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6 Steps to Success when Starting your own Cosmetics Brand

There are a lot of reasons to launch your own cosmetics brand. Maybe you have been inspired by a problem you are experiencing with existing products. It could be that you are an influencer interested in expanding your brand with a line of cosmetics. Or perhaps you are an entrepreneur looking to foray into the sizeable $128 billion cosmetics market. Indeed, the dizzying rise of new brands like Jessica Alba's $1 billion-valued Honest Beauty brand or Kylie Jenner's $1.2 billion Kylie Cosmetics are hard to ignore. Whatever your motivation, it can be hard to know where to start, and how to get from idea to product. That is why we are sharing our 6 steps to success when starting your own cosmetics brand.

1. Determine your brand values

Your brand values are the soul of your business. They will be the common thread that connects your formula, packaging, marketing and basically everything your business does. This is a chance to put your stamp on the project and create a brand that you believe in. Maybe you are concerned about the environment and want sustainability to be at the heart of your product line. Or maybe you have a great idea for a product that will make your customers feel more confident and beautiful. Whatever you decide, defining your brand values will help customers relate to your brand and, if your brand values resonate with their own, this could be a powerful motivator to buy your products and a great way to build trust and loyalty.

2. Research your target customer

The bottom line is that you want to sell your product, and in order to do that, you will need a customer. It's simple - the earlier you figure out who your customer is, what they want/don't want and what they can afford, the better your brand and product will correspond to their needs and resources, and the more you will sell. Here are some things that are good to know about your customer:

  • What kind of products do they use?

  • Do they frequently invest in luxury products or prefer affordable simplicity?

  • Do they have time on their hands or are they rushed off their feet?

  • Do they meticulously study ingredients lists or do they just want to know it works?

It's great to go into detail but be careful not to narrow your customer profile down too much. Remember the broader your market is, the more customers you have. Focus on finding the sweet spot where you are responding to specific, but common, beauty concerns. Think acne breakouts, ingredient allergies, fine lines, lip definition and so on.

3. Decide on your hero product

Your hero product is the spokesperson for your brand - it should embody your brand values and communicate your message. Think Kylie Jenner's feature-enhancing lip kits, Burt's Bees natural moisturising lip balms or Schmidt's clean deodorant. All of these brands started with one hero product and rapidly evolved into a line of products with a clear identity. Beyond clearly communicating your brand values, there are actually a lot of other advantages to starting with a hero product. It's a great way to focus your resources on developing one amazing product, getting it to market quickly and optimising your commercial strategy before you invest heavily in further research and development. Once you have perfected your strategy from concept to market, and your hero product is generating revenue, you can re-invest this to create the rest of your product line. This allows you to grow quickly and take less risk upfront.

4.Test similar products that are currently on the market

So you have an idea of your brand values, you know your target customer and you have decided on your hero product. Now it's time for a little competitor research. Identify at least five brands that have similar values and customers to yours, and buy their version of your hero product. This is what your product is going to be competing with so you should try and figure out what they are doing right and what is missing. If you are not in the same demographic as your target customer, try to find someone who is and ask them about their experiences with similar products. You can also take a look through online reviews for your competitor's products to get an impression of what features your target customers do and don't like.

5. Identify your product's unique selling point(s)

Now that you know what your product will be competing with, ask yourself how your product is going to standout. Is it hard to find products in your category that use clean ingredients? Are the available products lacking effectiveness? Are they complicated to use? Or are they simply not appealing? In short, try to define what is going to make your product unique compared to others on the market. This will help to guide what ingredients you use, which tests you might want to do on your product and how you market your product. Try to focus in on one or two defining aspects of your product that will resonate most with your target market. Keep your selling point as simple as possible to end up with a really clear message to your customers.

6. Create your own unique formula

Now that you have a commercial strategy, you are ready to formulate your hero product. The formula of your product is like its source code - it holds all the secrets of how your product works. A great formula should:

1. Be exclusive to your brand

2. Be uniquely adapted to your target customer

3. Be highly effective

The best way to get a great formula is to work with a chemist or formulation laboratory. A good formulation chemist will breath life into your brand by creating a product that matches your needs using the best, cutting-edge ingredients. They will make sure that your product retains its competitive edge over other products on the market. They will find synergies between ingredients and formulate for efficacy and stability. The formula will make the difference between a product that your customers try once and a product that your customers come back to again and again and again, and ultimately it will determine the success of your brand.

Are you ready to start your cosmetics line? Speak to Cosmulex today about creating your custom formula.

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