How does an Indy company survive through challenging economic times and fend off large corporations with deep pockets? RAPID AND AGILE CHANGE! Simply, it’s called speed to market, innovation with great PR support and passion of the creator (or brand ambassador) to bring the concept to life. You have to have a “you can’t touch me attitude” with large corporations that are inherently risk adverse. If the top 2 box product concept score don’t average an 80 percent, then no green light to the next stage, so innovation could stop there. Their celebrity endorsers are pitching the products, but have no passion that connects to the audience when they are reading their lines (they didn’t develop it and most times come to set not knowing what they will be filming for that day), so all you get is a pretty face and a smile.
By the sheer number of print and commercials, there is a formula for CHANGE that drives consumers to the shelf (ultimately selling product based on aspiration to be like that celebrity or wanting to be your friend). So how does the Indy company get attention?
CHANGE by challenges and innovation by looking outside current distribution challenges. There are golden nuggets of consumer ideas that live in industries that have nothing to do with health and beauty (as of today). dot429 is a perfect example of reaching out to industry innovators outside their industry to see what is innovating in their categories or business. Internet test concepts, duel path production with vendors and rush to market after you have proven results.
CHANGE your price point and identify category-transcending innovation where you can be competitive with large corporate leaders with their high volumes. You will have a higher propensity for trial and long-term continuity. Make your margin in the near future when you can produce larger quantities when distribution expands. You’ll be know as the “Original” and market leader (and the big guys with soon follow – validation feels so good!)
CHANGE your Marketing strategy. Hire a PR agency that will allow you to get in front of the beauty editors to bring the product to life, verses just the corporate mailings. Synergize PR with online and in-store communication and visuals (include broadcast if you have the opportunity). Shock the consumer with your visuals in a way that doesn’t alienate, but emotionally arrests you and the consumer (and you both need to be linked).
These three major strategies will serve you well and have been the pillars of my personal businesses.
Photo Credit:Thomas Hawk