How To Be The Lotus On the Ever-Crowded Landscape of Cosmetic Business

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There are thousands of Indie Beauty brands emerging daily. The price to entry these days are no longer just a prestige image or just claiming natural ingredients. How do you stand out? There is a Chinese saying that Lotus is precious because it stands tall and clean despite in a pond of mud. With the ever-increasing number of beauty brands, it is paramount to have your unique selling proposition, or even better yet, customer value optimization so you can stand tall and precious in the consumer’s mind.

What works in the past may not work in the present. History will NOT repeat itself when it comes to beauty and technology. Below is the examples on how Beauty Business has revolved.

  • Branding– Brands used to spend millions of dollars in advertising to evoke an image that consumers to be associated or aspired to such as Chanel. Consumers may not be able to afford a piece of Chanel suit or handbag, but using a Chanel lipstick or compact with them, they feel a million bucks. HOWEVER, if you enter the cosmetic market today even with Chanel quality products, you will not be successful because many of the legendary products do not abide to the CLEAN beauty principle or the FREE-OF bandwagon. In other words, if today you just use Chanel products and repackaged in your own brand name- you are doomed to fail because branding these days is how do you look on instagram and how clean are you in your product. Retailers are less likely to entertain you if you do not meet the bare minimum of FREE-of claims.


  • Owner Story– Yes everyone appreciate a good story. There are many success stories on how the brand owner can not find a solution with existing products and they come up with their own. However, your pain points may not necessary represent the masses. Are you so sure there is no products out there that can solve your issues? Did you do enough homework or you simply come up with the brand for your ego reason? If you go into the business for the pure purpose of satisfying your ego or thinking cosmetic is a profitable business-you are doomed to fail because unless you have a success formula (fund + technology + media + product +  commitment), you will not last. You must have a very clear of the WHY and HOW your brand will help OTHERS, not just you.  If your why is to make money (of course it is important), when you don’t see your projected revenue, you will not last. Commitment takes time and money. Are you all in?


  • Flavor of the day –This is the most seen mistake by beauty brands. Unless you are in the bath & body category where different color and fragrance can enlighten your mood and user experience, this is a dangerous route for product development. Yes, people want NEWS. What’s NEW excites consumer but can also lead to consumer fatigue. If you are not the first, you are the last. Remember the Argan oil craze? How much can you build a brand around one single ingredient? Now everyone is doing CBD products but how is your CBD different from others’ CBD? If you build a brand based on one single ingredient, what happens when there is a shortage as everyone followed suit ? It will kill your price point and inventory and also diluted branding as you are no longer unique. What brands should do is focusing on a category of ingredients rather than a single trending ingredient for the longevity of brand. 

With the continuous change in the beauty business landscape, it is worthwhile to have an outside consultant to take a deep look of your business.  There are many benefits of hiring a consultant as they can point out bluntly your short-comings without worrying about the company politics. Consultants are hired to solve a problem and it is their obligation to state clearly on the issue and provide solutions without ever needing to sugar-coating it.

Not all industry consultants are created equal. There are ones specialized in R&D. There are ones specialized in Marketing. You choose your consultant based on your business needs. However, a good consultant should be someone who delivers more than what your intentions is. If you are hiring a consultant for product development, the consultant must deliver beyond just a product. The consultant needs to be able to see the whole picture and deliver commercially-viable, consumer-loving, instagram-friendly and retailer-wanting products. It is more than just the unique proposition of the product, it is the customer value optimization of what the consultant can provide.

The major difference of  using a consultant compared to using a full-time employee is this: consultants are like your dates who can bring you excitement and new perspectives. Employees are married to you and you often divorce them because you got them through the most of 3 rounds of interviews.  If you really love your consultant, yes, then you can business-marry them after a consulting period.

In this article, I gave a few pointers on the evolution of beauty business and what should be done for today’s landscape. If you would like further information and find out the TOP 8 reasons to work with Ginger King  for YOUR beauty business, comment below or e-mail me at



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Ginger King, a renowned cosmetic chemist and beauty business expert, is making waves in the beauty industry with her commitment to empowering entrepreneurs to create