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Innovative Ways to Promote Your Products in a Tight Economy

By: Donna C. Barson
Posted: June 5, 2009, from the June 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

The list of things the economic downturn has impacted seems infinite, and beauty and wellness products are not immune. As consumers trade-in pampering and luxury products for practical priorities, marketers are feeling the pinch. But perhaps this is an opportunity to reach a new consumer base and reinforce existing customers. How do you encourage consumers to purchase beyond basic products when they face layoffs and dwindling savings accounts? Get creative!

Compile kits. Offer kits of varietal but smaller-sized products. For example, for the price of a normal-sized shampoo, offer customers the complete regimen—including conditioner and complementing styling products. The amount of product may not last as long, but consumers get all the items they need—the idea being, they will be so thrilled with the products’ performance that they will buy the full-sized versions of everything.

Offer samples. The downturn is all about downsizing, and beauty products are following suit. By providing samples, brand owners can reach new audiences with a travel-sized perk. Sample sizes take the pressure off investing in untried high-end products when the results remain unproven. Miniature sizes, at either lower price points or free, offer customers a taste of quality merchandise that they won’t feel guilty about putting aside if the results are not as expected.

Provide face time. Speaking of samples, nothing goes better with an in-store promotion than freebies—and everybody likes something on the house, especially now. Brand owners are doling out samples at in-store and in-spa promotions to reinforce their brands and attract new customers.

Give a deal. Whether you present a discount or add in a free sample of another product with an existing one, this tactic goes a long way toward improving sales. People love a special offer, and even those who have never been coupon-clippers may very well change their tune if the offer is enticing.