Unlike the raft of direct-to-consumer brands that, well, you know, go direct to the consumer, Versed, a new skincare line from Clique Brands—the same company behind Who What Wear (both the site and fashion line)—took the opposite approach and instead debuted at 1,400 Target stores and Target.com on May 19.
Versed is the first brand out of Offspring Beauty, incubated by Who What Wear. Versed’s 19 products, from cleansers to face masks, came out of the Who What Wear community of 16 million people who expressed their desires for better, more accessible skincare.
“This has been a reoccurring theme for [the consumer] and seeing a lot of dissatisfaction with beauty and skincare,” said Melanie Bender, GM of Versed. “Women were very interested in trying new brands, but they really wanted to discover it in a store near them.”
Bender said, after hearing time and time again from the Who What Wear community about their frustrations with skincare, the Versed team conducted a national survey of 8,000 women in the community to examine if this problem held true. Guess what? It did! Bender said that women aren’t using 61% of the skincare products they currently own—giving the brand more proof that there was a market need.
“They don’t have the disposable income to go to Bloomingdale’s and buy one of the prestige brands or maybe they’re not comfortable going to a new brand on instagram and making a transaction there,” said Katherine Power, CEO and founder of Versed (and CEO and co-founder of Who What Wear). “It’s really the first digitally incubated clean drugstore brand.”
Customers shopping in Target will be treated to an end-cap experience for two months. Those shopping through Target.com can first take a “skincare decoder” quiz on Versed’s website to see what products are recommended for them. The quiz asks questions about age and lifestyle habits (like sleep and smoking)—data that Bender said the company’s doing nothing more with, other than providing customers with the right regimen. Versed spoke to a “number of different retailers” to bring the brand to life, but ultimately wanted to find “the retailer who was invested in beauty and skincare” and “the right fit for the brand.”
In addition to the end-cap experience, Versed’s products have five different icons—dullness, aging skin, problem skin, dryness and for all skin types–addressing “the most common skin concerns” to help customers easily identify what the different products do.
“We found that over 90% of women have more than one concern,” Bender said. “It’s really to give them more control, more understanding of what product is a good fit for them.”
The company entered a wholesale agreement with Target and wouldn’t comment further on the specifics of the deal. In July, Versed will arrive to all 1,850 U.S. Target stores, as well as Riley Rose and Revolve.
Come October, the company will roll out its direct-to-consumer experience and debut its “skincare hotline,” where customers can call in and ask experts questions. Versed came up with the idea after seeing how commonly members of their Facebook group, “The Good Skin Crowd,” kept asking questions that were easily searchable but wanted an expert to fill them in on the right detail.
For now, the company has no plans to use paid influencer marketing or any skin retouching in its marketing materials. The entire collection costs under $20, is free from more than 1,300 toxins and comes in packaging that’s low-waste or easy to recycle.