The beauty industry is more competitive than ever. If you’re launching a beauty brand you have to find ways to stand out.
Consumers have countless choices for makeup, skincare, and haircare. They’re also choosier than ever. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, buyers now care more about trust than ever before. But that trust is also harder to earn.
What does that mean for you and your brand? Now more than ever, you have to get to know your audience.
If you want to stand out in a competitive industry, you have to align with your customers and learn what they’re looking for and how to give it to them.
The Buyer Journey
In order to build a trusting relationship with your customers, you can’t just hit the hard sell right out of the gate. The relationship between you and your buyers is like finding a spouse—you wouldn’t pop the question on your first date. Instead, you build the relationship and trust over time.
Ultimately, you have to lead your buyers along a road, so that they trust you and want to commit.
The buyer journey comes down to three stages—awareness, consideration, and decision making. Before you can expect consumers to buy from you, they have to know who you are and why they should support you.
The stage of the buyer journey that a customer is one dictates how you should reach them. When you’re trying to attract customers, you’re going to come across two types of leads—cold and warm.
Wooing Cold Leads
Cold prospects are those in the awareness phase of the buyer journey. They don’t know who you are yet. They stumbled across your website or saw an ad, but they are just becoming aware of you and your brand.
In our relationship analogy, these leads stumbled onto your dating profile. They haven’t even swiped right on you yet. You can’t expect a commitment right away—you have to woo them first.
The best way to reach cold leads is with a strong web presence. Your website should be warm and engaging. It should also tell the prospect two things—who you are and what you can do for them.
Make sure that you put out content, such as blog posts and social media posts, that showcase your brand and offer value to your potential customers. Your content should be focused on educating and helping your customers.
For example, if you sell cosmetics, you could write how-to posts for different makeup styles or posts about celebrity makeup trends. If you run a skincare company, you could post tips for caring for dry skin or a quiz on how to discover your skin type.
The goal is not to promote your products or convince these leads to buy—it’s to provide value and establish trust. As these customers get to know you and view you as an expert, they’ll want to purchase from you when the time comes.
Winning Over Warm Leads
Warm leads, on the other hand, are in the consideration stage. They’re familiar with your brand, but you haven’t won them over yet.
These are the ones a friend set you up with. They know some things about you, and they want the relationship to work out. But they have to figure out if you’re the right fit for them.
Your goal with these leads is to prove to them that you are worth their time. Make sure they keep hearing the good things about you through testimonials, reviews, and case studies.
Retargeting ads are a great way to reach this group. You want to stay on their minds—studies have shown that on average, consumers need to hear about you seven times before they make a purchase.
You can also win this group over by turning on the romance with free trials and samples. Show them the benefits they will get from your products. Once they fall in love with your products, they’re much more likely to buy from you when they reach the decision stage.
Creating Loyal Customers
We tend to focus on new leads, slacking off on relationship-building once a customer buys. But that is a costly mistake. According to Bain and Company’s Prescription for Cutting Costs, “a five percent increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75 percent.”
The most likely customers to buy from you are the ones who have already purchased from you. They’re also more likely to be upsold into larger purchases, such as memberships or exclusive packages.
Spend time putting out content specifically for existing customers. Craft an engaging delivery email—you can include tips, FAQs, or video tutorials on how to use your product. Periodically send out special offers to past purchasers.
Creating loyal, lifetime customers pays off much greater than just bringing in new ones.
Imagine if all of your customers were as enthusiastic about your brand as a tween is about their favorite boy band. You don’t just want people to purchase from you—you want them spreading your name to everyone they come across.
An ongoing relationship allows your customers to feel engaged and valued so that they stay loyal, and even bring in new leads for you.
Your responsibility to your customers goes beyond a purchase, or even multiple purchases. You want the customer life cycle to continue, resulting in a community of customers who love, trust, and share your brand.
When you know your customers and cater content to every stage of the buyer life cycle, you can build that kind of a relationship—the kind that lasts a lifetime and pays dividends.
If you’re just getting started with a beauty business and need more tips, Learn How to Launch a Beauty Product can help. It covers every aspect of starting a beauty business, from creating a solid foundation and getting funding to manufacturing, branding, sales, and marketing. Learn more about the course here.