Ernest Supplies was founded in 2012 by John Cafarelli as a luxury clean skincare brand for men, with distribution to support the positioning. With innovative packaging and clean formulas, Ernest Supplies was ahead of the curve on a category that was about to explode. With 7 years of market data under his belt and a keen eye to shifting consumer behavior, Cafarelli launched a diffusion brand called ernest exclusively with Target to meet the growing demand for clean skincare that is effective, innovative, easy to use, and available beyond the confines of the old school “luxury” beauty counter.
“People are focused on wellness and self-care more than ever. We thought it was time to change the conversation about skincare in the same way; moving from aesthetics like ‘handsome’ and ‘beautiful’ and, instead, focusing on skin health, wellness and care. Our idea was to create products that help advance skin health but are easy enough to fit into our busy daily lives,” Cafarelli said. “What good are incredible, well-designed products if people don’t use them regularly? We engineered these products to be exceptional but also to be as accessible as possible.”
The ernest brand believes that skin health is a concern that has no gender and is shared equally. Rooted in the philosophy of its parent brand, the new ernest products rely on rich, plant-based ingredients, lab-driven science, and smart formulations that multitask to offer consumers a realistic skincare routine that fits seamlessly into an active and modern lifestyle. ernest utilizes the same technique as Ernest Supplies, using TechPouch packaging borrowed from the food industry. With a very high “product-to-package” ratio, ernest TechPouch products are able to offer a lower carbon footprint and customers can squeeze out every last drop of product.
“Making these new products approachable and relatable was important,” said brand Vice President Luigi Bianco. “In a mass environment or online, where a trained brand associate is not available to educate customers about our products, we wanted our packaging to reach out into the aisle and connect emotionally with people in a common-sense kind of way. We really wanted people to quickly understand why these products are essential to their skin health routine,” says Bianco.
While diversion brands are far from unique, the success of them is often contingent upon the launch partner, the timing, and the execution. The timing of this launch with Target coincides with the retailer getting their Tar-jay groove back, which bodes well for brands like ernest.
“The millennial consumer has broken down the old way of categorizing quality into ‘good, better best.’ We really connected with the idea of making something great without making it out of reach. With the ernest brand we’re so excited to offer tools for a simple skin health routine that not only look beautiful and perform well, but are accessible,” added Cafarelli and Bianco.
Photo: via ernest