Nykaa signs Janhvi Kapoor as brand endorser, move to step up the buzz

The company is looking to appeal to the online community of milennial consumers with its new brand ambassador
Six years into its launch, Falguni Nayar’s beauty e-commerce portal Nykaa has brought on board its first brand ambassador. The beauty retailer has hired actor Janhvi Kapoor, who made her film debut in July this year, as the face of the make-up line under its private label Nykaa Cosmetics. This is Kapoor’s first endorsement deal, but the company and the actor’s team refused to divulge the signing amount. 

Industry sources say it could be anywhere between Rs 5-10 million. For Nykaa, Kapoor brings a fresh face that has been in the news recently into the fold and for Kapoor, this allows her to position herself as a young face in the burgeoning world of beauty brands. 
Kapoor will appear in digital, television and print advertising campaigns and play an active role in creating social media content for Nykaa. In the past, the e-tailer has largely relied on beauty tutorials that encourage viewers to experiment with colours and styles using its products. Such tutorials have proven to be effective in building the brand’s digital presence and its credibility as an online retailer of beauty products. With Kapoor, the company seems to be making a deliberate shift in its branding strategy.

Nykaa has worked with make-up artists and beauty experts in the past. It has also collaborated with the brands that retail on its channel for these videos, always ensuring visibility for both the brands being promoted and itself. The company has also worked with social media influencers such as Mallika Dua. 

Now, it is time for the brand to establish an independent identity for itself and build the buzz around its private label. And it is hoping to do that with newcomer Janhvi Kapoor, who fits the  personality that the brand aspires for, that of a newcomer challenging the status quo.

The private label journey Nykaa launched its private label in 2015, with a range of nail enamels. It slowly expanded its portfolio to include lipsticks, face products, eye products, makeup tools and bath and body care products. The private label also covers fragrances and essential oils, all retailed on the website. 

Over the three years of its existence, the private label arm has expanded significantly. It has helped that Nykaa has leveraged the vast reserve of customer data at its disposal, to create a line of products that fills the gaps in the existing array of beauty brands.
nayar says that the company is alert to respond to trends that the data throws up. “The private label contributes 10 per cent to the revenue right now, and we have a sharp focus on growing it. The idea from the start has been to fill the gaps in the market, and there are many we have identified. For example, when we launched the nail enamels, we did our research and it showed there is a lack of colour options. So we tried and filled that we continue to launch innovations on that front,” says Falguni Nayar, founder and CEO, Nykaa. 

The company posted revenues of Rs 5.7 billion in the previous fiscal (FY18) and expects to double it in the next couple years. “As the revenue grows, we expect the contribution of the private label to grow as well. I feel it can be as much as 20 per cent of our doubled revenue,” Nayar adds. 

To mark the launch of the label’s association with Kapoor, the actor picked her choice of products from Nykaa Cosmetics and the curated products will be available in the ‘Janhvi Loves’ edition that will be available on the website and in Nykaa stores soon.

Expanded portfolio, wider audience

Data has served the brand well, in identifying gaps in the market and choosing its endorsers and influencers. It has also helped chart a course into what has become one of the fastest growing segment sin the country: male beauty.

Nykaa saw an opportunity in men’s grooming products when the website saw the searches for such products doubling over a year. Male customers currently account for 20 per cent of the Nykaa database and 15 per cent of the social media following. Based on the searches and enquiries coming its way, Nykaa says that a big area of focus for the future will be men’s fragrances, luxury skincare and premium natural products.

According to a report by Nielsen (The changing face of beauty: Key trends driving India’s beauty industry) male grooming is growing. “The sales of men’s face creams have more than doubled, while the use of face cleansing products among men in India has jumped a massive 60 times between 2009 and 2016,” the report said. The two big drivers for higher male engagement with beauty products according to the report are: a desire for confidence and to achieve a competitive edge over other males in career growth, rather than a desire to attract females.

In July this year, the company launched nykaaman.com, a multi-brand ecommerce store dedicated to men’s grooming. The portal offers products across categories like shaving, hair care, grooming kits, bath & body, beard care, sexual wellness and sports nutrition. The Nykaa Man curation will also extend to Nykaa’s offline offering, available at Nykaa On Trend and Nykaa Luxe stores across the country. 

“We’ve been seeing a good amount of traction from the male consumers, but research also showed that men found it a bit difficult to navigate the main site. So we launched a new website, dedicated to men’s grooming. It’s seeing good traction,” Nayar adds.

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