Trend Alert: Petite ‘n’ Pretty

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.

While our main focus here at Voxburner is the 16-24 demographic, today we’re looking ahead to the next generation that will soon reach this age group: Gen Alpha. The generation born after 2010 are increasingly targeted by the same marketing techniques that work on teens and adults, and in the digital and social age, it is much more difficult to regulate marketing to children.

One Alpha-focused brand which has provoked discussion around which products are appropriate for minors, and how they should be marketed, is Petite ‘n’ Pretty. The make-up line launched by well-connected LA businesswoman Samantha Cutler has taken an influencer-led approach, supported by famous mums and daughters. Kim Kardashian’s daughter North West walked in a catwalk show sponsored by Petite ‘n’ Pretty, while other advocates include 11-year-old YouTubers Jessalyn Grace and Piper Rockelle, and Portia Umansky, daughter of reality star Kyle Richards.

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Make-up for kids isn’t a new concept, but Petite ‘n’ Pretty is more than a level up from the sparkly nail polish sold in Claire’s. Their products include a $16 lip gloss, a $40 eye and cheek palette, and a $48 brush set. They proudly state that all items are free of parabens and phthalates, and never tested on animals, positioning themselves as a premium, ethical brand. Despite these safety precautions, and the “pretty is on the inside” messaging, concerns have been raised about the impact of the brand on its target audience. According to Samantha Cutler, their influencers have a substantial 30% engagement rate, which shows how susceptible their young followers are to marketing, less cynical and savvy than older people.

Promoting beauty products to girls as young as four, using habit-forming marketing tactics, brings up the question of when kids become consumers. Are they fair game for marketers as soon as they have spending power? Should there be different rules for different types of products? As Gen Alpha has access to a wider range of media than any previous generation of children, and the tech industry faces up to the issues of digital addiction, this is going to be a major conversation in the advertising industry in the next few years.

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