With the rise of the Kardashian and Fenty beauty empires, there has been an upsurge in the number of celebrity owned cosmetic brands in Nigeria in the last two years. This year alone, many celebrities have woken up from their supposed slumber, put a call through their bank managers and decided launching a cosmetic brand was their destiny. The cosmetic that takes the front row all to itself in this upsurge, is the lipstick.
In six months, three popular celebrities launched different lip stains, same shades. We have Bodytalks by Toyin Abraham, Nina empire cosmetic by Nina Ivy and Michelle beauty by Mitchelle Gentry (Mercy Aigbe’s Daughter). Which births a lot of questions from onlookers. Why are they making the same things? Is this a competition? What exactly is their product all about? Is it just a vibe or a hobby? Is this an ‘i must own’ something syndrome?
There are other brands that we know of and those we don’t, local and international brands alike that have been in existence for a while and have gone through the due process. The fact that you have the financial capacity to open a brand and a fan base to support it due to past achievements with another type of product (not really) is not enough to open another. There are many things that go into owning a brand. While we are happy for the expansion of the beauty industry in Nigeria, we need to know that the brands we have know exactly what they are doing and what they’re about.
Before jumping the wagon to self owned brand’s, there’s a need for collaborations with beauty companies that already have what it takes, sorta like testing the waters guy! Take Kim Kardashian as an example, with her worldwide fame, beauty influencer status and ridiculously large pockets, the beauty mogul still started with brand collaborations and even years after mostly outsourced with professionals, same thing with sister Kylie Jenner, Pat Mcgrath and Rihanna herself, they didn’t just come out with products.
Apart from collaborations, you need to make an impact in that line before opening one, how do you create a lipstick line when at least 10 Nigerians you do not know have not admired yours or complimented how you always make good choices? Your chosen market needs to have something to identify you with, in the beauty line asides “Hi guys, I’m releasing a new product”. Don’t just do it because it’s a means for more cash or because other everyone is doing it.
I am not bashing anyone for opening a brand, but, what we need in Nigeria is not just many brands doing the same things with zero originality. If you’re looking for a business or source of income then I don’t think opening a brand that’s not going to last 6 months is the solution. A brand needs to be more than a name or face.
Do not do yourself and the economy a disservice.