Scentbird isn’t just about scents anymore. Initially launched in 2013 as a perfume-only subscription service, Scentbird is rolling out its Makeup Pilot Program. The launch is in partnership with indie beauty players including Kat Von D, Care, Ardency Inn, trèStiQue and Scentbird’s sister line, Deck of Scarlet.
“The Scentbird Makeup Pilot Program came to life with the help of our community,” said Mariya Nurislamova, chief executive officer and cofounder of Scentbird and Deck of Scarlet. Scentbird’s subscribers, she said, frequently ask about what’s in the pipeline. Conversely, Scentbird asked its 250,000-plus subscribers what they wanted to see. The overwhelming response was makeup. In fact, in preliminary chatter, 87 percent of the subscribers said they wanted to try makeup on the platform.
The constant churn of new beauty products created demand, according to Nurislamova. “With new beauty products emerging every day, it’s important for brands to develop a genuine connection with the consumer. We are able to provide a platform that allows consumers to start that conversation, by choosing what they want to sample each month and, in return, share their feedback and experiential insights directly with the brand,” Nurislamova said.
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The Makeup Pilot Program is first being offered to subscribers, but is also being promoted through social posts, digital ads and e-mails. “In such a digital age working at a digital company, it’s important not to prolong anticipation for too long,” Nurislamova said.
Industry sources believe the addition of cosmetics — a larger segment of beauty than fragrances — could help boost the subscription base by at least 50 percent. Scentbird did not comment on projections.
The first products set to be tested include a range of 50 color cosmetics items featuring Tarte Tarteist, Quick Drymatte Lip Paint, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, Ardency Inn Modster Long Play Supercharged Lip Color, trèStiQue Sharpen & Smudge Eye Pencil and Deck of Scarlet Limited-Edition Palettes. Each item is available as a limited-time offer, a strategy Nurislamova believes will keep the focus on the goal of product discovery through sampling. “Every few months, we will have new brands to feature and new products to try,” she said.
For up-and-coming beauty brands, Scentbird is a fertile avenue to get product into consumers’ hands. “When Rachel ten Brink [cofounder and chief marketing officer of Scentbird] talked to me about their plans to expand beyond perfume and start offering makeup to its subscribers and asked me to participate, I felt it was a no brainer. There is obvious synergy,” said Stephane Siboni, cofounder and ceo of Ardency Inn. “Implementation will be key, and Scentbird has proven that they know how to reach and connect with their subscriber base. For Ardency Inn, a makeup brand with an e-commerce focus aiming to broaden its reach, getting new customers to sample our products is always helpful.”
Consumers subscribe to Scentbird for $14.95 per month to receive one product of their choice from the portfolio. The majority of the lineup is comprised of fine and niche fragrances. The Makeup Pilot Program, launching this week, allows them to add a makeup item to their queue. A full-sized product will be mailed directly to them — a perk separating Scentbird from many other sampling tools.
According to Nurislamova, reviews of products will be collected. “The collaborative efforts of the initial Scentbird ‘Makeup Pilot Program’ will provide consumers with an opportunity to share genuine feedback and reviews on products they choose to sample each month.”
Scentbird now includes a collection of more than 500 fragrances in addition to its own namesake line of scented bath, body and home goods. As the company continues to grow, Scentbird plans to further establish itself as a destination for all things beauty by bridging the gap between brand and consumer, Nurislamova said.
In May, Scentbird raised $18.6 million, one of the largest series A funding round secured by a direct-to-consumer brand led by a female ceo. The proceeds are earmarked to accelerate product innovation and market expansion with an added focus on consumer experience and new talent. Scentbird racks up 95 percent of its revenues from subscriptions. The company said it accounts for 1 percent of the prestige fragrance market, a number it hopes to double in the next year.
The capital infusion will propel the company into its next stage of growth, according to Nurislamova, who founded the company with ten Brink, Sergey Gusev and Andrei Rebrov, after getting “tired of being sprayed in the face in a department store.”