Young people today are thinking about their future earlier than ever. Gone are the days of “I’ll find out about my major before I graduate.” Instead, these are the days of lemonade kiosks turning into business plans, seed money, and the ensuing entrepreneurial journey.
In many respects, the brand comes early in the journey of the very young, also known as alpha generation. according to North Carolina An article, The habits and expectations of the alpha generation mirror those of their millennial parents. “As health-conscious caregivers, millennial parents are looking for a lot of information about the products they buy and they’re exposing their children to them,” says author Heather Dritch. Like their parents, Alpha’s seems to strive for sustainable, high-quality, health-conscious products with technology, versatility, and immediacy at the fore.
Today’s youth is marketed via social media, television, apps, games, and other media. but according to common sense mediaAdvertisers are fully aware of the long-term implications of presenting their brand to young people as early as possible. Advertisers cite that children significantly influence the purchasing decisions of their parents, to the tune of $500 billion annually, and Common Sense cites children’s advertising.
However, in some industries, such as beauty products, advertisers tend to position their marketing from already established models that cater more to adults than young adults. As a result, mature messages are portrayed for younger audiences trying to develop their identity and explore emotional space in the world.
Samantha Cutler, Founder petite ‘n prettyhas leveraged 17 years of product development experience in the professional makeup industry with brands like Smashbox, MAC Cosmetics and more to launch an age-appropriate product line for young girls who are just learning to explore their personal development and sense of self.
Cutler realized that if beauty products were indeed marketed to a younger age group, they might also offer a healthy, age-appropriate product that educates through inspiration, empowerment, equity and inclusion.
While working for brand-name brands, many friends and acquaintances would ask her if she could recommend products, and she realized how many of them are not suitable for younger children.
“I never got an answer, the products weren’t age appropriate. Many of the products had suggestive naming conventions, or the colors were highly pigmented, which is something many parents don’t feel comfortable giving it to their daughter or son,” Cutler says.
Product integrity is essential to Cutler, and some of the merchandise marketed is not representative of clean beauty. In addition, some of them were produced abroad without proper testing that would appeal to parents who want the safest products for their children.
As a mother, she knew there was a need. “I felt like there was a white space of opportunity in beauty, beauty education, and I’ve always wanted to build a brand. But the beauty market is saturated with 300 times the number of brands launched annually than it was when I first started. I wanted to make sure of having a purpose behind what I did.”
Cutler mainly focuses on the niche market from 7 to 12 years old. While the company’s label is inherently attractive, the company’s label is steeped in feedback from younger children’s associations and application principles. “I ruminated about the names of my three-year-old daughter, and when the word ‘beautiful’ came up, I immediately knew what it meant. There was familiarity, and ‘beautiful’ was a feeling that came from within, a good feeling. The little one represents everything we produce. Everything is just a little smaller and giving First user best initial experience.”
In essence, Cutler is trying to instill confidence and comfort in children by starting what she calls a “beauty journey” and building within shows. “What I like to say is that if your daughter or son is going to ride a bike for the first time, you won’t give them a mountain bike,” she says. “Everyone begins the journey at a different age, and we are here to support them and be their friends, knowing there are no mistakes along the way.”
During the pandemic, Cutler has found the use of Zoom Camps to be a formidable teaching and learning tool. “The camps were a great revenue driver for us and the brand building experience. These kids were bored and staying at home, and ultimately it was an opportunity for us to create a fun brand building experience through dynamic, engaging and creative activities.”
Cutler’s ability to collaborate with influencers like Piper Rockell, with nearly 10 million subscribers on YouTube, is part of the process of bringing people from other worlds together. Cutler noted that the numbers of some influencers rose dramatically after the collaborative process. “There’s a great dynamic with influencers, actresses, and dancers, and we get them together for photo shoots. As a result, different audiences come together, and everyone starts following and learning from each other socially.”
Many brands are trying to go after the younger consumer. However, Cutler understands that many brands do not integrate them directly into marketing or bundle them together in educational workshops or photo opportunities. “They know there’s an audience and a consumer sitting around tik tok all day long, or InstagramBut they don’t necessarily hire a 12-year-old to take pictures. They are trying to persuade the audience to engage with their brand but not directly. “It’s a direct relationship that seems to set Cutler’s efforts apart from others.
The Big Picture
With growth rates between 30% and 40% last year, Petite ‘n Pretty is looking to expand at a rate of 30% this next year. Online sales on Amazon and others are a hit, and Cutler is back in business again Ultra.com Stores this next year. The projection is to build the brand in stores in the United States with international efforts looming.
Cutler’s approach is a more hands-on collaborative effort. An iterative learning process that gets to know the younger generation while at the same time generating consumer behavior habits that align with consumers’ needs. Cutler understands that the younger generation is not necessarily loyal to the brand, but is more driven by the loyalty found in authentic experiences that speak to them and meet the needs of the world they make up.
Samantha Cutler found her pioneering groove with her maternal instincts intact. Her burgeoning business illustrates the scope in which businesses can grow if brands and their owners maintain a sense of self along the way and educate themselves about the needs and understanding of the younger generation.
Although cosmetics tend to be viewed as “outsiders,” Cutler is building a core company that remains loyal to a consumer base with sensitivity to market trends, sustainability and safety.
Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.