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The Inside Secrets of Your Outside Partners

By: Lisa Doyle
Posted: March 8, 2011, from the March 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
  • Strong partnerships lead to an active exchange of ideas, which yields more interesting products and a more competitive edge in the market.
  • Taking advantage of the company’s total range of capabilities, and as early in the development process as possible, produces the best results.
  • A partner company that fully understands its beauty brand owners’ needs from the bottom up may offer even more than a stellar product—it can help cut through some of the red tape.
  • When a supply chain partner understands your relationships with your other partners—retailers, for example—it can be of further benefit in your brand efforts.

It’s been said that “No man is an island,” and chances are, your company isn’t, either. Whether you recently started marketing products from a one-room studio, or if your products have been mass produced for years, you rely on other companies—contract manufacturers, brand strategy consultants, packagers and logistics providers among them—to make sure that your offerings are properly made and then become readily available for purchase. What you might not realize is that some of these suppliers can provide even more than you bargained for. More and more outside partners can do double duty—an ingredient supplier offering sales and marketing support, for example—easing much of the burden off of you.

Thinking of You

Just as you want your target consumers to continue to purchase your goods time and time again, outside companies want you to keep coming back to them for repeat business. And, once you have established a partnership with an outside company, such as a contract manufacturer, it knows it is to its benefit to proactively provide you with reasons to return.

According to Melinda Wochner, COO and vice president of marketing for CoValence Laboratories, a contract manufacturer based in Chandler, Arizona, the company will make an extra effort to build upon its clients’ product lines. “We think on behalf of our clients; therefore, if we see an ingredient that may fit into a client’s product line, we may let them know via e-mail and discuss development options, or we may create R&D samples without their knowledge and send it to them to try,” she says. “We want to think about development on behalf of our clients so they can do what they do best: sell the products.”