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Make Bath and Body POP

Posted: August 28, 2008, from the March 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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As always, word of mouth remains the most effective marketing tool. “A small business such as ours cannot afford to take out consistent advertising space in national consumer magazines. We find that our most effective investment is to choose specific products and try to position them in consumer magazines through our public relations firm,” said Deb Ludington, founder of Sweet Grass Farm, a natural body product, home care and soap company. As a result, editorial content becomes key, as consumers look to beauty editors for guidance.

Fragrance and Retail

While packaging can draw a consumer to a product, fragrance is the key selling point in the bath and body category, as it influences mood and triggers memories and emotion. “In my opinion, fragrance is the primary focus at the retail level, followed closely by attractiveness of packaging and then price points,” said Ludington.

Even for products based on essential oils, scent drives the sale—particularly as consumers sample and sniff for themselves—and brands are smart to look to the fragrance market and its retailers for POP strategies. “Certainly, there are opportunities at the shelf that can truly bring (fragrance) to life and make the shopping experience more engaging. As Sephora changed the dynamic and ease by which consumers shop and experience fragrances, similar learnings could be leveraged for bath and body products at mass,” explained Grubow.

Making it POP

When consumers are in the stores, advertising, ingredients and word-of-mouth play a part in their final purchasing decisions. Yet the packaging must still speak the brand’s message, while appealing to consumers through creative displays.

“I’ve learned that packaging and display are key—and that related press drives awareness. When a customer walks into a store, the packaging and display need to stand out from the myriad of other products,” said Natalie Geary, MD, founder, vedaPure.