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The Hit List

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: May 4, 2011, from the May 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 4

The truth is, product and brand development don’t always happen concurrently, yet it’s the most successful brands that tackle these two steps in tandem. When developing your products, be choosy. Choose the most interesting, advanced ingredients you can afford; choose a lab that shares your vision and dedication; choose an SKU lineup that gives consumers both what they know and don’t know they need; and make them want it all. Choose products that stand high above the competition, and bring your A-game. These days, new brands are flooding the market and consumers have more choices than ever before, which means you’ve got to enter the fray with the best you’ve got in order to even be granted the chance to introduce your next great idea to the market.

At the same time, while you are busy with all of this innovative development, begin creating the fun, strategic brand identity materials you will need to fit the emerging personality of your products.

While creating these branding documents, remember the other steps of the process: your audience and your market; your point of difference, and your DNA are key elements in the creation of brand name, tagline, positioning statements and brand stories. Ask yourself, “What does my brand stand for? What does the name and tagline say both about my brand and to the consumer? How will my final product fit into the marketplace and will it have the personality and pizzazz it must in order to capture both interest and loyalty?” Are product and brand development efforts synergistic or are they at odds? Keep the innovation flowing and your brand will always be relevant, viable and, more importantly, fresh in consumers’ minds.

So, What Else Should a Start-up Beauty Entrepreneur Do?

Exhaustive due diligence. Before one dollar is spent on packaging, marketing or social media campaigns, thoroughly vet out your idea—both internally and with consumers. But not just any consumer—the loyal beauty brand consumer you want, and need, to dazzle. Test your business and product concepts, run consumer focus and trial groups, and really listen to what they have to say before you even think about gondola space or shelf talkers.

Consumer approval is the key to success in the beauty industry. But, for instance, with more than 158 million women living in the United States, how do you know if your new beauty business will capture the attention and dollars of so many? Don’t miss your mark­—or give your market share to anyone else—established brand or not. Instead, set your business up for immediate success by following these simple steps for proven launch success.