Yes, I am a cosmetic chemist but I am also a makeup artist and a skin care expert. I do, still to this date dabbling around the cosmetic retail counters to keeping pulse with the consumer trends in the industry. Here are my observations and advice (more to the owners of the brand). If you do want to start your own brand, avoid these mistakes as well :-).
- Do not print your product name on a holographic background: It is bad enough to read the small print for the product names, let along the holographic or high shine silver or gold background as it is making it worse for any beauty advisors to find the stock among the hundreds of shades.
- Do not use hot-stamping on your product name especially if it is going to be placed on the bottom of the products: How many times do customers nicely bring a bottle of foundation or compact powder for replenish and the writing on the product name is GONE. The beauty advisors will have to rematch the shade.
- Do not just give a shade name without a number to it. There can be a million shade called rose but chances are the customers do not remember if it is silky rose or soft rose or romantic rose. Assign a number to it. It’s even more importantly that when you talk to the press, you show both the product name and number! Case in point- a well known brand just launched a beautiful lipstick shade Vision. However, when the customer go to buy the product, all the lipsticks go by designated number on the top of lipstick package instead of shade names!
- Do not use white caps in packaging if all possible. Yes, white denotes purity. However, some of the white caps get dirty easily even with cleaning. How many times have you seen a dirty white cap on top of a cleanser, lotion or even a sunscreen? They are dirty because chances are the beauty advisor’s hands are full of the makeup residue and got transferred to the caps. The same will apply to foundation bottles.
- Do not change packaging for the sake of restage. Cosmetic companies continue to improve packaging either for better cost or better efficiency or because a new marketing head was hired and wanted to make some changes. There are customers who only recognize the packaging when they buy. When you change the packaging, they assume the juice inside is different and they will not buy it. People are creatures of habits. If you are upgrading, upgrade everything!
- Do not run several promotions during the same period of time. It is the internet age, people do buy more on line. However, to keep your brand ambassadors- the front line to your customers, you need to be sensitive to keeping them. How many times when your favorite beauty advisor called to tell you about the Gift with Purchase promotion, and on the same time period, you are offering 20-30% discount when they buy directly on line from you? Retail is going down the hills but do not forget your beauty advisors are your brand ambassadors! You take good care of them, they take great care of your customers! On-line shopping is good when people know what they want. It’s the OLD business, OLD products you are getting. Your one-on- one beauty advisor spreads the latest new innovation and the TOUCH to your customers to generate the NEW business for you. Do not ever forget that!
Retail is detail. All the points mentioned seemed to be no big deals at a glance. However, these can certainly be the points for improvement. The more your beauty advisors appreciate you, the better your NEW business will be.
To your success!
Ginger,Beauty Industry Consultant