Launch with a single product or very small and defined range
Frank Body launched with less than $10,000 and one product: a coffee-based body scrub. In the first year of business, they turned over $20 million. They harnessed the power of user generated content and created a cult like following of scrubbers uploading their coffee covered selfies every day.
They expanded slowly, with a range of products continuing to revolve around coffee. This is one example of many within the beauty industry of brands launching with a unique product, becoming known for it and only then releasing a larger range.
Something we often see in not only product based but service based businesses is people trying to go from zero to hero by launching their brand with a huge offering before perfecting even one of them. Slow and steady wins the race! Build brand awareness, then trust and a loyal customer base, and make expansion a much less risky move.
Get your branding (particularly tone of voice) spot on from day one
What do the four companies listed above have in common? Incredible branding across the board, particularly on the tone of voice and copywriting front. It’s not enough to have a great product… especially in such an over-saturated industry. As the bar for social media continues to be raised, the way you speak to your audience becomes more important than ever. Enter the recent IG changes (cya later visible likes) and captions should form a key piece of your social media strategy. It’s one of the most simple (but deceptively hard) ways of standing out in a sea of competitors.
Encourage feedback, listen to it and then make changes because of it
Glossier has mastered the idea of not only being open to feedback, but encouraging it – even the bad stuff. They then take genuine notice and use it to improve their customer service and their products. Emily Weiss’ genius was launching her now $1 billion brand off the back of a beauty blog that was based on product reviews. She had years of feedback at her disposal, knew what the consumers wanted, and the specific gap in the market that Glossier was going to fill.
This feedback cycle has another valuable flow-on effect which is the creation of a community that feels very involved in your brand. People love to feel like you really care about them and their contribution to your brand. This is where the sales gold is! These consumers will bring you repeat business and be your biggest advocates and referrers. To help this process along, create a Facebook group. Learn about that over here.
Focus on educational and value adding content
We harp on about this all the time but the importance of educational content is perfectly exemplified in the beauty world. Think about makeup and skincare pre-YouTube… how did anyone learn about what to use and how to use it? The answer is, they didn’t. Now that consumers are so much more knowledgeable in the area, the sales have logically sky-rocketed. We’ve seen drag queen tutorials go viral, retailers such as Mecca become one of the most successful companies in Australia and half the population go from (maybe) a moisturiser to a seven step skincare routine.
Giving away your trade secrets for free and to the public is something that many people are still hesitant to do, and we get it, IP is hard to let go of. The reality of it is though, anything can be googled. So either educate people yourself, or wait for your competitors (or Google) to do it for you. Adding value in this way builds credibility and trust like nothing else can.