If you’ve always harboured the desire to start your own beauty brand, now more than ever you have the tools at your disposal to realise your ambitions. We offer a helping hand with the following handy tips.
Go To Beauty School
If you are truly keen on starting a beauty brand then you will need to know the finer details of how makeup works. If you are not scientifically minded we suggest getting at least a basic understanding by looking at the chemistry behind products. There are some distance learning courses available that you can search for online and the London College of Fashion offer an acclaimed MSC in Cosmetic Science, a four year course where students study a rage of sciences, both pure and applied as well as gain knowledge of the various disciplines within the industry and the function of the cosmetics, toiletry and perfumery industries.
If you don’t have the resources to commit to a traditional educational course, you can still press ahead with your beauty idea. Many of the brands we love started through a combination of researching and testing various ingredients and stumbling upon a winning formula. Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter, famously began her foray into beauty entrepreneurship by concocting natural based skin and hair sample sized products from her kitchen table of her Brooklyn home and giving them out to friends and family to try out. Soon enough, word of mouth helped to leap frog the product from the kitchen table to the iconic brand it is now known as. A little bit closer to home, Ronke Oke is an award-winning beauty entrepreneur who set up a skincare company Emi & Ben (emiandben.com) in 2009 after being gifted with some raw shea butter by her grandmother when she was pregnant with her first child. Upon using the butter to keep stretch marks at bay, Ronke was amazed by the results and realised the untapped potential of the magical ingredient, which is now used in an array of hair and skin products. Ronke says, “My advice for budding beauty entrepreneurs is to do your research. While gaining advice from those who have already entered the industry successfully is great, don’t rely on this to provide you with all the knowledge you need. Start reading. Understand the legislation which comes with being a beauty manufacturer. Think about the possible things you may need to know/be aware of, and then begin your research.”
Hone in on your niche
The cosmetics industry may be a multi-million pound industry but it’s also a saturated one. Standing out from the hoards of existing brands and your start-up competitors will be no easy task. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We’re now living in an era where niche specialism thrives, so identifying your tribe – the group of individuals who will live for your product as well as encapsulate your brand’s values – will be paramount to your success. Young beauty entrepreneur, Florence Adepoju launched her lipstick line MDMFlow at age 22 when she realised that there wasn’t a beauty brand that spoke to her directly. Hugely influenced by the ‘90s era bright, bold and brash hip-hop beauty aesthetic adopted by the likes of Eve, Kelis and Lil’ Kim, Florence turned her obsession into a business and her lipsticks are now known for its eye-catching bright colours in gold casing namd after popular hits like ‘Bossy’ (Kelis) and ‘Sweet Escape (Gwen Stefani). If Florence had simply tried to replicate what was already available on the market then chances are she wouldn’t have captured the imagination of so many who are inspired by her story and in awe of the products. So before you start your journey have an honest conversation with yourself. Is your product viable? Is it serving a group that is currently undeserved? Will your passion carry you through when you face seemingly insurmountable challenges? If you answer ‘yes’ to all questions then keep going, you’re on the right track.
Packaging and labelling
So you’ve done your homework and gotten clued up about the ingredients that work for your product. You’ve identified your niche and have a clear understanding of who your customer is. Now is the time to get started on making your product a tangible thing. Packaging your product is such an important step—it is the first thing your potential customers will see so it’s important to get it right. What packaging do you envisage for our product? If you’re stumped for ideas, create a vision board and include all the colours, words and visuals that communicate your brand’s ethos. Additional things to consider: is there a special ingredient that you’ve utilised that will help it stand out from the crowd? Have you taken the time to think about the preservation of your product, and how it will effect your price point and bottle size? Are you familiar with the EU compliance laws regarding the specific safety requirements you need to put in place before bringing your product to market? These are all crucial elements to consider.
Become your own marketeer
Taking a hands on practical approach to your marketing will work hugely in your favour when starting a beauty brand. We’re very fortunate to be living in a time we’re we so connected. In addition to traditional advertising, you can use more grassroots methods of communicating directly with your customer such as newsletters, social media and podcasts. And of course, make sure that your digital presence is on point. Everything from your website to social media accounts should exude quality and professionalism.
Now, shout from the rooftop!
In addition to your marketing strategy, publicising the arrival of your product will increase brand awareness. Write a press release introducing your brand to print magazine and online editors, bloggers and vloggers. Carry a stash full of product samples at all times and give them to friends, family members, the cashier at your local supermarket, basically anyone who looks like your target audience. We wish you the best of luck!