Ready, Set, Oh...

Creating a new beauty product or fashion brand is a blast. Through all of the prototyping, testing, and refining, you are immersed in this wonderful product that you know customers will love. I mean seriously, it’s pure genius, right?

And when you see that final product and inventory starts rolling in, it’s a wee bit intoxicating. Then you get a hold of yourself and your emotions waffle back and forth between, people are going to love it, I don’t have enough inventory to oh no what if people don’t like it. It’s a rollercoaster but it’s your job to control the ride.

Repeat after me- “no one is going to love your baby like you”. This is that point when you realize that product development is done and now you are going to have to get customers to notice and fall in love with your product (aka baby).

How, though?

Before you rattle off the standard tools you’ll have—like Instagram, Facebook, or PR—realize the importance of a go-to-market STRATEGY and the INVESTMENT it’s going to take to get sales and consumption.

The hard truth is that just because you have a slick website, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and LinkedIn page, doesn’t mean you are going to generate sales which is, in fact, the end goal.

Before you are ready to “GO” we are going to share with you how we approach taking brands to market through 5 go-to-market steps and get you thinking about the investment it’s going to take.

We start with a basic overview and then each subsequent blog will take a deeper dive into each of the steps. The cost of acquisition is an investment, expensive, and necessary. Without acquiring customers, you aren’t making sales, so let’s dive into how you make the return on your investment.

Awareness

First, you need to make your presence known to people who have never seen your product and therefore don’t instinctively “get it” as you do. The prerequisites for a product launch are a website, social media presence, advertising strategy, and perhaps some initial press and paid advertising on social to stimulate interest. You will also need marketing materials, such as a product catalog, price list, line sheet, and any trade show or merchandising displays.

Who’s going to create these items and how much is that going to cost?

Consideration

Once you’ve created widespread awareness, you can start to drive sales—but they don’t just happen. You have to offer a compelling solution and benefit, which requires a communication strategy. This is different than an advertising strategy in that you are focusing on your story and visual messaging to build a lasting brand. Customers may know of you, but they need to convert to considering purchasing you.

Who’s going to create these items and how much is that going to cost?

Trial

In the beauty industry, new brands can’t expect to instantly sway customers from name brands. It’s just the nature of a business that is intertwined with fashion, celebrity, and $100 million advertising budgets. That said, today’s consumer is willing to try something new—the keyword being try, not necessarily buy.

How and where will you allow customers to sample your product, and how much will it cost you to make the trial product available?

Purchase

The buyer journey is longer than you thought, isn’t it? The good news is that you have made it to the purchase phase. The focus now is to meet customers’ expectations for the product and, just as importantly, exceed their expectations for the experience. This is your opportunity to deliver on your brand promise through on-shelf merchandising, a well-trained customer care team, and thoughtful cross-selling and sampling.

How are you going to convert from Trial to Purchase? What is the cost?

Repurchase

For all that it takes to break through as a beauty brand, the benefit is that your product lends itself to repeat—and, better yet, lifelong—customers. Especially early on, you want to be sure you are staying connected with the people who purchase from you by leveraging digital marketing and a loyalty program. The cycle essentially kicks back up into awareness, only now you get to skip straight to repurchase. Meanwhile, you are of course continuing to market to new customers.

How do you drive consumption, prevent switching to another brand, and get a repurchase? What is the cost to keep customers loyal?

Start with Marketing in Mind

Too often, inventors and entrepreneurs pour all of their time and resources into product development, neglecting what it takes to successfully bring their product to market. Instead of, “ready, set, go,” it becomes, “ready, set, oh…we need more money to come to market.”

Over the next few months, we will dive deeper into each of these steps to provide common pitfalls, solutions, case studies, and lessons learned.

Give your brand the buzz it deserves. Let Buzz Beauté help you prepare and budget for the buyer journey.