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Paths to Purchase

By: Sara Mason
Posted: June 22, 2010, from the July 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The company also did as much as possible to ensure its retail partners could make money on its products with spending as little as possible. To help, the company created a booklet on 22 ways for businesses to make money with its products. Farsedakis emphasized the importance of marketing, especially when hurting. “Even though you don’t want to, stick your feet deeper in, and you will emerge much better with stronger partnerships,” he said. What he did was provide new displays to carry not just flagship products but all product and colors, and created programs for the retailers to use, with the brand paying for marketing materials and even food for special events within the retail environment. All the retailers had to do was pay postage to mail invitations to their customers. “We got the people to come in the store, gave them something free and exposed them to our product,” said Farsedakis. “It pays for us to do that. Everybody wins.”

“You have to have the confidence in your brand to know where you are and know you’re building something more important for the future,” he continued. “Instead of sitting, waiting and hoping, we were building and planting the seeds to make 2010 a terrific year.”

Where competitors were cutting back, Blinc was also launching new products. Having introduced the concept of tube mascara 11 years ago, Blinc has slowly but steadily expanded its offerings within the eye category. “We are not about being everything to everyone,” explained Farsedakis. “We want Blinc to be a serious brand, so we keep building on what we know, innovating new products based on unique product performance.” With six months required to get product and marketing collateral to market, aggressive new product debuts set the stage for recovery. By investing in developing more technologies, the brand is positioned to roll out new products when the economy is back in a growth period. “We’re not hostages of our own business plan,” said Farsedakis. “We’re on an innovation calendar, not a marketing calendar. When a product is ready, we launch it. When the economy comes back, we’re already selling.”

Although 75% of Blinc sales are from retailers, products are available online. Because the brand is not readily available everywhere, it’s important to have a medium available to consumers. Blinc has an increasing presence online and sales are growing. But the most popular page of the Web site is “Find a retailer near you.”

“People will always like the experience of playing with and touching the makeup and talking with people,” said Farsedakis. “I don’t think that can be replaced. It’s an experience.” Regardless of whether a product needs education, retailers can help impart a positive emotion that can only come from person-to-person in the store.

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