This week marks the debut column from our resident business coach, Irene Moore, the founder of the business resource 90 Day Start Up. Irene will be answering a business dilemma every Monday, providing us with that start of the week motivation that we all need. Without further ado, over to you Irene…
I created a brand of lipsticks at the start of 2017. I wasn’t able to give my products a real marketing push due to limited funding, and although I’ve managed to get a steady stream of customers I feel a bit stagnated and would love some advice on how to take the brand to the next level. Having spoken to friends and business associates a lot of the feedback suggests that my branding might not be strong enough to stand out in such a competitive market. And when you consider the success of Fenty Beauty, I feel as if there’s no way I can compete with that. I’d love some honest feedback on my approach so far, and also advice on how I can really make an impact in 2018.
From Fiona, via email
Bravo lipstick queen! Creating your own range is an amazing achievement. Listen, we can’t all be RiRi but there is enough people in this world for all of us to sell our products and services. It’s important not to get trapped in comparisons with big brands as it will bring you down.
The biggest mistake a lot of new makeup brands make is that they do not speak with their potential customers and build a community around their brand first before launching. The days of build it and they will come are over! I suggest you build on what you have already achieved and begin base your lipstick creations on genuine customer insights rather than just what you would like to launch or opinions of people outside of your target audience.
I know funds are limited for you, but this this something you feel you could do slowly and consistently on social media? Even an audience of 100-200 engaged followers would provide ample insights in to what kind of lipstick formulas and branding that would appeal to them.
If you are ready to do the work, here are some questions you should ask:
– which formulas are your favourites?
– what type of applicator so you prefer?
– do you like long wear, matte, glossy finishes?
– what are you prepared to pay for this?
– which other lipstick brands do you buy? What is your ultimate lipstick and why?
– which packaging designs do you prefer?
I know its seems counter intuitive to put your business out there when everything feels unfinished, but here’s the thing. People are more likely to support an idea they have been a part of so taking your community on your personal journey of creating your brand and letting them be a part of it sets you apart as no one else will do it like you!
You can then invite a handful to trial your range and share them on social media.
Start small, be consistent and keep going! Believe me, it will be worth it in the end.
Irene Moore is the founder of Digital Marketing London and 90 Day Start Up, a business resource that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools to start up a company in 3 months. If you have a business dilemma that you’d like answered, contact Irene @firstname.lastname@example.org