DTC Brand Customizes Haircare at Target

Cyndi Loza
Managing Editor, Member Content, P2PI
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Target has teamed with direct-to-consumer brand Function of Beauty to launch an exclusive collection of customizable shampoos and conditioners.

Function of Beauty "nude (p)each"-scented shampoos and conditioners rolled out to Target stores and last month in formulas designed for wavy, straight, curly and coily hair types. Available in 11-ounce bottles priced at $9.99 each, the shampoos and conditioners are intended to inspire shoppers to be their own chemists by encouraging them to mix in up to three out 10 available booster packets. Sold separately for $2.99 each, the booster packs are formulated to help with a specific haircare need such as preventing frizz, strengthening, lengthening, deep conditioning and volumizing. 

Function of Beauty reshared a Twitter update spotlighting the brand's endcap at Target.

On, a brand showcase spotlights the new SKUs, communicating how the items work together as a haircare system and encouraging shoppers to "build your hair profile." For shoppers who are unsure where to start, the page also curates collections based on hair type. The page directs shoppers to a Function of Beauty "Straight Hair Club," for example, explaining how the brand's shampoo for straight hair is formulated with coconut water to "hydrate hair without weighing it down" and communicating those with this hair type often choose strengthening, volumizing, and deep conditioning boosters. 

In select stores, Function of Beauty SKUs enjoy secondary merchandising space via account-specific, teal endcap displays employing a variety of colors to differentiate the shampoos and conditioners based on hair type and communicating the benefits of each booster. Multiple email blasts from Target, sponsored Google search ads, multiple Twitter and Facebook updates from Function of Beauty, and a video (see below) posted to Function of Beauty's YouTube channel also support. 

Function of Beauty haircare items at Target are more affordable than their counterparts on, where shampoos and conditioners are sold together in 8- and 16-ounce bottles for $39.99 and $49.99, respectively, or separately for $29.99 for an 8-ounce bottle and $39.99 for an 16-ounce SKU. Shampoos and conditioners on the brand's DTC website, however, are delivered already formulated and offer more customization options, allowing shoppers to choose up to five hair goals, different scents and scent intensities, the color of the formulas and even adjust the name on the bottles ("Function of" followed by whatever name the shopper chooses).

Founded in 2015, the company told Glossy it had to rethink its customization process to bring its products to Target, as it typically formulates and fulfills its products in-house at company-owned manufacturing facilities. When asked if this type of retail setup might negatively affect how people perceive customized products, Function of Beauty chief marketing officer Lorna Sommerville told Glossy that the brand's altered version of products did not dissuade people from customized products during its consumer testing and research.

“There are some women who were incredibly excited about this retail offering. This presented them the ability to buy it where they buy the rest of their items,” said Sommerville. “But there was another set of people who, when we exposed them to the DTC version and talked about that higher level of customization, were more drawn to that option.”

Target regularly works with digital-native personal care brands — most recently Winky Lux and Myro — to give them an in-store presence, usually via dedicated endcaps. "We are thrilled to bring Function of Beauty exclusively to Target and continue to be a destination where direct-to-consumer brands can extend their reach and excite our [shoppers]," Cassandra Jones, vice president of beauty at Target, told Allure. "The clean and unique customization that the brand brings to personalized hair care is a differentiator, and we look forward to our [shoppers'] response to this new brand and all that's to come in our beauty assortment in 2021."