Marketing Tips for the Start-Up Beauty Brand

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Overlooked Marketing Tips for Skin Care Brands

Depending on the stage of your beauty brand, you may be ready to implement a new range of marketing strategies. Although the suggestions below may seem obvious, we’ve found that they often are overlooked and leave smaller brands at a disadvantage. The points listed here are targeted to brands just getting into the market, looking for those first steps once a product or small line of products is ready to go.

Test the (Real) Market First

We often hear that small brands have received feedback on exciting new products, but we also then hear that these testers are the friends and family of the brand owner or formulator. Although that advice is valuable, it’s important to actually find relative strangers to test your products. They should align with your target market and if you’re struggling to find these people, consider how you’ll actually market to them.

It is reasonable to physically go where you expect these people to be and ask them to try a sample of your wonderful new Product X and provide honest feedback. If your target market doesn’t like the smell, feel, or other features of your brand, it’s time to either update the formula or update who your target market is.

Labels that Stand Out (and are Compliant)

Your labels are often the first thing a customer will notice about your product, so make sure it aligns with your brand while being clear and FDA compliant! This means use your brand’s standard colors as the base, consider keeping fonts and typefaces consistent, and also adhere to the feel of your logo (more on how to choose a logo here).

All this and stand out and be compliant? We know it feels like a lot, but we also fully support starting out as compliant as possible. It may be tempting to call something organic or fudge the details a bit, but starting out and staying compliant is the best way to both stay ahead of the curve and gain customer trust.

A Name that is Eye-Catching and Internet-Friendly

When it’s time to name your products, you’ll want a name that balances description with sparkle, depending on your brand identity. Check out this blog for more on naming. However, given that so much of marketing is done digitally, it’s important to understand how your product will rank on search engine result pages. In general this field is referred to as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and it’s important to do a little research about your chosen name before fully committing. We recommend simply doing a google search with your desired name and seeing what comes up. Make sure it is not already taken, and that it’s not a misleading name.

Once the name is finalized, the way to boost rankings is to carefully increase your SEO by having relevant keywords, metadescriptions, and website copy. We recommend conferring with an experience digital marketer for this, although there are many great free resources out there to guide you.


It may seem like a bother, but samples can do wonders to help your business grow. When was the last time you were willing to commit to a potentially expensive beauty product without trying it first?

Samples make your products approachable and increase the odds of a purchase. Whether in tiny foil packs or a display bottle, make sure customers have a chance to try and experiment with your product before making a large commitment.

Larger stores, both brick and mortar and online, will likely require you to provide samples, so you may as well be prepared now.


Summary: Take Your Time

Make sure that your product addresses the needs of your target market. Then ensure that it’s look, labels, text, and name appeal and serve your branding purposes. This is the time to lay out what your brand means visually. And finally, the last often-overlooked step in production is to take the time to make and distribute samples.

Let us know in the comments which other marketing tips are most useful!

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2 years ago

Hi CoralSage. I love reading your posts and yesterday bought some oils from your site to make some blends. Could you recommend a course in formulating? I would like to learn how to properly formulate natural blends and emulsions and stabilize, preserve etc and set up some good practices in my own artisan lab.
Do you have any suggestions? I am in Vancouver Canada.
Thank you