11 Expert Tips For Beauty Brands: How To Plan Your Product Launch
The beauty market is expected to grow annually by 3.80% from 2023 to 2027. The market’s largest is the Personal Care segment, usually divided into five main business segments: skincare, haircare, make-up, fragrances and toiletries with a market volume of US$253.30k in 2023. This market is full of opportunity but the competitive is high and if new beauty startups want to succeed they will need all the advice they can get for launch.
But how do they cut through the clutter and attract customers? One growing trend is Clean Beauty, as shoppers continue to have interest in both non-toxic and cruelty-free products suggesting that consumers will look for new brands that produce more products that align with their individual values. Therefore, in line with these consumer behaviours, clean beauty products are expected to be a main driver across the merchandising assortment by leading beauty retailers and brands.
According to Statista Analyst, “One of the biggest challenges facing clean beauty brands has been the higher prices associated with its products as mass produced products tend to be significantly cheaper. However, we are now seeing improved performance across the entire spectrum of clean beauty product lines suggesting that this may no longer be a significant obstacle.”
For example, premium skincare brand, Aesop, showed an average growth rate of 40 percent between 2020 and 2021 despite the economic downturn due to Covid.
So, in this article, we asked beauty CEO’s and industry experts for their advice and compiled 11 tips to help beauty startups launch their products into the ever evolving beauty industry.
1. Invest in Making High-quality Products
“Don’t cut corners on the products themselves. Even affordable beauty products are a luxury item, in a way. People buy them for a million reasons, whether it’s for skincare and health or pure aesthetics. But the biggest mistake a new brand can make is putting out a poorly made product.”
“Beauty brands should emphasize quality in their work so that customers will have a good experience with it and become repeat customers. Don’t overspend your budget elsewhere at the expense of development. If you’re launching a beauty brand, make sure the appropriate time, money, and insight has gone into the products you’ll be selling.”
Rachel Roff, Founder, CEO, Urban Skin Rx
2. Incorporate An SEO Strategy for Ecommerce
“Incorporate an SEO strategy to stand out among competitors. There are thousands of online beauty brands, but what are you doing to remain relevant? Adding keywords to product pages helps your target consumer discover your brand through search engines such as Google, and allows your website to rank higher on these pages.”
“You’ll connect with your intended audience while driving traffic to your website.”
Ann McFerran, CEO, Glamnetic
3. Perfect the Product Packaging
“If I had to give one tip to a beauty brand looking to launch an online presence, it would be to perfect their packaging. When you order beauty products online, the presentation of the product is incredibly important and can leave a lasting impression on your customers.”
“Investing in beautiful boxes and wrapping paper can set you apart from other brands and make your customers feel valued. I personally have purchased from a few online stores that have gone above and beyond with the packaging, adding special touches like including handwritten thank-you cards, which has made me more likely to purchase again.”
“Perfecting the little details can make all the difference when you don’t have the luxury of an in-store experience.”
Lorien Strydom, Executive Country Manager, Financer.com
4. Develop a Brand Ambassador Program
“Beauty brands thrive through brand ambassadors. For example, Drunk Elephant has done an excellent job of utilizing the right influencers on social media to make more sales and even sell out some of their products. New beauty brands should follow this trend by developing their own brand ambassador programs.”
Cesar Cruz, Co-founder, Sebastian Cruz Couture
5. Build Up Organic Social Communities From Day One
“My main tip would be to focus time and resources on building up organic social communities from day one.”
“Launching a beauty product line from scratch is extremely competitive if you’re relying primarily on paid advertising to drive sales. Turning a profit on the first conversion can be a real challenge. The more revenue you can generate from your own organic social following, the better your overall margins will be. There is no amount of paid social ads that can make up for having an engaged and responsive community across the major social media sites in terms of ROI-particularly in the beauty market.”
Ryan Turner, Founder, EcommerceIntelligence.com
6. Have Consistent Brand Messaging
“Make sure your branding is consistent. Beauty brands sell products that can be used to create a variety of looks, but most companies have their own individual style for marketing. If your brand is full of subtle tones perfect for professional environments, your advertisements should reflect that. Or vice versa if your products are mainly bold color options meant for young people. Consistency is key when launching a brand, so you can establish an identity.”
Brian Munce, Managing Director, Gestalt Brand Lab
7. Invest in Great Product Photography & Storytelling
“As a director of a web development agency, I have seen a lot of beauty brands come and go in the digital world. It’s important to understand that launching an online beauty brand requires a different approach than launching a brick-and-mortar store.”
“Here’s a tip that could help: Invest in high-quality product photography and storytelling.”
“When it comes to beauty products, customers want to see what they’re buying. High-quality product photography and storytelling can help you build trust and credibility with your customers, and give them a better understanding of what makes your brand and products unique.”
“The truly tricky part of trying to sell beauty products online is that customers don’t have tangible proof of results, and as such, great product photography helps to overcome such hesitation. Additionally, everyone loves a good story; a great one will always increase engagement and peak customer interest.”
Alan Carr, Director, Webpop Design
8. Create Engaging and User-friendly Website
“Focus on creating an engaging and user-friendly website. Your website will be the first impression customers have of your brand, so it is essential that you make sure it is visually attractive and easy to navigate. Investing in a professional web design can help ensure your site has everything customers are looking for, including clear product information, helpful customer service features, and secure checkout options.”
“Additionally, consider developing an online presence on social media channels to reach more customers and build brand awareness. This will also give you a platform to interact with clients directly and receive feedback on ways to improve your products and services.”
Martin Seeley, CEO, Mattress Next Day
9. Invest in a Social Media Strategy With Video
“Consider investing in a social media strategy with video. Partake in viral trends while creating interesting and engaging content for your specific niche. It’s best to add 8-10 hashtags to each video so consumers can connect with the brand, while also allowing them to find you.”
“All video content doesn’t need to showcase merchandise or promote sales, but it needs to relate directly to the company. In doing so, it creates brand personality and allows you to speak to the audience on a platform they can relate to.”
Lindsay Malu Kido, CEO, Empower Pleasure
10. Be Genuine, Passionate, and Focus on What Really Matters
“The most crucial piece of advice I can provide to a beauty firm seeking to create an internet brand is to be genuine, passionate, and focused on what really matters.”
“Amazing is the sensation of being able to share your product with the world at this moment. The idea is to create a distinguishable brand and provide a service that people adore.”
“Be truthful. Your internet presence must represent your brand and how you want to be seen. By doing so, you ensure that consumers invest in your company, as opposed to just buying from you.”
Olivia Tonks, Marketing Manager, Fleet Education
11. No Brand is An Island. Owned Channels Are Not Enough.
“Today’s beauty marketplace is beyond crowded. And in this market, owned and operated channels are simply not going to be enough to get you noticed by consumers who are spoiled for choice and notoriously fickle.”
“Smart beauty brands know that the quickest way to grow or maintain their place in consumer consciousness (and this is true for even big, established brands, let alone start-ups) is to piggyback off of another’s credibility. Mainly: creators, influencers, and social media stars. These accounts have the audience, the engagement, and-most crucially-the trust you need to give your brand a jumpstart. Just make sure you’re using the right influencer roster for your target audience.”
Holly Morran, Marketing and Social Media Manager, CORQ.
I have 15 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a speaker, consultant and former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.