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Frequently Asked Questions

  • General

    • We are a core team of 12 and our clients benefit from our extensive network of beauty industry contacts – from retailers and agencies to investors and manufacturers.

    • Established in 2010, The Red Tree is uniquely positioned to deliver results.

    • We are often asked how The Red Tree got its name. Stirling (our founder) was, many years ago, working on a project with Rupert Shreeves. Rupert is a graphic designer and the drummer with The Barker Band – Stirling told him he was setting up his own business. Rupert said he needed to call the company by a name that had a visual reference and suggested “The Pink Trumpet”. After considering that for a brief second, Stirling came up with The Red Tree. Rupert liked it, Stirling liked it and off we went. And if you’ve read this far Rupert is still getting free ads for The Barker Band.

    • The Red Tree was founded by Stirling Murray. With over 45 years’ experience in the global beauty market, Stirling has held UK and international board roles at Rimmel, Estée Lauder and Bourjois. With an extensive network of contacts in the international beauty sector, Stirling is a frequent speaker at international beauty and spa events, has lectured in Marketing at the London College of Fashion and was a member of their Industry Advisory Panel.

    • Our team are based in and around London.

    • We have an unrivalled breadth of services and have deep expertise across all categories of beauty, from mass to super luxury. Our number of years in the industry and extensive team specialities set us apart from other consultancies.

  • Our Process

    • We aim to respond to all enquiries within 24 working hours.

    • Our strategic projects can last 6-10 weeks or longer depending on the complexity. Our Country Management brands are usually retained on a monthly basis. We build long-term relationships with our clients and for many we become an integral part of their business.

    • Strategic projects vary depending on their complexity but on average they last 6-10 weeks.

    • We have an extensive network of beauty industry contacts – from retailers and agencies to investors and manufacturers. The Red Tree is regularly featured in press articles and are members of the CEW, British Beauty Council and CTPA.

    • The Red Tree is an international beauty brand consultancy. We have worked with clients from all over the world and have a global perspective on the beauty market.

    • Our article How long does it take to create a beauty brand and develop product? discusses in depth the time it takes to launch a brand and tips on how to speed the process up.

    • Our founder Stirling Murray discusses this in our article.

    • The beauty industry is extremely saturated with brands, and it takes considerable investment to launch a brand in today’s market. Our articles How much does it cost to start a skincare business? Part 1 and Part 2 detail the investment required.

    • Our article What is The Red Tree’s proposal process? answers this question in detail.

    • Our articles How much does it cost to start a skincare business? Part 1 and Part 2 detail the investment required to launch a beauty brand.

    • Our article What is Country Management? discusses this in detail.

    • Our article What is symbolic brand value? discusses this in detail.

    • We are an alternative to the traditional distributor model. Our article What is Country Management? discusses this in detail.

    • Since our inception hundreds of businesses have trusted us with their brand. Our case studies highlight some of the prestigious brands we have worked with over the years.

    • The Red Tree has managed some of the best brands around and have listed brands in Space NK, Harvey Nichols, Harrods, Net-a-Porter, John Lewis, Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, The Hut Group, Sephora, Boots, Superdrug, Cult Beauty and QVC. Read our articles What is Country Management? and How do I know if Country Management right for my brand? where we discuss our approach to retail listings in more detail.

    • Whether it be a sales team in store, or recruiting a CEO, The Red Tree are experts in finding and managing the best-fit people for our brands. Interested in working with us? See our Join Us page for our current openings or you can send your CV to us to keep on file.

    • Our article What does Strategic Consultancy mean? answers this in more detail.

  • RaceFit™

    • RaceFit assessment is beneficial to any brand at any stage of their journey. If you are:

      • A start up looking for direction and guidance
      • An established brand seeking an overall ‘health check’
      • A brand in crisis urgently seeking direction on priorities
      • An international brand looking to expand into the UK market
      • A brand ready to take their ‘next step’ looking for guidance in preparation for growth, international expansion or expanding distribution

      then RaceFit is for you!

    • There is no limit to how many times you can complete the programme.

    • Absolutely. The Red Tree will have access to your report to assess what additional support can be offered, but your data is completely safe, it will never be passed to external parties or sold on.

    • Self-assessment RaceFit™ reports are generated instantly.

    • The RaceFit programme does not include any consultancy time. The Red Tree is able to offer a range of follow up consultancy services. Please Contact Us to discuss.

      Contact Us
    • The programme is operated via a user friendly digital platform, your report is generated in PDF form meaning that it can be downloaded and printed with ease.

    • The length of your report depends on the how RaceFit™ your brand is. For every question where there is an area of weakness you will receive feedback and advice. If your brand needs a lot of work then you are likely to receive a great deal of feedback. If your brand performs well, you will receive less direct feedback—but that’s great news, it means you are RaceFit™!

    • You should answer honestly and instinctively. Very often your initial response will be the most accurate. If you don’t understand a question, or are having difficulty knowing how to answer questions please do Contact Us

      Contact Us
    • RaceFit™ self-assessment can be completed wherever you have access to the internet.

    • The Red Tree is able to offer strategic consultancy at every stage in a brand’s journey. The Red Tree also provides Country Management for brands. Find out more about The Red Tree here or get in touch directly to discuss how we can help your brand.

      Contact Us
    • We advise completing the form in one sitting, however if you wish to save and exit part way through you will be emailed a link allowing you to complete the form at a later stage.

    • Yes, the RaceFit self-assessment programme is entirely virtual so you can get started straight away.

  • The Beauty Accelerator™

    • The Beauty Accelerator™ is a joint initiative between The Red Tree and SFC Capital that will see one emerging independent beauty brand receive up to £250,000 equity investment plus the knowledge and expertise of The Red Tree applied over 12 months to help build the brand to its next stage and beyond.

    • The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy. We develop and steer your ideas, challenge your thinking, and deliver results. We have an unparalleled global perspective, and manage some of the best brands around.
      The go‑to company for vision, strategy, action, and implementation. Thought leaders at the cutting edge of knowledge, providing insights for our clients and the industry.

    • SFC Capital is the most active seed-stage investor in the UK, and was ranked fifth globally by Pitchbook in both 2018 and 2019. Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Stephen Page (DataEase, Sapphire), SFC Capital combines an angel syndicate with its own funds to provide investors with diversified exposure to SEIS- and EIS-qualifying businesses. Investors can back the high-potential startups directly or through a portfolio curated and managed by the SFC Capital team. Having backed more than 225 startups since its inception, notable companies in the SFC Capital portfolio include Cognism, Transcend Packaging.

      Based in London but active across the UK, SFC Capital has a track record of backing high-growth businesses in parts of the UK where access to early-stage equity capital is often scarce, with notable investments including Vortex IOT (Swansea), Transcend Packaging (Caerphilly), Petalite (Birmingham), and Intupod (Belfast). In total, businesses backed by SFC Capital through its angel network and funds have created more than 500 jobs outside of London. In April 2020, SFC Capital received a £10 million commitment from British Business Investment through its Regional Angels Programme. As part of its regional expansion, SFC Capital is also opening a second office in Macclesfield to catalyse its regional investor base and increase deal flow across the country.

      SFC Capital
    • Yes, as long as you meet the entry criteria.

    • SEIS stands for the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme. It offers tax breaks to investors in return for investment in a qualifying UK startup. The scheme offers start-ups and entrepreneurs a route to vital funding in the initial stages of their project by effectively minimising the risk to investors. As an entrepreneur seeking investment through SEIS, you must be prepared to hand over equity in exchange for capital funding. The following criteria must be met by the company in order to be eligible and remain SEIS compliant.

      • Established in the UK
      • Fully independent
      • Under three years old
      • Not listed on any major stock exchange
      • Less than 25 employees

      It is highly advisable to apply for Advanced Assurance from HMRC before seeking funding via SEIS. Advanced Assurance is operated by HMRC, is free of charge to obtain and certifies to investors that the criteria necessary to qualify for SEIS have been met by the company at the time of the application. If qualifying criteria are met, HMRC will issue a document stating that the investment is likely to qualify for SEIS which can then be shown to potential investors. The investor can then see that their investment in your company will benefit from SEIS therefore making your business significantly more investable.

      Further information
    • Yes, as is the case with all equity investments, the winning brand must be willing to provide equity stakes for both SFC Capital and The Red Tree. In addition, the winning brand may be required to pay a monthly fee for the duration of the 12 month period of assistance from The Red Tree. The size of the equity stakes for both SFC Capital and The Red Tree are unknown at this stage and will be based on the valuation of the business at the time of investment. The value of the monthly fee to The Red Tree will be determined by the scope of work required by The Red Tree and will be agreed in consultation with the winning brand. The equity stake, monthly fee and scope of work will be discussed in further detail with short listed brands during the interview stage.

    • Yes, a business plan must be submitted as part of the application plan. The business plan must include your financial model and reasonably demonstrate that revenue can be delivered.

    • No, samples do not need to be sent with the application form. However, if you have samples of your product, you may be requested to send them during the review and selection process.

    • Concepts in development will be considered if there is a game-changing product concept and/or technological innovation supported by compelling visuals, a Founder and/or team in place with a proven track record and a well thought out, fully costed business plan.

    • Applications for The Beauty Accelerator™ open on 4th December 2023 and close on 2nd February 2024.

    • Shortlisted brands will be invited to attend virtual interviews with The Red Tree. It is likely that short listed brands will be required to attend more than one virtual interview.

    • The Beauty Accelerator™ Final will take place on 26th and 27th February 2024. Each Finalist brand will meet with The Red Tree, SFC Capital and Freeths for one hour, during which they will be expected to pitch their brand and answer questions.

    • The winner of The Beauty Accelerator™ will receive up to £250,000 equity investment from SFC Capital plus the knowledge and expertise of The Red Tree applied over 12 months. This may include working with The Red Tree’s team for strategic guidance, access to a global network of suppliers and the benefits of long-standing relationships with retailers.