Ready to Start Your Own Personal Care Brand? Are You Sure?
Part 2 of our 4 part series to help guide personal care entrepreneurs on the path to success is about getting your house in order. Our President, Tom Lehman shares his personal experiences with a start-up brand, that didn’t go quite as expected.
“I launched a coffee brand in 2013, with a lot of confidence given my role supporting brands for years. Once I was on the other side, I failed to consider the following 5 points – and to my great dismay, the brand never scaled. Failure is the greatest teacher, and I think about the following key elements often when we’re working with our partners to launch personal care brands!”
You are creating a brand, not a single product. Taking the time to develop a thoughtful and well researched business plan, competitive analysis, marketing messaging – will not only upset the beauty apple-cart but it will get your brand to stand apart. A defined vision ensures a solid partnership with your manufacturer during product creation, and ultimately – long term success.
Do the dirty work, first. Nothing worse than coming to the table with a “new” idea only to realize it’s been on the shelf at Target for 5 years. This is not only important, it’s also one of the more difficult items to do – but nothing beats a quick trip to a local beauty retailer or shopping online. Ask “what are these brands doing, how are they doing it?” Use this time to look at colors, packaging, product names, fragrances, size offerings and overall “feel” of the brand. Find inspiration and build your competitive knowledge.
Understand Your Target Market
Who are you making this product for and where are they? We can forget to ask this question when we’re working out a new idea. Why would someone want this? Does this solve a problem, create a new category, or is it a better version of what’s already available?
How will your brand stand out? What’s going to draw people in to what you’re offering and choose your brand over other options? Consumers respond to brands and products that are truly authentic. How does your brand give them an experience that is unique/different/special?
Buying product can be expensive. Depending on the MOQ (minimum order quantity), you’ll need to have enough budget set aside to afford the first run, and you’ll likely need to pay for it before you’ve sold any product. It’s a common pitfall, and a dasher of dreams. Make sure you are partnered with the right vendor and manufacturer based on your budget and runway.
Inventory Storage & Freight
What are you going to do with the product you’ve just purchased? Between manufacturers, shippers, fulfillment agencies there is a wide range of offerings. Some companies are able to store your product for you, some can store and ship for you, some manufacturers are JUST manufacturers and other companies can do it all! Make sure you understand the difference and have a plan!
While there are no guarantees your brand will be the next “it” product, these 5 points will certainly help you avoid any unnecessary pitfalls or frustrations. A little magic and a dash of perfect timing will give your dream brand the lift it needs to really take-off!
If you enjoyed reading this article, please be sure to check out part 3 of our 4 part series: “How to Get a Contract Manufacturer to Call You Back.”
Mansfield-King provides exceptional formula development, product launches/extensions for mid-size and larger national brands, and is part of PLZ Aeroscience Corporation – Personal Care offering a breadth of beauty and personal care contract manufacturing services from aerosols to private label. Learn more here: mansfieldking.com, plzaeroscience.com and liquidtek.com