The market for subscription boxes has been challenging for many companies. But the women’s beauty, wellness, and self-care area has been one of the bright spots.
Recent examples of partnerships in this sector show its strength, as well as illustrating some of the key ways IP owners and celebrities are working with subscription box marketers:
- Creating exclusive collections. King Features paired with beauty box Ipsy for a limited-edition Betty Boop collection of 13 cosmetics and accessories, including lipsticks, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and nail polish. The collection, which was sent out in Ipsy’s October 2019 Glam Bag, was built around the concepts of boldness and self-confidence, characteristics associated with both Betty and the beauty brand.
- Curating collections. Jennifer Lopez paired with Niyama Sol, an athleisure box inspired by the tenets of yoga. Her limited-edition box, tied to the yoga principle of Santosha (contentment, acceptance, and optimism), included items that promote self-love and confidence and was marketed as part of the company’s Seasonal Solbox membership level. It featured some of Lopez’s hand-picked favorite items, both from her own collaborations and outside brands. They included a necklace of rhodonite from SoulKu, “butt masks” from Bawdy Beauty, and other items such as incense sticks, functional mushrooms, leggings made from recycled plastic, and a tote. The box also featured a pair of JLo’s signature aviator sunglasses from Quay.
- Contributing single items as part of broader collections. Venus Williams paired with FabFitFun to feature the EleVen by Venus jump rope, one of the products under Williams’ own fitness and athleisure brand—like the other properties here, positioned as bold and empowering—in the company’s spring 2019 shipment. Some of the other products in the box included champagne body scrub, leave-in conditioner, sunglasses, and eye de-puffing gel, all from different brands.
- Launching branded boxes. Makeup artist Mimi J debuted the Grind Pretty subscription box in 2019 as a spin-off of her online platform of the same name, founded in 2017. The quarterly box focuses on products created by female entrepreneurs, especially those marketed by black women. Its shipments include items under the brand of Mimi J’s own beauty products supply store, The Glamatory; products supplied by outside brands such as Noorface and Coola; and collaborative collections created through celebrity partnerships. An example of the latter: A holiday 2019 box with Yandy Smith-Harris, Love & Hip Hop: New York reality star, actress, and owner of Yelle Skin Care.
Beauty and wellness boxes contain mostly products that the recipient goes through relatively quickly and must replenish. They also focus on a category where customers are always on the hunt for new products and brands to test and experiment with. These are two of the characteristics that have made this segment of the subscription box industry viable.