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Case Study: Adjusting for the Holidays

By: Tina Chovanec
Posted: October 5, 2009, from the October 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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By mid-September 2008, Beauté de Maman products were ready for the gift-giving season. Brown and her marketing team had packaging created for three products: a 3.5-oz. stretch mark cream, 1-oz. nipple gel and 6-oz. facial scrub. However, a gift box sleeve for the individual products had not been created and, even more urgently, a holiday photo shoot had not been scheduled. With a tight turn-around pending—along with concerns about cost, flexibility and quality to match the existing packaging—Brown’s original package printer recommended digital printing to produce the small run of 1,000 gift box sleeves to fit over the box and maintain the print quality. “We needed a quick mock-up for use in the photo shoot for the holiday ad, and then all the gift set components had to be assembled into the new sleeve, so the whole turnaround of the entire project was important,” says Brown, who recalls the challenge with the sleeve itself. Because the box was created by a different supplier, there was a discrepancy with the original sleeve dimensions.

There were a number of considerations in choosing a short-run printer—dimension adjustments had to be handled and UPC codes had to be included, for starters. Beauté de Maman chose CL&D Digital for its abilities to meet these needs, in addition to the fact that the printer had its own photographer to shoot the gift set for the holiday advertising—translating to savings related to shipping products and packaging components back and forth.

CL&D Digital’s customer service rep Karen Hennekens was also able to offer shrink-wrapping suggestions, which met cost goals by proving to be more affordable for the start-up company. “Curbing costs was very important,” Hennekens says. “Though CL&D could assemble all the gift box sets and then shrink wrap them, we offered all of the alternatives so [Brown] could choose the most efficient option.” Ultimately, the brand shaved the cost of outside fulfillment and in shipping.

Marketing Forward; Earlier Starts

The Beauté de Maman line creator and her marketing team began gearing up for the 2009 holiday season in June, and had a full-scale marketing plan in place with a two-prong approach: a strong innovation pipeline focusing on moms-to-be/new moms, and distribution growth via partnerships with online and off-line retailers, alternative channels and international markets. New online add-ons included Amazon.com and Drugstore.com, as well as Target and CVS’ online portals and maternity/baby Web sites.

“Internationally, we are expanding into European and Asian markets,” says Laureen Schroeder, vice president of marketing. “The growth plan is fully supported with an integrated marketing plan. On the consumer side, we’re gaining strong ‘word-of-mom’ advertising from our key influencer programming and our social networks forums—vlogging, blogger outreach and twittering efforts, reaching expectant moms and their inner circle of friends and family that they respect for advice.”