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The Beauty business: how Mad Beauty is still planning for growth

Owner and director, Trevor Cash tells Source how the licensee is looking to continue on its current upward trajectory.

Mad Beauty is a licensee which has been growing rapidly over the last couple of years.

Over the past year alone, it has renewed existing contracts and expanded contracts into new territories, launching Mad Beauty USA, while also establishing distribution across the EMAE regions, the US/Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some South American territories.

Pre-COVID, Mad Beauty enjoyed a successful Spring Fair, launching a number of new collections including a Friends range after securing a deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products. It also launched in the US in January, showing at gift events in Atlanta and Las Vegas with the initial signs being positive.

The new Friends collection was teased earlier this year at Spring Fair and is now hitting shelves.
The new Friends collection was teased earlier this year at Spring Fair and is now hitting shelves.

Since the pandemic, the company has continued to focus on what it does well, explains Trevor Cash, owner and director.

“We haven’t particularly changed our focus; we have always enjoyed selling our moisturising hand sanitiser and obviously sales have been strong, but we have resisted requests to offer other PPE as we want to focus on our core business,” he tells us. “There are a lot of companies trying to jump on the bandwagon, but many of them are not familiar with the regulations and issues around this type of product and we did not want to be seen to be jumping into PPE just to make a fast buck, so we have continued to focus on what we do well.”

The company’s relationship with Disney continues to blossom, encompassing products such as face masks, fizzers, hand sanitizers, lip balm and more. Trevor says that Mad Beauty remains optimistic about licensed product going forwards, while he also believes there is still growth to be had.

“We remain optimistic and we hope that the demand for good value, good quality products with good design and the draw of established properties will be strong,” he says. “We are a beauty company that makes gifts not a gift company that makes beauty products and we believe that our products will keep their appeal. We are planning for growth and we have not adjusted this strategy at the moment. I believe there is still growth in the licensing business for creative and interesting products; I am not sure if slapping labels on existing products is going to be as appealing right now consumers are looking for a little more.”

The company's face masks range from Marvel superheroes to Disney Princesses.
The company's face masks range from Marvel superheroes to Disney Princesses.

While online has changed dramatically over the past few months, Trevor thinks there will still be an appetite for people to get out and about again, now that non-essential retail has opened up.

He comments: “It is very early days but we hope to see a good recovery, we have seen some positive indicators. Some other countries are ahead of the UK in recovery so looking positive. Online has changed dramatically, but I am sure there is an appetite to get out and about again. Hopefully people will be careful and respect the social distancing measures and stay well, but still enjoy their shopping experience.”

Trevor continues: “Working from home has proven to be more successful than anticipated and while the amount of hours worked has not decreased, it has been great to spend more time with family. However, I do miss the daily, personal interaction with the team and am looking forward to getting back to our new offices; we only moved in three weeks before the lockdown.”

The company continues to innovate with its product design.
The company continues to innovate with its product design.

Further strengthening its international growth is a huge part of Mad Beauty’s 2020 strategy, while Trevor would also like to establish the brand in the US over the next 12 months.

“Hopefully the early signs of recovery and our new recruits will help us to do that,” he says. “We are looking forward to developing all of our new markets, working with our new team members and to continue to delight customers with our fun, creative and interesting new product design; there is lots to come.”

The Disney Villains range has proved popular for the company.
The Disney Villains range has proved popular for the company.

Company growth

The licensee has also been busy expanding its head count during lockdown, welcoming two new hires.

First up, Wendy Kent has joined the company as operations director, supporting its continued strategy for international growth. Wendy has vast experience in international supply chain after having lived and worked in four countries over the last 30 years and leading international teams. She has experience in all facets of supply chain including purchasing, sourcing, product development, logistics and finance, with a diverse insight into multiple types of product.

In addition, Jonathan Tomkin has joined Mad Beauty as head of commercial. He brings experience across a broad range of consumer goods companies, and the digital, export and the North American markets in particular.

“We are focusing on our growth and to continue to grow at the pace that we have been, we must put in new infrastructure and our new hires will help us do this,” Trevor explains. “We go live in the next few weeks with a fully integrated new PLM (Product Life Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Platform). This has taken nearly a year to customise at a not insignificant cost and we wanted to invest in senior level and experienced new hires. During lockdown we have employed a number of amazing new people, which is all to support our continued growth.”

This feature originally appeared in the summer 2020 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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