*This is the second post in a 3 part series to help you flush out your cosmetic product ideas.*
So you thought you had the best idea in the world for a cosmetic product. An idea that nobody else has ever thought of and thus couldn’t possibly exist. Until you punched a few keywords in Google and found a product strikingly similar to what you had in mind. It’s cool. No sweat. Finding that your brilliant idea already has a step-sister is a good indicator that there are people out the ready and willing to buy the product you create. It also puts you in perfect position to be the best to ever do it. That’s what we really want, right? First is cool, but you only get one reward for that.
*Have you ever seen people post on Instagram “First comment!”? What is that about?* I digress.
Being the best also puts you in line for being the classic. The one that never goes out of style. The legend. The legacy. That’s who you really want to be. So how do you get there?
- Pick that step-sister apart. What claims are they making about the product? What does the ingredients list look like? Can you find any reviews on the product? How much is it selling for?
- Decide on how you should brand your product. I’ve had clients come to me with great ideas that I’ve found dupes for in the marketplace. More often than not, the branding on the product is sub-par. When you’re a customer you don’t consciously realize how important packaging colors are. Or how you really feel about the fonts used on the bottle. But as a brand owner you know those details matter to customers even if they can’t articulate that to you. You’d hate to be the brand with a grand idea and sucky packaging. Think about it, that’s probably the reason why you had no idea this product already existed in the first place.
- Buy the product. How can you know if it works if you don’t try it for yourself? Get up close and personal with your product experience. Be a hater. What would you say about this product if you wanted to convince someone not to buy it? Write that down. You’re going to need it.
- Do your research. Find out what it’s going to take to make this product successful. Take note of the details you want to infuse in the product, the visual branding, the marketing story, the packaging. Find the resources to help you make it happen.
- Make a plan and hop to it!
Here’s to the Glam Life!
Competition is overrated. No, really. Way too much emphasis is placed on beating the competition in a beauty product based business. I can see how it happens. In a crowded marketplace where there aren’t many truly unique ideas, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to “one up” your competitors. Frankly, everybody is fighting for their piece of the pie. I just don’t happen to believe that is the best way for your beauty brand to succeed.
The saying goes— Comparison is the thief of joy. Well, so is competition if you don’t use it in the right way. Let’s try something a little different. What if instead of competing with our fellow beauty business owners we studied them? I mean really study them from a genuine place of understanding, inspiration and motivation. Learn what it is that they do well and figure out what they can do better. Take what you learn and improve, add, edit and remix it to fit your own glam biz. And then… forget they even exist. After all you can’t be your competition and they can’t be you.
Who do you consider to be competition for your glam biz? What have you learned from their brand?
Here’s to the Glam Life!
There’s just no way around it. If you want to succeed, advance, learn, be a leader; you must read. I’m willing to bet if you interviewed the top beauty brand owners and leaders you’d find they have a list of reading material that played a role in their success. Someone like you that is on a quest for success and advancement in the cosmetic industry has to be intentional about your reading. Not just any book will do. I like to have an arsenal of reading material so that I know or am learning a little bit about everything that applies to my direction in life. I always set business and personal goals for the year. I use those goals to guide my reading. Not only should you select books that matter to you right now, but you have to read with an open, active, critical and investigative mind. It’s not so much about what’s written on the page as it is what those words spark inside of you. Pay careful attention to the sparks.
So what should you be reading?
The key to a successful business is to have a healthy personal life, a productive business life and to be knowledgeable in subjects that affect your beauty business.
I recommend reading self help books and/or blogs that build and maintain your self esteem. This kind of reading will teach you what to say when you talk to yourself and how to protect yourself from negativity. You can also look for blogs written by life coaches and lifestyle brands to help you maintain an inspired, motivated and positive outlook.
I also believe every business owner or aspiring business owner will benefit from reading marketing and branding material. Find books whose title and description speaks to you and where you are right now. Look for bloggers whose voice/style is reflective of yourself or someone you can see yourself being friends with. This will be easy reading for you and these nuggets can be dropped in your inbox daily. I personally like dry humor, a touch of sarcasm, or high energy. Marketing bloggers are really good at that.
Finally, you’ll need to read material that applies directly to your industry. You’re reading this blog so I’m willing to bet cosmetics is your industry of choice. Luckily, our industry has a lot of trade publications to keep you in the know. I’ll list my favorites below. Being apart of this industry means you get to read fun, girly stuff, too. Your favorite fashion/lifestyle magazines will all touch on beauty in every issue. What you do with the information will determine if it is golden or not. Here’s a TGS secret… It’s ALWAYS golden. *wink*
My favorite trade publications:
Cosmetics and Toiletries
What are you reading right now? Drop your favorite blogs and book titles in the comments for all of us to enjoy.
Here’s to the Glam Life!
It is inevitable, every business has competition. There’s always going to be another company that offers the same or similar products/services as your own. As the saying goes– There’s nothing new under the sun. In order to grow a strong, successful cosmetic company, you must familiarize yourself with the competition and learn how to compete. Most people understand the concept of competition, but not everyone knows how to compete effectively.
The biggest mistake I see startups make is trying to make a product too much like one that already exists. What I find fascinating is that usually companies start out with a very unique idea yet end up with a product that is not equally unique. I know exactly how it happens because I’ve seen it a time or two. In the midst of studying the competition and seeing what it is that people like about their products, you start to convince yourself that consumers will only find use for products that are just like the ones that already exist. Oh ye of little faith! Give consumers a little credit… they like what they like until something comes along that is…. drumroll…. BETTER. Understand that an existing company has already carved out it’s fan base. There are consumers who use those products loyally because of product performance and the relationship that has been built over time. To introduce a product to the marketplace that virtually already exists is a huge risk. It’s challenging enough to convince consumers to give your product a try so when they do try it, give them a reason to keep coming back. The key to being able to compete and (ultimately) win, is to stand out. Below are my 5 tips to winning in business:
1. Decide what you want to sell and who you want to compete with.
2. Get to know what your competition has done to find success.
3. Improve on what your competition has to offer. **When I say improve on the competition, I don’t mean take their exact product and add a little something to it. I mean study the benefits and results their product. Find out what their fans love about their product and then develop your own product that tops the competition.
4. Customize your product/brand to suit YOU ie your personality, style, thought processes, etc.
5a. Market it.
5b. Market it some more. Branding and visibility go a loooooonnnnng way in getting your product(s) the attention they deserve.
If you follow my advice, you’ll be well on your way to thriving business.
Here’s to the Glam Life!