Last week, we had the pleasure of attending Salon International London, a key trade show for the professional hair care industry in Europe. What captured our attention the most was the growing presence of indie brands and the buzz surrounding them. These dynamic independent players are quickly shaking up the competitive landscape of the hair care industry in the United Kingdom and abroad. Here are our top three picks from the show (their strategy and performance are covered in-depth in the new indie volume of our Salon Hair Care Global Series and Kline PRO service):
1. Electric Hairdressing London: innovators made in Britain
Electric entirely represents the philosophy of an independent brand, made by hairdressers for hairdressers. The company, founded by the highly respected Mark Woolley, makes a mark on the market with its unique positioning and vision.
Electric’s stand was among the largest at the show, accompanied by a vintage Rolls Royce to represent “great British engineering,” which is mirrored in the hair care brand. Electric is entirely designed for professional use, with no products being sold on e-shops or at brick-and-mortar stores except for Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason.
Electric recently entered the Canadian market and has already received a positive response. The brand also expands through several partnerships with both local businesses and international artists.
Electric embraces all the major sustainability trends that are currently affecting the professional hair care market. Its products are vegan and cruelty-free; bottles can be bought in stainless-steel versions that allow hairdressers to refill them, while ingredients are hand-picked at the company’s farm in Sussex.
2. Amika’s new distribution partnership in the U.K.
Entering the United Kingdom in late 2018, the American cult brand now partners with one of the U.K.’s largest distributors, Alan Howard. The distribution company decided to put Amika on full display during Salon International, showing the brand’s vivid, eye-catching colors that characterize the positivity and joyful aspects that Amika embodies.
The New York-based company is still privately owned, being one of the largest independent hair care manufacturers in the world. Amika heavily relies on take-home hair care and styling products, but its presence in salons is undoubtedly increasing as the appeal and awareness among younger generations continue to grow.
At Salon International, thousands of visitors were attracted by sales discounts and promotions, turning the exhibition stand into an out-and-out store.
3. Eleven Australia: the new player in town
Wonderful Brands, a new distribution company based in Hampshire, introduced Eleven Australia to the U.K. market in July 2019 and was sure to expose it at Salon International. The distributor, which also supplies Alfaparf Group’s Yellow and EcoHeads, generated a remarkable buzz during the trade show due to the popularity of the Australian indie brand.
Eleven Australia has enjoyed enormous success in its home country and is now at the beginning stages of global expansion. The brand, founded in 2011, is directed by top Australian hairdresser Joey Scandizzo and professional photographer Andrew O’Toole.
Eleven’s packaging and colors really stood out, and Wonderful Brands managed to create keen awareness at both the trade show and online. Travel bundle packaging and sales discounts brought many customers to the stand, while an online contest surely caused the number of followers on the brand’s Instagram page to skyrocket.
About 30 of the most exciting indie brands that are making an impact in the professional hair care industry globally are analyzed in detail in the just-published indie volume of our Salon Hair Care Global Series report. We believe that more indie brands will be launched in the coming years, both in the United Kingdom and globally, and we also expect that the existing ones will continue to appeal to more hairdressers and end consumers. This winter, we will be publishing the first half of 2019 data covering key countries across the globe such as the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, China, and Brazil, among others.