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Time for a Fresh POV

By: Alisa Marie Beyer and Kate Helfrich
Posted: June 1, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Don’t forget—everything old is new again. Beauty balms may be enjoying a new era of popularity, but they were first conceived 30+ years ago. Be that product.

Starring: Ingredients!

One of the most well-known beauty powerhouses recently launched a new cream that claims to have two million rose stem cells in every jar, an ingredient story that resonates on every level of the beauty kingdom. Obviously, this company has the depth of R&D to grow and harvest its own rose stem cells, but make no mistake—it’s the story that makes this ingredient seem fresh and new, and consequently, this product come alive.

Beauty brands should take note. This kind of smart, clear ingredient story is how emerging brands can—and will—compete in the face of such massive R&D. Have you got exclusive rights to rich delta mud from Tennessee? How about a molecule that protects plants from attack by predators? Whatever your ingredient, telling it’s story in a fresh, concise and compelling new way is music to a consumer’s ear, and it will separate the superstars from the subpars. Forge an emotional connection with your ingredient story and consumers will fall for your brand hook, line and sinker.

Think Like an Icon

At the end of the day, your mother’s cold cream is still, well, your mother’s cold cream—but that doesn’t mean her story doesn’t still charm us all. For new beauty products to succeed, the devil is in the details, and that means your overarching brand story.

In the not-so-distant past, nail polish stories were merely red, blue, pink or beige, yet look at them now. Today nail color is neon, layered, swirled, shellacked, magnetized and dotted with decals, and stories are keeping pace. Just this season, nail care companies have taken the stage with pop stars, gone to Holland to pick tulips, been part of international movie sensations and taken part in the New York City Ballet—and that’s just the beginning.