Influencer first commerce: Learnings from 6 Indian influencer-led brands

We’ve recently seen a rise in influencer lead commerce launch and flourish. Worldwide, Kylie Jenner, Shane Dawson and Jeffery Star have all launched their own makeup lines that got sold out within seconds. Similarly, we’ve been watching celebrities like Rihanna and Lady Gaga collaborating with beauty brands and launching their own product lines.

Even here in India, we can see several new celebrities and influencers led brands being launched. This makes sense as the primary marketing strategy there is to promote the products to an already created audience. They do this repeatedly and in creative ways. Influencer-led commerce makes a lot of sense because the influencer knows what their following cares about, and can build products that fit their specific needs. Their audience already knows and trusts the influencer, making them a captive audience with an intent to purchase.

Let’s see which Indian influencer-first brands have recently launched and what impact they’ve had on their industries –

Kay Beauty

Katrina Kaif launched her first-ever beauty line in collaboration with Nykaa this October. It
started with a campaign #KayToBeYou which promoted their nude shades and was a wordplay
on “It’s okay to be you” and Katrina Kaif’s name. The brand managed to make a dent to the
beauty world while several of her peer’s brands fizzled out early on.

The campaign was well-done and definitely connected with the audience they were targeting. The pricing too, though a bit on the higher side, is kept in mind with the target audience, which is something most brands seem to miss out on.

Arias by Lara Dutta

Former Miss Universe and Actress Lara Dutta definitely knows about beauty and makeup. She
launched her line of vegetarian, cruelty-, paraben-, and chemical-free skincare products. She
made sure the costing of these products were low enough to be affordable (starting at Rs 290
onwards) but the packaging was premium level.

A really good call we would say. Launched in April 2019 their focus was on the safety of the
products and the creation of it with Dr Geetanjali Shetty, a renowned dermatologist. Both their
expertise worked in relation with one another to create the brand.

Masaba x Nykaa

Masaba, a fashion designer and an influencer is a great example of creating Influencer first
brands that feel authentic. She recently partnered with Nykaa and launched her second beauty
line – Masaba x Nykaa. She was able to leverage her name & expertise in the fashion world toward beauty with her first association with Lakme for lip crayons which was a hit a few years ago.

As a designer, she has stepped up the game and has gone beyond apparels evolved into a
lifestyle label.
The hashtag used for her brand was #Masabaforall to talk about the fact that her
collection is created keeping Indian skin in mind. Her formulas were appreciated by customers
and critics alike but it is the packaging that truly made her collection stand out. Bright colours
and designs added on to her products and showed Masaba’s personality in it.

Manish Malhotra x MyGlamm

Having styled Bollywood’s top celebrities for years, fashion designer Manish Malhotra launched
his very first beauty line. He did this in collaboration with My Glamm, a European company that
is known for luxury.

This is a great collaboration as Manish Malhotra’s name has become
synonymous with luxury.
The launch was successfully done by keeping pre-order open only to
those with the invitation. So, when they did launch they had a base of waiting customers. A fun strategy to launch into Influencer lead commerce space.

Shreya Jain x YBP

Shreya Jain became the first Indian blogger to successfully launch an entire line of products to
her name
. She did this in collaboration with YBP, as well as launch her own line of SJ Merch. Shreya Jain is one of India’s top beauty influencers and a beauty guru to several people. She is known for her DIYs, reviews and tutorials so really, it is a no-brainer when YBP collaborated with her to launch their new line. YBP launched it through an Instagram Post of Shreya Jain with the hashtag #YBPxShreyaJain.

Hrithik Roshan HRX

Identified as one of the most stylish celebrities, Hrithik Roshan in collaboration with Myntra
launched his own active lifestyle wear. This works brilliantly with his celebrity image and for the
audience that he caters to. A perfect influencer to product match for influencer lead commerce

HRX has gone ahead and built a brand for itself now. They’ve even partnered with
which has further added to their credibility and put them in front of their audiences. They
launched with a focus on Hrithik Roshan but are now moving forward with great content and
workouts online


Influencer first brands or Influencer lead commerce needs to be launched in an authentic
manner and the collaboration should be absolutely genuine. In my opinion, an influencer or
celebrity should add on to the brand, if they don’t then consumers will tend to believe it is a cash
grab and will probably be right. There needs to be excitement and involvement of the celebrity
or influencer. Their personality must match the product and therefore this should be done with
utmost care. The bottom line: Influencer first brands has a far more authentic audience connect and potential to soar. Interest in exploring influencer commerce? We can help with the strategy & execution – get in touch!

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