So You Want to Launch a Brand?
You’ve had the idea for a beauty product ruminating in your head for a while. Now, you've decided to make it a reality and bring it to market, but where do you even start? Creating a brand from scratch can be thrilling and exciting, but it is a risky venture and not necessarily the right idea for everyone.
We've compiled a list of a few tips and recommendations that some business owners wish they had known when they were getting started. You’ll want to spend time doing your homework before launching, so you can increase the odds of a successful launch.
Here are six things to consider before launching a brand:
Your Target Market
Read any article about starting a brand, and you’ll no doubt see that identifying and researching your target market is at the top of the list – and for a good reason. Before you go about creating products or services you need to understand who your customer is. What motivates them? Where do they shop? What products do they currently use? What problem are you solving for them? How are you going to reach them? The more you understand your customer, the better you can communicate with them and deliver the best products to them.
Who Are Your Competitors?
Another essential question to ask when you’re thinking about launching a brand is – who are your competitors? While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you don’t want to copy what they’re doing. Research into what type of marketing or advertising they are doing, what products they have in their assortment, and what their pricing looks like, this will give you some insight into the competitive set and your potential target market. You can't just try to take a product idea and make it "better" by improving the packaging or tweaking the formulation. You need a clear point of difference to set yourself apart. How are you going to convince your competitor customers to switch to, or add your product into their beauty regimen?
Create Your Brand Identity
Once you’ve identified your target market, it’s time to think more about your brand and what type of image you want it to have. What would your brand look like as an actual person? What kind of clothing would appeal to the brand? What would it do for fun? What type of personality would your brand have? It might feel silly to create a persona for your brand, but it helps give you a more accurate idea of how to move forward with your branding and packaging design, the vendor selection process and even hiring influencers/brand ambassadors. When you understand who, and what, your brand represents you’ll be able to identify what works (and what doesn’t) easily.
Think About Strategy
Once you understand your customer, competitors, and your brand identity, you can begin to create your marketing strategy. How are you going to reach your customers? Where do they usually get their information? Do you want to try social media marketing or get out in the community for events and pop-ups? Developing a strategy helps you to map out your plans, so you’re always one step ahead. You also need to put together a budget to support your marketing activities. While social media channels cost nothing to set up, you will need to allocate financial resources to create content and effectively distribute it. Gone are the days of building an audience and reaching them organically on Instagram. There are countless numbers of brands competing for the same pool of customers, and if you don't pay for your content to be seen, it won't be.
Your marketing strategy should be fluid. What you create at the beginning of your brand launch isn’t going to be set in stone forever. You might find that once you get closer to launching your strategy needs to be adjusted, or a last minute opportunity arises that you hadn’t considered – use your plan as a guide but also be ready to make changes as needed.
A tough question to ask yourself - can you realistically fund the business and for 1-2 years before seeing any income? Have you put together a budget?
How much money do you have to pay for :
- product development
- website development
- creative fees
While many people might be tempted to launch a beauty product by the healthy margins, not everyone can support the outlay of cash it requires to buy components, fill their minimum order quantities, pay to reach customers, and ship products to them. Be sure to put together a budget to see what you can realistically afford to do.
Ask for Help
Launching a brand isn’t easy – but you don’t have to do it alone! Once you have the basics down (target marketing, branding, etc.) it’s a good idea to work with professionals to help get your business up and running the right way.
Outsourcing specific areas of the business such as web development, branding, product development can help you to avoid costly mistakes. While the initial costs of working with professionals can seem daunting, getting it right the first time is always more cost-effective in the long run. Many brands choose to handle their sales order processing when they first start as a way to develop a better understanding of their customer and to help keep their costs down. Eventually, this can become too big of a job. Finding the right 3PL partner when you are ready can help you to focus on other aspects of the business for growth. Securing retail distribution in stores can be a difficult process when you don't understand the ins and outs of each retailer. Working with a sales consultancy group with established retail relationships can help you to get noticed and plan for success with the right retail partners for your brand.
Launching a brand is not for the faint of heart! Be prepared to put in long hours, lots of money, and loads of research. Surrounding yourself with knowledgeable and experienced professionals can help you to navigate this new territory with greater ease.
Ready to get your new beauty product off the ground? Contact Beauty Strategy Group to learn how they can help you to assemble the right team to launch your brand.