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From Fiction to Fact—Ideas Build Beauty Business
By: Abby Penning
Posted: August 31, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.
Votre Vu’s top-seller is its beauty drink Snapdragon—which includes collagen, vitamins, aloe vera, ginkgo biloba, and green, white and red teas among its ingredients.
page 3 of 4The innovations aren’t limited to just the products, though. The packaging features a traditional black-and-white exterior with a pop of cranberry color on the inside, and secondary and shipping packaging is designed to promote an international flair. “You feel like you’re getting gifts from France when you open your order. It’s not a boring brown box—it’s a nice white box with these fun travel stickers on it,” Zimmerman says. Even the product names are part of the fun, often featuring a language-butchering combination of French and English. “The goal there supports the notion of credible but not stuffy. There’s a bit of playfulness that we do,” says Zimmerman. “Its not dumbed-down humor—we like to have an element of smart humor there.”
Votre Vu also stays actively involved with its brand ambassadors, holding an annual summit meeting and sending its field team around the U.S. constantly. “Every week they travel all around the country, holding meetings, talking to our brand ambassadors, doing training,” says Brodette. “We’re getting feedback constantly, and our ambassadors are always telling us what they love and what they want from the line.”
Such feedback helped the company develop a few ambassador-direct components, such as their own section of the Votre Vu website, which includes brand updates and selling tips, as well as a personal shopper program. All of it helps reinforce the background of Votre Vu—a fun, quality product that connects people. Of the company’s marketing strategy, Zimmerman says, “Our primary strategy is, through our reps, just educating customers on our message and on our products. We even use a lot of Facebook, Twitter—more social media.”
“For direct selling, it’s all word-of-mouth,” he continues. “I still believe in a grassroots style.” That marketing has led to recognition in publications such as Redbook and Allure and has garnered celebrity fans such as Marisa Tomei and Lisa Rinna.
The Road Ahead
Keeping growth in mind is always a goal at Votre Vu, as well. “We had a strong first year and are on track to keep growing this year, but I still have a goal of this company hitting $100 million within five years, and I’m not stopping there,” says Zimmerman. “We’re thinking big here, but we want to do it with integrity and class and style. We don’t just want to be a flash in the pan. We want to build a really good, solid foundation of a brand you can trust.”