Having a product assortment that goes from diaper rash balm to tattoo products might seem like a stretch for many, but not for Skinfix. This is a business that lives in the white space. The thing about white space is that while there might be an opportunity, there may very well be a reason no one has done it before, and it certainly comes with challenges. Navigating white space opportunities is a special skill set, and Skinfix CEO Amy Regan has it mastered.
Tattoos and beauty have had an interesting relationship, and it is very easy to make a case that the tattoo category has an adjacency to beauty that makes sense. Skinfix does everything, from Ipsy Generation Beauty events to tattoo conventions, chasing down and building their white space opportunities.
STEP 1: IDENTIFYING THE OPPORTUNITY
How did you go from eczema and diaper rash to tattoos? The tattoo balm existed when I bought the company! In fact, it was the product that had me the most captivated and really helped me to wrap my head around the original founder’s concept. She envisioned something white space—a brand that was 100% focused on fixing skin—whether that was healing eczema or a tattoo injury. The tattoo balm, for me, gave the brand a personality. It illustrated that, just because a product line is medicinal and clinically efficacious, it doesn’t need to be stale and predictable. We improved the formulation—but the original concept was hers.
How did you validate the idea as a real opportunity vs a shiny diversion? We did a business plan for the tattoo opportunity. We looked at the market and did some qualitative research with artists across North America. We decided that it was a space that we wanted to develop. It wasn’t going to be a core focus, but definitely something to try.
Did everyone on the team see the opportunity? If not, how did you get them on board? Let’s face it—tattoos are super sexy! The team was pumped (both about the opportunity, but also about the category itself)! We bought books on tattoo artistry and the creative team dove into pack design, while product development and I dove into formulation. We spent a lot of time talking to tattoo artists and people with lots of tattoos to better understand what the product needed to do.
STEP 2: DEFINING THE OPPORTUNITY
From a branding perspective, how did you make an expansion into tattoo products square with your positioning and the rest of your assortment? This question really gets at the heart of the Skinfix positioning. No brand does what we do—we fix skin. We tackle all kinds of skin concerns, from sensitive skin to rashes, to dermatitis, to Keratosis Pillaris to redness/rosacea to tattoo injuries. Top North American Derms have embraced Skinfix as the brand they can send patients to for clean, clinically proven, targeted solutions to skin concerns. In this context, Inked Tattoo Balm works! It’s a logical extension. Who else to trust with your tattoo investment but the experts in fixing skin?!
What was your process for “getting smart” on the world of tattoos? I would imagine to maximize the category opportunity it required some immersion. What did that look like? We have quite a few inked team members, so we had some in-house expertise for sure. Additionally, we went to tattoo shows, met with artists, observed artists at work, read reviews of other products and basically decided how we were going to create the best solution. We also gave lab samples of work-in-process product to both artists and people getting tattoos to get their firsthand feedback.
After the due diligence was the opportunity simply validated or were there some surprises? There were definitely some learnings. There were lots of questions from artists and people getting tattoos alike about whether our products were cruelty free and vegan. It was clear that this, in particular, was important to a lot of people engaged in the space. We also learned that the way a tattoo heals is critical. In fact, if it scabs over too quickly, the scab can pull too much of the ink with it, and leave the design patchy and uneven. So, we formulated to address this.
STEP 3: CHASING DOWN THE OPPORTUNITY
Was this a test-and-learn scenario or was the opportunity belief so strong that you jumped in with both feet? Yes, however, we launched with Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada first to get a sense of consumer response. The response was immediate and very positive.
No offense but your team is definitely cut from the beauty cloth. I’m going to guess you guys stick out like a sore thumb at a tattoo convention. How did you gain credibility in the tattoo world? Haha! Well, for starters, I don’t typically go to the tattoo conventions. You haven’t met the cool, inked crowd on our team!
What was the distribution strategy for these products? Has this new category opened up any new channels? Originally we launched online at at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada. We now sell to US consumers on ulta.com and skinfix.com. There is a lot of interest in this product, so watch this space!
How did your existing retailers react to this new category? Shopper’s Drug Mart was very excited because they recognized the potential of this market.
STEP 4: MAXIMIZING THE OPPORTUNITY
How are you maximizing this white space opportunity? I am not sure we are maximizing it just yet—but we are working on a larger strategy.
What does the future for this category of products in your portfolio look like? The future looks very exciting! Clean, clinically effective skincare is hot, and Skinfix delivers targeted solutions to skin concerns that no one else does! We truly operate in white space. The trends are all working in our favour!
Photo: via Skinfix