March 19, 2024

Cuppa 4: Pride month, brands get into TV, and next-gen beauty.

Shope Delano
VP Marketing

Welcome to the latest issue of Cuppa, a quick-fire newsletter for internet-first brand builders. Filled with analysis on the art, science and culture of building breakout brands in a digital age, it's quick enough to read over a cuppa. (Or something stronger, if you need it. No judgement). To get it direct to your inbox every other Monday, subscribe here.


More brands are getting into TV

"Why rent someone else’s space where you have little control when you can invest in bespoke content for your audience and own your place in culture?" L'Oreal is the latest to dip their toe into narrative-led, broadcast-quality content with a TV show designed for hair pro's. (On the flip side, Netflix launched their own e-commerce website


4 olympic champions are starting a media and commerce company

TOGETHXR is a "media-commerce brand designed to elevate women's voices, around but not exclusively within sports". They've got 11m instagram followers between them, and their approach involves original content, licensing deals, and merch.


Billie rewrites classic fairy tales with an inclusive twist

Pride month is an incredibly interesting time to observe brands, and see whether they'll be celebrated as progressive, or brandished as opportunists. Context and the brand's historic positioning are key. Billie, a DTC razor brand long known for their support of the LGBTQ+ community, got it right.


The evolving lingerie market explained in data

Bralettes and sports bras eclipsed push-ups by 382% and 162% respectively. High waist, full coverage briefs outsold hipster styles by 225% over the past three months. In other words - comfort is in.


How Atoms is redefining shoes

Atoms offers shoes in quarter sizes based on one piece of data: 60% of people have a quarter-size difference between their right and left foot. They started as a single SKU challenger attacking an industry that has seen little innovation in >30 years. Since launch, they've climbed to an 85% repeat purchase rate and a recent cash injection of $8.1m.


Ssense raises their first investment round at a valuation of $4.1 billion

The luxury e-commerce marketplace, known for their curation and focus on editorial content, took their first piece of external investment to crack China. As a family-run business that's been profitable since launch it's likely this is their first foray into accelerated, more aggressive growth.

What we look for in digital brands.

Charlie Oscar is a brands group, so we're a little different to the standard investor. Unlike VC or private equity, we're operators with our own capital, and investing is just 10% of what we do. The other 90% involves using our data science lab and digital know-how to accelerate scale.

We're category agnostic, but look exclusively for high potential digital brands. That's brands that are:

Digitally native.

Product focused.

Have fans > customers.

Making money.

Different to the rest.

Taking a responsible approach.

Learn more here.

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TikTok's latest trend: Proffee

Going viral on TikTok is the stuff that marketing dreams are made of. The latest drinks trend is protein coffee - nothing new for health enthusiasts, but found its way into the mainstream via TikTok creator @happyhealthyolivia.


Instagram isn't fun anymore

Instagram is becoming a net-negative for a growing number of Gen Z and millennials due to "the fraudulence, the algorithm, and the depressing time-suck of it all". Whilst just a tiny minority are actually boycotting the platform, it does suggest that over-reliance on the platform could be a risky move in the long-run.


The next frontier in beauty: male grooming?

US-based brand Faculty, known for their nail polishes and stickers, has raised $3M USD, led by Estee Lauder. Unisex, gender-free expression is a huge emerging trend in culture, and heritage beauty conglomerates will struggle to engage with it authentically. Estee Lauder opted instead to invest in it - smart move.

To read Cuppa over your cuppa, every other Monday, subscribe here.

Shope Delano
VP Marketing
charlie oscar