Looking Beyond The Surface
To expand your thinking and transcend your comfort zone, consider the cosmetics industry. While it may be totally unrelated to your niche, there are lessons to be learned. So keep a pad and pen handy to create a list of new insights.
Modern cosmetics and personal care companies like Revlon, Cover Girl, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Max Factor, Clinique, Maybelline, Neutrogena, Mary Kay, Avon and others (just to name a few) would never consider making just lipstick or just makeup foundation. Through competition, most of them have developed additional beauty products over the course of their existence.
In 1907, a young French chemist named Eugène Schueller developed a hair dye formula called Auréale. He formulated and manufactured his own products and sold them to Parisian hairdressers. In 1909, he registered his company as the Société Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux ("Safe Hair Dye Company of France"), the original L’Oréal. The guiding principles of the company, which eventually became L’Oréal, were research and innovation. In 1920, the company employed only three chemists, but by 1950, research teams numbered 100 and reached 1,000 by 1984. Today, L’Oréal employs about 2,000 in its research teams.
Although L’Oréal began in the hair color business, the company branched out into other cleansing and beauty products and currently markets over 500 brands and thousands of individual products in all areas of the beauty business, like hair color, permanents, hair styling, body and skin care, cleansers, makeup, and fragrances. Excellent marketing strategies have put their products in a wide variety of distribution channels, such as hair salons, health and beauty outlets, supermarkets, pharmacies and perfumeries, as well as offering direct mail order options.
Like L’Oréal, other modern personal products companies offer a multitude of beauty care items for the face, hair, skin, nails and body with products like body lotions, cosmetics applicators, hair rinses, eyelash curlers, tweezers, and other beauty tools. Many of these items evolved naturally from existing products, as well as from happy customers seeking an expanded choice of full-care beauty products from one source. For decades, some companies, like Mary Kay and Avon, have incorporated in-home parties to meet customer demands for a truly personal touch in beauty products. Over time, items like perfumes, colognes, body splashes, powders, bath oils and beads have claimed their own market niche.
Can Your Business Include Cosmetics?
If your business involves any type of aromatic product, consider expanding your product line to include cosmetics items that also may be associated with your business. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines cosmetics by their intended use as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body...for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance" (www.fda.gov/cosmetics). Cosmetics items include:
- Skin care creams and lotions
- Lipsticks and lip gloss
- Exfoliants and scrubs
- Eye and facial makeup
- Hair conditioners, gels, and shampoos
- Baby products
- Bath oils, bubble baths, and bath salts
- Butters…and many other product items
Remember, cosmetics contain scents. Is your product scented? It’s worth exploring the possibilities to determine if the products share any common ground. For product ideas consider visiting free recipe libraries at places reputable online sites such as Wholesale Supplies Plus (http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/ResourceLibrary.aspx).
Be Creative with Your Product
Knowing your product in every detail of its history, its components and its chemistry, gives you an edge that many of your competitors simply fail to match. Exceptional entrepreneurs continually seek new levels of learning or understanding of how to improve their products.
As a business owner, it’s your job to be attentive to your business as it constantly experiences change. It’s kind of like driving a car. If you fall asleep at the wheel, you're certain to wreck the car. But paying close attention to every aspect of driving makes you a better driver…and a survivor. You are in constant competition for consumer dollars, so use newly found information to create added value to your product, and then offer it as an extra incentive for customers to do business with you. For example, create a newsletter, an ebook, a book or article, or other special bonus. Finding new depths and uncovering new layers of your product takes it and your business to new levels of customer satisfaction while you gain unexpected profits and build self-esteem.
CYNTHIA BULL (www.cynrje.com) is an internationally published writer and editor who helps international authors, marketers and speakers add greater value to their products through her top-quality writing, editing and transcription services. She is the author of How To Be A Medical Transcriptionist and Winning At Work While Balancing Your Life, a contributing author of Walking with the Wise Entrepreneur (Mentors Publishing House), cited in Make BIG Profits on eBay (Entrepreneur Press), and Managing Editor of Mentors Magazine Think & Grow Rich Edition. Cynthia has created over 200 book products in the past two years for her clients and, as mentor, helps clients reach their goals through her products, experience and genuine caring. Cynthia writes this feature article exclusively for Debbie May (http://www.debbiemay.com/), an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.