Australian brand Bondi Sands has ventured into the skin-care space as it seeks to move beyond its core sunless tan and sunscreen products.
Bondi Sands launched a 12-piece skin-care collection on Dec. 9 that includes gentle cleansers, clarifying clay masks, and hydrating serums and oils. Products range from $15-$19, and its bottles are made using 100% recyclable materials and post-consumer recycled plastic. The skin-care line launched DTC on BondiSands.com, and the brand is presenting its products to U.S. retailers in Jan. 2022.
Bondi Sands hired a dedicated head of skin-care formulations to prepare for the category expansion, and established independent social media and marketing teams and individual social accounts. This underscores the significance of the category launch to Bondi Sands, as it seeks to grow its business on the wave of the skin-care boom. Blair James, Bondi Sands co-founder, said the company expects the skin-care category to contribute to 30% of the brand’s sales growth over the next three years. Bondi Sands grew 40% year-over-year in 2021, James added.
“A lot of our growth comes from new product development and moving into new categories. We believe we were already a skin-care brand, to a degree, [because] the brand is all about skin health,” he said.
James said the brand’s products featured hydrating ingredients and sunscreen even prior to the skin-care launch. Bondi Sands focuses on anti-aging messaging, versus skin health or skin cancer prevention. Australia notably banned tanning beds in 2014 due to high rates of skin cancer.
“Our initial discussions were centered on whether we were a big enough brand to move into skin care. Once we started talking to retailers, we understood that there’s a level of credibility that Bondi Sands has within skin care, inherently,” James said.
Bondi Sands distributes through Ulta Beauty, Target and Walgreens, among other retailers. U.K. retailer Boots will begin stocking its products in Feb. 2022. Ideally, Bondi Sands will align with one exclusive U.S. retail partner for its skin-care products on 2023, when it expects to reach shelves, said James. This will allow a skin-care-knowledgeable retailer to help Bondi Sands educate customers, direct its marketing efforts and add legitimacy to its products. It’s a similar strategy to when Bondi Sands first launched sunless products in 2012, when it partnered exclusively with Priceline in Australia, Superdrug in the U.K. and Walgreens in the U.S.
Though 2021 saw the resurgence of makeup sales after its 2020 plummet, skin care has continued to be a bright spot for the beauty industry. According to third-quarter 2021 sales data from The NPD Group, skin care reached $1.4 billion in sales, a 14% growth compared to the same period in 2020.
Building credibility is Bondi Sands’ biggest focus right now. To do so, the brand is leaning on its public relations efforts and a social media series called “Everyday Influencer.” The series, which first kicked off in Australia with 12 people, asks non-influencers with specific skin issues to go through the Bondi Sands DTC e-commerce skin-care quiz and then share their experiences 24-hours after using the recommended products, followed by a week and four weeks. Featured customers are plucked from the brand’s private Facebook group Babes Who Bondi, which has 22,000 members. Bondi Sands has established a separate Instagram account for skin care called @BondiSandsSkincare, which already has almost 16,000 followers. The original @bondisands account has 1.2 million followers. It will also do traditional influencer gifting and YouTube advertising to spread the word.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do with the brand to hit [our] targets. There is a lot of education that needs to be done over the next three years, [as wellas] new product development, and overall marketing and communication around Bondi Sands as a whole,” said James.