The news of Becca’s imminent liquidation follows closely on the heels of the closure of Jemma Kidd. While it’s impossible to know quite what went wrong, they’re both brands that failed to up their game in the face of very stiff competition. As a beauty brand, I really rated Becca – they came into the beauty market like lions with natural, flattering, suit-all looks that anyone could wear. At the time, it was a pared-back, elegant range with no gimmicks – just straight-down-the-line, well made, quality make-up, and exactly what the UK market was looking for.
However, move forward several years, and the UK beauty market has changed beyond recognition. Quality and innovative make-up is pouring out from the cheaper brands and despite the luxury market being on an endless upward trajectory, there are brands whose simplicity just won’t cut it.
You have to think of a reason why you would buy Becca above all other brands – that’s the only way beauty brands stay afloat; if consumers actually buy it. We’re in a market where pricing competition is stiff, there are internet deals aplenty where the consumer gets more for their money. Becca is not cheap; it has luxury prices with none of the kudos of say, Chanel or Dior. That’s not to take away from its efficacy or quality; it’s a beautiful range. But, its niche, not mainstream and nor does it have many mainstream outlets – relying on the internet doesn’t always pay off for brands.
The flawless look that Becca is so famous for hasn’t kept up with what others are doing – and doing for less money. In common with Jemma Kidd, Becca had a make-up academy and I wonder if this is what tipped the financial balance. Make-up tutorials are ten a penny on-line, and while that can never beat the actual hands-on experience, in hard-pressed financial times, consumers are always going to look to the most viable option. Internets is free.
In the beauty market, it’s the new and the better that attracts our attention; not the same and same again. We are consistently fed newness in all sectors of beauty and keeping rigid definitions for your brand means relying on those consumers who prefer never to waiver from their habits.
I can never knock Becca for quality and for that flawless, pared-back elegance and I will be very sorry to see them disappear from the UK. But, if I’m really honest, I can’t quite see the gap they will leave.