Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Ltd. (Charlotte Tilbury) is something of a rarity in the beauty market at present. Despite make-up experiencing somewhat of a downturn recently, the company has continued to grow at a double digit rate. Furthermore, the brand has remained independent thus far. As M&A activity is curbed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the sale of Charlotte Tilbury is said to be imminent with a reported £1.0bn ($1.28bn) price tag. The brand has attracted a lot of interest, with large corporations including Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Unilever, and Shiseido all said to be striving to buy the company.
The company has been particularly good at tapping into the millennial market with a luxury offering that charges premium prices. The social media trend and use of celebrity influencers, along with Charlotte Tilbury’s reputation as a successful make-up artist, have been key to the brand’s success. Charlotte Tilbury releases YouTube tutorials, Instagram live videos, Facebook videos, and tweets, all of which are littered with celebrity name drops. The most watched tutorial on YouTube has so far attracted 5.7 million views. Such success on social media has helped to attract a strong millennial consumer base.
Charlotte Tilbury has developed as the personality of the brand, with the make-up artist at the center of the video tutorials. In this way the company has become part of the growing trend towards personality led brands that have come to compete with the traditional beauty companies. For these existing beauty giants, such as L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, and Unilever, it would be near on impossible to undertake a big new rebrand in an attempt to draw in millennial consumers. As such, many mainstream cosmetic brands have been keen to purchase smaller brands that have already captured a strong millennial following.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying lockdown in many parts of the world, have had a detrimental impact on many consumer companies. The reduced footfall, as well as a fall in consumer spending amidst job cuts and furloughs, has hit many companies hard. Spend on anything aside from the essentials has been significantly curbed. It has also meant that M&A deals are few and far between at the moment. However, the pandemic has done little to hamper growth for the Charlotte Tilbury brand. As such, big cosmetics companies are keen to add Charlotte Tilbury and its huge millennial following to their business portfolio.