Beauty conglomerates are figuring out how to update their brand portfolios to appeal to Gen Z.
Edgewell Personal Care, which houses men’s skin-care brands Jack Black and Bulldog, launched a new genderless skin-care brand on June 6 called Fieldtrip. It features seven products, including a facial spray, an eye gel and a lip mask, that sell for under $25. Fieldtrip is designed around the concept of a modern explorer, with latitude and longitude references on the packaging indicating where key ingredients are sourced alongside imagery of a map. The brand’s first retail partner is Nordstrom, where it is sold online and will expand in-store in August. Fieldtrip is also available through its DTC e-commerce site.
The Jack Black team has worked on Fieldtrip for the past 2.5 years. Initially, the plan was to develop a young men’s brand. But the team found through surveys and focus groups that two-thirds of men ages 16-24 are interested in genderless beauty products and so opted to broaden the brand’s directive. Fieldtrip will continue to be operated by the Jack Black team. Gabrielle DeLatin, head of marketing for Fieldtrip, said the company expects to earn about $4 million in retail sales in its first 12 months.
“[Edgewell] wants to keep investing in brands with a strong vision,” said DeLatin. “[It wants] brands that know what they want to do and can move in a disruptor-like model, where they can be agile and digital-first but still have a strong brick-and-mortar distribution.”
According to Edgewell’s most recent, second-quarter earnings call in May, its men’s grooming organic net sales increased nearly 6% globally and over 8% in North America, year-over-year. Those sales were led by Jack Black and Cremo, which Edgewell acquired in Aug. 2020. Edgewell later acquired millennial women’s shaving brand Billie in Nov. 2021.
Edgewell is certainly neither the first nor the last conglomerate to incubate a standalone Gen-Z brand. In early June, Shiseido debuted Sidekick, a new skin-care brand for Gen-Z men. And both Unilever and P&G have incubated Gen-Z-focused hair-care brands, dubbed Emerge and Nou, which launched in Jan. 2020 and Aug. 2021, respectively. Gender-neutral terminology and brands have also caught on in beauty and fashion, in response to changing customer values. According to Pew Research Center, Gen Zers are much more likely than older generations to say they know someone who prefers to go by gender-neutral pronouns, with 35% saying so, compared with 25% of millennials.
Taylor Hooker, marketing communications manager at Fieldtrip, said the brand targets three types of consumers. First is the skin-care enthusiast who loves skin care, followed by travel enthusiasts, who are interested in experiences, and, lastly, people who are interested in sustainability and care about where ingredients are sourced. To adhere to its genderless ethos, the brand’s social assets are evenly divided between men and women, its packaging colors are kept to earth and jewel tones, and its products, like the “Anywhere Shave Lotion,” are agnostic in their naming.
“We wanted to make sure that everything we’re putting into the universe [states that] we are a skin-care brand for all people and skin types,” said Hooker. “We’ll start segmenting a bit as the brand grows, but this is a brand where everyone can come in and access on-trend formats with luxury formulas and experience wellbeing from head-to-toe.”
At launch, between June through September, Fieldtrip tapped 20 paid micro-influencers to share the announcement and direct people to the brand’s DTC e-commerce skin-care quiz. Digitally, Fieldtrip invested in display ads and programmatic ads. The brand also supplied 500 packages with five products to Influenster to garner early product reviews. It placed 280,000 lip mask samples through Ipsy.
“We want this to become a skin-care brand that has legs to live on and evolve with [Gen-Z] consumers so that we’re constantly capturing a new group of individuals getting into skin care,” said DeLatin.