Why this D2C superfood skincare brand is targeting Gen Z and Millennials

Deepti Alapati and Goutham Uppaluri had just launched its brand of vegan and superfood skincare Cosmetic Paste in the second week of March 2020. The following week, the first nationwide lockdown was imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the brand was unable to ship any product for the next three weeks.

But while the onset of the pandemic caused problems for most businesses, Hyderabad-based Pulp took off with just two face masks.

“We focused on building a buzz online and as soon as the logistics were sorted out, we started shipping to our customers. And in the first month itself, we saw around two to three lakhs with just the masks and zero marketing budget,” Deepti said. His history.

Within two months, most people were familiar with Pulp’s two face masks, designed “Instagram style” with green and pink packaging. She says almost all of the customers posted information about their purchase on social media.

“That was the first step that built our traction,” she adds.

Messaging setting

Fascinated by brands and startups, Goutham returned to India after completing his Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences and working for a few years in the United States.

During every trip to India, his friends and cousins ​​would ask him to get different types of skincare products, which convinced him of the opportunity of the Indian skincare market, valued at 129 .76 billion rupees in 2020.

“I realized there was a lack of brands communicating with these young Gen Z and millennial women in an accessible language.”

Goutham noted that most brands tend to be very clinical and ingredient-focused, while Pulp focused its messages on the customers themselves.

After sending out a batch of products for a trial among friends and family and getting their ideas, Deepti reached out to learn more about Pulp and eventually joined as a co-founder.

Today, almost all of its products are geared towards the Gen Z and Millennial lifestyle, and named after specific use cases like “when you want to go on a date” or “when you have had a long day”.

With a price tag of between Rs 400 and Rs 1,200, the D2C startup has about 11 SKUs, with all packaging being made from China.

After making initial investments from their personal savings, Deepti, who was previously associated with T-Hub, contacted some of the investors she knew from T-Hub.

“I wrote to 50 of them; 10 agreed to talk to me and two agreed to invest in the first round,” she said, adding that they could relaunch another round after a year.

(Products per Paste)

The crowded skin care market

With increasing attention to personal care and general well-being, skin care and personal care products have become popular. Today, the market is filled with brands that are innovating with different ingredients.

Pulp competes with brands like Skinella, Tribe Concepts, and SkinKraft, among others.

The duo claim that although there are competing brands offering relatively cheaper deals, their customers keep coming back to them because of “the effectiveness of the ingredients used”.

While others offer 10 different product lines, Pulp’s approach is to “develop one or two that really speak to the customer”. “When we started, we were the first in the country to focus on superfood ingredients,” adds Deepti.

At the same time, Goutham adds that not everyone is a target audience for Pulp.

“We target people whose skincare routine means they just need to fix the problems but don’t want to get into the breakdown of ingredients. Skincare isn’t that important to them,” adds he.

The entrepreneurial duo also focus on building a community to ensure a “powerful source of brand advocacy” that builds trust, establishes an emotional connection and makes the brand more accessible.

For the next few years, Pulp aims to be the household name in superfood skincare for young people.

Donovan B. Sanford