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What Makes a Game Changing Brand

At The Red Tree, we are constantly looking for game changing brands that we know will stand out in the ever-so crowded beauty market. The launch of The Beauty Accelerator™ has taken our quest to new heights, partnering with Start Up Funding Capital to help grow one emerging independent beauty brand to its next stage and beyond. To help beauty brands cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd, we put together some thoughts on what truly makes a game changing brand.  

Defining a truly game changing brand is innately difficult. Often a brand that really excites us is one that addresses a need that we didn’t even know we had leaving us kicking ourselves that we didn’t think of it ourselves yet unable to live without it. The likes of Uber and City Mapper being great examples outside of the beauty industry.    

Within the beauty industry, game changing brands such as Glossier and The Ordinary have changed the industry in their own ways – challenging the status quo at both a product and communication level. Glossier arguably pioneered the use of community within beauty and The Ordinary used product and communication innovation to turn consumers into skintellectuals and wannabe formulators.   

The following points provide a guide to what we look for in a game changing brand: 

Product efficacy

Although marketing plays a huge part in a brands success the single most important factor that will make consumers buy and rebuy your product is their functionality. There has been a significant amount of innovation in natural products, and it’s no longer a case that natural products are deemed to be less effective than their synthetic alternatives and proof of efficacy is important.  

Address an unmet need

The world that we live in is highly fragmented and segmented with consumers seeking more personalised solutions to their needs. There is a balance here between offering something unique versus being too niche to have mass appeal and commerciality. This is where concept testing really comes into play.  

Know what makes you stand out

Vegan and cruelty free are not enough to differentiate a beauty brand these days. A brand needs to be clear on its unique selling points and why they are relevant at both a consumer and retailer level.  


Innovation itself can be defined in a multitude of ways. This could be unique ingredients or ingredient combinations, technological innovations or even new ways of communicating your products.  Without this you will not be able to communicate your USPs nor will your brand be future proofed against imitation.  

Be a conscious brand

Consumers have high expectations with regards to conscious choices in everyday life and these are continued through to the beauty products that they purchase and use. Considerations here can range from environmentally friendly packaging, raw materials and also purposes that you use your brand platform to impact. If you do have a purpose linked to your brand, it needs to be relevant and personal to your brand for authenticity.  

Honesty and transparency

Clean beauty is a term used very frequently yet there is no clear definition of what that actually means. Brands that are pushing the boundaries in both what choices they make and how they communicate to their communities will really stand out.  

Je ne sais quoi

The hardest to define of all, this is the factor that retailers or investors see but can’t explain. It might be the drive and personality of the founder, packaging that stands out or a social media feed to die for. Either way it shows the importance of having faultless execution of your brand at all touchpoints.  

Often a game changing brand uses a combination of these factors to bring something new to the market that truly inspires and excites. We’re really looking forward to discovering the next game changing beauty brand within The Beauty AcceleratorEntries close on Friday 25th September and the link to apply can be found here: 

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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