According to P S Market Research, sales of beauty products amounted to 81.1 billion dollars in the United States alone. Small business owner are smart to get in the market. Although it is very competitive, there is obviously a lot to be gained. The trick is to brand and market your products strategically.
Long gone are the days of putting products on a shelf and hope that foot traffic would come in your door and buy. Here are six branding and marketing tips to help your beauty business reach and connect with customers.
Design is your best friend when trying to become an innovator in this market. Many business owners perceive design as something that happens in an atelier with know-it-all kind of people who know everything that they don’t. The truth is that design firms are there to support the business owner. The good ones are always willing to listen just like you should listen to your customer. The purpose behind design is to solve problems for people. It is that simple.
Here’s an example of what we mean. If you sell an anti-wrinkle serum and you market it towards the more mature woman, it would be in your best interest to listen to their concerns. By inviting a small group of women in your preferred demographic, presenting them the product and allowing them to use it in your presence, you can observe their reactions. If you notice that some of these women have trouble opening the package because of they suffer from arthritic pain, you should see an opportunity. Maybe they comment on the strong smell of the product or find the instructions for use on the package hard to read. Those would all be products that you should note. Once you have this information, you can present it to the private label manufacturer you work with and they can help you redesign the product to address those problems. It would be beneficial to proudly announce these new features in your marketing. That is how design helps you become an innovator.
So, from the moment you decide to get into the business innovation should be a strong lead in your business plan. If you already have a product, design thinking is the way to evolve and improve for you and your customer.
Businesses of all sizes succeed or fail everyday because they either know or not know who their customer is. This is particularly important in the beauty industry. The best way to know someone is to talk to them and listen carefully to what they have to say. It is our job to know everything we can about them. Their age, their income, their likes, their dislikes, their location, and everything else you can ethically find out so that you can provide them with the solutions to their concerns and problems.
As an example, here is an ethical and fun way to find out who your customer is. Starting a group on social media such as Facebook is easy and costs nothing. Your posts should display not only your products, but those of your competitors. Ask questions of the group followers about the products. A question like, at what age did you become concerned about crows feet? This can be a way of asking about their age. Do you prefer the scented or unscented version of this beauty bar? That’s a way of asking about perfumes. So on and so on, you can find out so much about who your client is.
There is no denying that first impressions matter. With so many choices in the market, a potential client’s first look at your product must be impactful. It should speak to them and connect in a significant way. Women of a particular skin complexion, for example freckled fair skin auburn haired, would find a product on the shelf with an image of a model with a similar look as theirs very appealing. If you add key terms such as “formulated for freckled skin” would only add to the connection. If the packaging lets the potential customer know that inside the package they can find a list of eye shadow colors that look best with their skin tone, it adds to the message that this product was made for them.
By crafting and designing the packaging to maximize a bond with the client, you ensure a good first impression. Promotional materials should reflect the benefit and features of your product. They should be both declared and implied at a glance for best effect.
It counts every step of the way. Keeping consistent in the color palette used, the logo, and typography are a given but it goes beyond that. A product should “feel” the same across every marketing and promotional opportunity. If you present your product as a luxury brand, it does not benefit you to splash a 50% off sticker across a poster.
The reason consistency is so important, is that it helps your customer easily recognize any of your products. It is a secret among the Marketing industry that people equate exposure with trust. This is to say that the more we see something, the more we feel we are familiar with it and therefore trust it. It’s an innate trait of humans. Some experts speculate that it is related to our ancestors fight or flight response. Imagine a human who had never seen an elephant. At first they would be cautions being around it. The more they see it in their surroundings every day, the more it would become a non issue. Eventually they might decide to engage with it. In this way, we as humans learned that the more we see something, the more we trust it.
For this reason, we help all of our clients develop a style guide for their brand. It helps to carry a consistent message across the marketing landscape. Marketing is evolving in the way it is implemented, but at its core, it is still the same science.
Your product should be unbashfully open about its ingredients. Customers in today’s marked demand products that are natural and sustainable. This is a trend that is not new and keeps growing year after year. The impact that this trend is having on the industry becomes ever so more apparent when we study what the major players in the industry are doing.
The most searched keywords when it comes to beauty products gives us another clue as to the way the industry and market are leaning.
Non-toxic is a keyword that is very self explanatory. People are concerned of poisonous ingredients in every product they use or consume. The more complicated the name of the ingredient or the more chemically sounding, the less appealing it is to the customer.
Renewable and Recyclable are two that go hand and hand. Consumers applaud and support products that reflect their core values of doing their part for the health of the planet. Carefully selecting packaging that is renewable and/or recyclable go a long way to creating trust.
By following this short checklist, you can be sure that your product appears favorable to the public. It will help create a language that appeals to the people more likely to be your client. We always recommend to our clients in the beauty industry to test their products against this checklist. There is always some improvement that can be made to maximize your chances for success.