Plum owner Pureplay Skin Sciences revamps men’s brand Phy to broaden consumer base

Pureplay Skin Sciences, known for skincare brand Plum, is revamping their men’s brand Phy into a gender-neutral and introducing new shampoo variants at lower price points to attract a larger consumer base
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Pureplay Skin Sciences (India) Pvt Ltd, which operates three direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands including Plum and Phy, is looking to deepen their hold as a more broader offerings brand by revamping Phy into a gender-neutral label. 

Started in 2019 as a men’s grooming brand, Phy saw a 7 percent dip in sales during the pandemic. The brand, which operates in the hair and beard grooming space, currently contributes 10 percent to the company’s total revenue, which was a bit underwhelming for the vegan skincare firm. 

In FY20, the company earned Rs 53 crore in total revenue — up from Rs 22 crore in the previous year, according to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). Pureplay made a profit (before tax) of Rs 1.72 crore in FY20.

“I have no theory about why Phy did not perform very well in the retail space after the unlock in June. But now we want to position it as a gender neutral brand. The gender line is also getting blurred out,” Shankar Prasad, Founder and Director of Pureplay Skin Sciences (India) Pvt Ltd, told YourStory

Before founding Pureplay Skin Sciences in 2013, Shankar was Executive Director at private equity firm Everstone and also worked with Hindustan Unilever (HUL), India’s biggest FMCG company, as a product development manager.  

With Phy, Pureplay aimed to extend their offerings in the men's grooming category. But now, the firm has replaced ‘men’ with ‘guys’ in Phy’s tagline and brought in new colours including magenta, light blue, and green to appeal to a wider consumer base. 

“Plum is very well established as a specialty skincare and haircare brand. But we did not have anything for a broader audience. Phy can be that offering for us,” adds Shankar.

Phy, which started with 11 stock keeping units (SKUs), currently has 27 SKUs out of which 20 are in the new identity. The firm is also reducing the prices by 10-20 percent while providing the same quantity to attract more consumers. 

Pureplay replaced replaced ‘men’ with ‘guys’ in Phy’s tagline and brought in new colours. Image credit: Pureplay Skin Sciences

Currently, the firm is selling 65 percent through its online channels while the remaining 35 percent comes from offline sales. 

Before the pandemic, the major chunk of sales would come from online channels. The company plans on increasing their physical presence in Delhi, Punjab, Kolkata, as well as in parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where the firm does not have a strong retail presence. 

Since the unlock, many D2C or omnichannel brands, including makeup brand Sugar Cosmetics, nutrition brand Oziva, and Kolkata-based skincare brand Dot and Key, are looking to expand their online presence.

Even with at least 190 million online shoppers, a major chunk of the Indian population still depend on offline retail, which helps in increasing volumes However, Pureplay claims to have 40-50 percent repeat purchase rate on their digital fronts.

Edited by Kanishk Singh