Below is a list of everything you need to know to get your beauty product off the ground and into the US marketplace!
Think launching a new brand into the US beauty market is easy? Here’s what you need to know to set yourself up for success. Launching a new brand is highly competitive, and requires not only careful and strategic planning, but motivation and fortitude to get ahead of the crowd. Imagine the excitement of watching all of your efforts come to fruition with the introduction of a product that you poured your heart and soul into. However, getting that product to sell takes more than a love-at-first-sight relationship with the buyer; it requires that you research market interests in similar products, and find ways to make your product stand out from all the rest. Who is your target audience? How is your product packaged? Have you carefully considered the various media and buying outlets: online, print, television, and via apps and social media?
These are among the many questions that a brand needs to research in detail prior to launching a product to a potential buyer. The more of this background information you know, the better your chances are at a successful product launch. Do your homework. Understanding the complex US beauty landscape is key. Know the various retail channels, pick one that aligns with your brand, your consumer, and your pricing.
Here are the tips I give my clients to set them on the path to success in the US market:
1.Identify the best channel fit and then learn the business culture and practices of the retailer you are targeting for your brand. Nothing is worse than wasting a buyer’s time or pitching them a brand that does not fit their culture or their consumer DNA.
2. Get to know the top two or three competitors for your brand. Study the history of their business, their sales profile, their growth, and possible declines, what were their social media and advertising activities? Where did they fall short and where could they have improved? Incorporate those improvements in your strategy.
3. Conduct a price audit of your SKUs: it’s crucial that your pricing is not only attractive relative to your competition, but also in line with the US consumer overall. Initial projections may not translate to real-time pricing on the sales floor, and it’s much better to have this conversation before you are sitting across from the buyer.
4. Make sure your branding assets speak to the buyer, and are compelling to the consumer. Is it in line with how other brands are talking about their products and companies? Does it deliver on promises made to the consumer in particular? If not, it’s time for some rewrites. If your documents are not consistent, you run the risk of confusing and or disengaging the buyer.
5. All ingredients must be compliant with applicable US laws and regulations regarding the usage of personal care products. This includes how you speak about your ingredients on your packaging, website … anywhere. All must comply with US standards or you’ve lost your chance with buyers before you’ve even gotten started.
6. Maintain a product development pipeline and portfolio of new products. Sure, buyers are going to be excited with your initial launch portfolio, but they are also going to want to see what else you’ve got in the works that will keep consumers coming back for more!
7. Make sure you have enough cash! Be fastidious and run the numbers, because starting a beauty company is expensive and you don’t want to set yourself up for failure for lack of cash flow.
8. Get your branding elements in tip-top shape, so that it is compelling and fun for buyers! This includes a winning presentation or pitch deck for buyer meetings, as well as having a robust website and social media presence prepared and ready to show how your brand messaging is relevant to the US beauty market.
9. Set up a US-based corporate office and logistics hub. Buyers want to know they have a personal or stateside connection for any issues, challenges, or celebrations that arise—such as when you completely sell-out at launch!
10. Finally, hire and work with a retail professional who has the knowledge and expertise in the various channels you are targeting. These pros have personal connections with buyers and are experts in the beauty field and know what buyers are seeking. Working with a beauty expert gives you deeper access to buyers and in turn, that hard-to-reach executive who may have been waiting for the very product you’ve created.