Gen Z consumers, like millennials and other generations, are more inclined to buy “high-quality products that deliver on their promises and speak to who they are in terms of individuality,” Nabi explained. 

Nabi said she believes that what distinguishes Gen Z shoppers from others is that they prefer brands that represent “inclusivity and sustainability” in terms of the ingredients and materials used.

This aligns with the report published by First Insight, which recognized Gen Z as the sustainability-driven generation as they display a significant inclination toward sustainable brands and a willingness to invest more in environmentally friendly products.

The study revealed that 62% of Gen Z consumers favor purchasing from sustainable brands, and 73% are willing to pay more for sustainable products.

Meanwhile, despite the mixed track record of success for celebrity-owned beauty brands, some have excelled and made a mark in the industry.

Cosmetify ranked Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, and Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty as the top three in its list of the “most successful celebrity beauty brands” of 2023.

Topping the list is Fenty with a beauty brand score of 9.76, closely followed by Kylie Cosmetics with 9.64, and Rare Beauty with 8.97 out of a maximum score of 10.

Ariana Grande’s r.e.m beauty also made the list, securing the fourth spot, followed by Jeffree Star’s cosmetics brand.

Other brands on the list include Millie Bobby Brown’s Florence by Mills, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, and Jenner’s Kylie Skin.

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