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Addressing the Gap: Launching a Custom Personal Care Brand for Gen z - Co-Creating Products with Gen Z

I am a father of two gen z (son and Daughter). We were invited for a Destination wedding between first and second lockdown in early 2021. My wife (teacher) was super busy during that period and I was tasked to shop for the wedding. While online shopping for my gen z I had to really struggle to find quality lifestyle products for my gen z and had to ‘compromise’ (as we didn’t find what we were looking for) shop at multiple sites. Due to the first lock down, we were already low on everything as we used to shop offline for our gen z and they outgrow at a fast clip. In addition, the multiple wedding functions made the list very long

We had issues in finding the right size as either we were either in a kids brand site where you had to find the highest size of a chosen product and or at an adult brand, we had to look for smallest size. The styling on kids’ brand was too childish whereas the adult brand styling was too mature.

Navigating on marketplaces to find gen z products was also very difficult and choices available looked more like left overs v/s a serious designed brand for gen z. I had to spend hours on marketplaces, brand websites We had to return almost half of the ordered products due to variety of reasons and even the retained products were reluctantly accepted.

Now I knew why my international business travel (before COVID) shopping list had so many product requirements for our gen z.

We didn’t find even a single socially conscious authentic gen z brand in India with custom made exclusive products. The digitally native gen z of today are looking for sustainable, stylish, clean, custom-made products. Even the International Brands operating in India carry limited collection, end of season kind of products for gen z.

Due to the lack of options, they are forced to either use whatever their parents buy from kids’ aisle of branded stores or use products meant for adults only.

I began talking to other gen z parents in our network, I realized that almost everyone is facing the same issue or are shoving products that are actually designed for kids or adults. Some even mentioned that shopping has resulted in arguments and in some cases even fights especially when the parent bought products on their own.

The detailing provided by gen z during our focus group discussions was an eye opener especially on their outlook and buying values towards brands/products. They prefer – mission driven, socially conscious, sustainable, safe with clean ingredients, custom-made and authentic products/brands. They are disappointed with the majority available options of kids/adult brands and feel short changed when they have to buy products that have been designed for kids/adults.

During the wedding I was having informal discussion with gen z parents and met Anand (brother-in-law and ex-colleague) after a long gap. We had multiple rounds of discussion on this problem as he himself faced this issue for his gen z son especially while searching personal care products specific for gen z.

Anand and I have worked in the same cosmeceutical company where he was managing SE Asia Business (Singapore office) and I was taking care of the North/South America business. Between both of us we have worked with almost all major Personal Care brands.

We decided to play to our strengths and launch with custom personal care products for gen z. We are simultaneously working on developing custom products across different categories in fashion, health, accessories and want to co-create with gen z. Very soon we will be launching a gen z focused community app and will like to invite you to come up with product ideas which we will develop and reward the gen z who have participated in the development of the product.

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