Direct-to-consumer subscription-based fragrance company Scentbird is diversifying its product offering by launching a new makeup subscription program.
Last week, the brand introduced its first Makeup Pilot Program, which entails offering lip and eye makeup products into its existing subscription service, in partnership with Kat Von D, Tarte, Ardency Inn and trèStiQue. Since launching in 2014, the brand has primarily offered monthly sample access to 500+ fragrances, including brands like Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Acqua Di Parma to its over 250,000 subscribers. Rather than customers having to commit to a full bottle, shoppers can try out a 30-day supply of a selected fragrance for $14.95 per month. In November 2017, the brand also introduced a line of personal-care products including hand creams and body scrubs.
Unlike its traditional fragrance sampling model, Scentbird is offering full-size products of 26 Kat Von D, Tarte, Ardency Inn and trèStiQue makeup products for customers to try. In the course of a week, the brand has already sold out of certain products like the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper Black, which was gone in 24 hours. Each product was stocked with between 250 and 500 items by Scentbird. Very little marketing was done by Scentbird to message the Makeup Pilot Program, aside from Instagram posts teasing the program to its 112,000 followers.
The impetus for launching makeup came out of customers asking for more out of their Scentbird service, said co-founder Rachel ten Brink. Ten Brink and her team surveyed their highly-engaged subscriber base, and found that 87 percent were interested in more than fragrance products and wanted to try other categories. The Makeup Pilot Program is Scentbird’s first step into becoming a total beauty “discovery platform,” she said. This, of course, is also a way for the company to diversify its revenue.
In addition, the makeup launch also allows Scentbird to leverage its sister brand Deck of Scarlet into its existing subscription service. Deck of Scarlet is a standalone subscription service that the Scentbird team began in 2016, which sells makeup palettes inspired by beauty influencer trends for $29.95. It was the first step for Scentbird to test the waters into makeup.
“What we found was that our community of fragrance lovers were also a community of beauty lovers, so why not serve our customer both ways?” said ten Brink.
Though the subscription box service is a saturated space with players as diverse as Curology to Birchbox, with the latter failing to find a buyer in May and one of its existing investors taking a majority stake, Scentbird is hoping to find success by utilizing a slow and measured approach to scale through adding new categories.
To support its next phase, Scentbird has sought new funding: In May, the company announced it had raised $18.6 million in series A funding rounds led by consumer technology firm led by Goodwater Capital. In 2017, alone, the brand saw growth of over 110 percent, though it declined to share sales figures.
More color cosmetic products will be added in the coming months, though the existing Pilot Program will only be available for as long as the products are. The balance of millennial-geared brands like Kat Von D and Tarte with more niche players like Ardency Inn and trèStiQue was an opportunity for Scentbird to leverage its millennial audience, but also continue its customers’s discovery of less recognizable products, said ten Brink.
Not only does Scentbird intend to grow its makeup program outside of its limited-edition run, but it also plans to build out its digital product online, in step with the makeup category specifically. Like its robust, visual online quiz and smart search for fragrance, Scentbird plans on doing the same for makeup to capture the unique ways consumers shop for color.
“We want to build this up on the makeup side by being as emotional and detailed as possible, so if you want something lip, but bold and shiny, customers can easily find it,” ten Brink said.