A pair of beauty industry vets are betting that a military-themed product line is the next big thing in personal care.
Bravo Sierra — a new brand from Benjamin Bernet and Justin Guilbert, former marketing directors at L’Oréal who have experience founding other brands in the beauty and CPG space — is a personal-care and grooming line inspired by the U.S. military, which the duo refers to as the “original wellness lifestyle.”
The brand’s $6.7 million seed round of funding was led by Global Founders Capital investors Canaan Partners, Mousse Partners, BoxGroup, Redo Ventures and Grace Beauty Capital.
Bravo Sierra declined to discuss numbers, but industry sources estimate the brand could do $8 million in retail sales in its first year.
The brand’s military theme runs deep — Bernet and Guilbert crowdsourced ideas by testing products with 1,000 active members of the U.S. Special Forces, including Army Rangers, Navy Seals, Green Beret and Marine Raiders. Members of the military will have the opportunity to buy product, beginning this month, at retail, as Bravo Sierra will be available on global military bases. The rest of the population can purchase the product direct-to-consumer, on Bravosierra.com, beginning this week.
The line is designed to be genderless, but the products, all priced at under $14, seem geared toward men with active lifestyles. Hero stockkeeping units include biodegradable antibacterial body wipes, $10.50; a shaving foam that contains a first-to-market technology that is non-flammable and contains an eco-friendly propellant, $8.50; a reef-safe sunscreen, $13.50, and a aluminum-free deodorant, $9.50.
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Bernet and Guilbert’s testing group of 1,000 active military members helped to build the high-performance product line with targeted, specific feedback from the brand’s target market.
“These men and women just have higher and sometimes very challenging requirements — ranging from harsh climate conditions, sleep deprivation, highly stressful environments, no access to running water, etc. We develop products to fulfill the specific needs of these demanding lifestyles,” Guilbert said.
The military may have served as inspiration, but the target consumer is someone who perhaps is simply inspired by the military lifestyle. The target consumer, said Bernet, is “men and women striving and committed to optimizing themselves, physically and mentally. They are willing to invest in their well-being and involved in active high-performance activities.”
Bernet and Guilbert refer to their unique product development process as “social manufacturing.” It’s “our interpretation of the future of CPG,” said Guilbert, “an organization that collaborates with core audience subsets through dynamic private social channels to develop products with accuracy with short lead to market.
Bravo Sierra’s products are vegan, certified cruelty-free and formulated to be “clean.” The lip balm, for instance, is EWG-verified.
Bernet left L’Oréal, where he worked on brands such as Kiehl’s and Giorgio Armani, to found DooBop, an e-tailer dedicated for beauty brands geared toward the multicultural market. The site sold to Sundial in 2016. He also founded Hello Sexy Legs, a prestige body makeup brand that was acquired by Cosmax. Guilbert founded Harmless Harvest Coconut Water.