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How to successfully launch new beauty products

The growth of the beauty industry is driven by new launches.

Recently we’ve had Hailey Bieber’s skincare line, Creed’s new Wind Flowers fragrance and Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Nouveau Palette, launched as part of their summer collection.

But these product launches are just a drop in the beauty ocean.

Brands of every size are continually developing new products to capture consumer attention - whether that’s a moisturiser with a revolutionary new skincare ingredient or a ‘dupe’ that mirrors an offering from a more expensive brand.

And consumers are open to trying something new. According to recent research conducted among US consumers by PowerReviews, when purchasing a habitual product, 96% of US consumers say they are at least somewhat likely to also purchase a new-to-them product.

The pandemic also appears to have increased willingness to experiment: over half (52%) of US consumers say they are more likely to try a new beauty product now than before COVID.

But in the sea of new beauty products, how can brands stand out? Let’s look at the secrets of a successful new product launch.

What is a successful beauty product launch?

The ultimate aim of launching a new product is to drive sales and win new customers. But in order to do this, consumers need to be made aware of the new product in question.

Therefore, when it comes to determining the success of a launch, brands should be assessing the level of brand and product awareness they achieve.

For instance, this could involve looking at the amount of engagement on social media, website traffic, the number of clicks on an advert and, in a sampling campaign, the speed at which samples are claimed. These are all indications that consumers are meaningfully interacting with the new product and learning more about it and the brand.

Brands should also pay attention to the reviews resulting from their beauty product launch. Not only does this feedback provide vital insights into what’s resonating with consumers and what could be improved, it can have a big influence on sales.

The PowerReviews survey also found that nearly all US consumers (99%) say they read reviews at least sometimes when shopping online for beauty products. 96% say they look for photos and videos from other consumers when shopping for beauty items online, with a third (33%) saying they always do so.

When determining the success of individual campaigns associated with a launch, ROI (Return on Investment) is the metric brands need to carefully consider. This will show brands whether the money they have invested in a campaign has resulted in significantly more sales and leads.

Determining your product launch strategy

There are a number of factors to consider when creating a product launch plan.

Firstly, a brand needs to be clear on the budget they have for their launch. The size of this will determine how ambitious they may want to be with their ideas and the number of different channels they can use to promote their new product.

Then they need to have a strong idea of the audience they want to be reaching. Is this a product designed for the brand’s traditional audience or an attempt to engage new demographics? Does its price point make it less suitable for certain age groups? Is the launch part of a brand’s wider business plan to expand to new markets?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help teams come up with product launch ideas that are most suited to their target audience.

For instance, although it’s a myth that older generations aren’t using social media, there will be channels that they prefer: an anti-wrinkle cream designed for mature skin is likely to do better on Facebook than TikTok, for example.

And if a brand wants to court consumers in China, there’s no point investing in a partnership with an influencer who is only known in the UK.

It’s also good practice for brands to review analytics and data from previous campaigns to see which tactics have recently been most successful. Conducting and reviewing market research will also help brands gain a deeper understanding of their audience and enable them to better cater to their priorities and concerns.

Creating your product marketing plan

When drawing up a product launch marketing plan, there are a number of routes brands can take and they can use a combination to maximise their reach.

Email marketing, influencer marketing, paid social media ads, TV spots, billboards, magazine campaigns and pop up events are just some examples of the options brands have.

But when it comes to deciding how to launch beauty products, specifically, a product sampling campaign is a very powerful tool that brands have at their disposal.

Product sampling has an edge over other beauty marketing ideas by allowing consumers to physically interact with a product. This type of experience is crucial for an industry where the look, feel and scent of a product is so important.

Free product samples are especially effective when launching a new product as it takes away the financial risk of trying something new. And when samples are claimed as part of a pre-launch campaign, those receiving a sample feel part of an exclusive club, creating stronger emotional ties with the brand in question.

Product sampling can also be used in combination with other marketing ideas. For example, brands and agencies can launch sampling campaigns through influencer collaborations, publisher partnerships and across a wide range of social media channels.

Get more beauty product launch ideas and learn more about product sampling with our Definitive Guide to Product Sampling Campaigns.

Product sampling with Odore

At Odore, we help brands harness the power of product sampling to reach their marketing goals.

We’ve worked with iconic global brands and innovative beauty startups on successful new product launches.

Our drag and drop campaign builder gives brands the ability to create and launch eye-catching, sophisticated campaigns and closely monitor their progress. And our international network of fulfilment centres sustainably handles delivery logistics on a brand’s behalf.

Odore also makes it easy to launch multi-channel sampling campaigns. We have a partnership with one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, enabling brands to launch their sampling campaign in global titles.

Our platform is also designed to integrate with other social and marketing platforms, so brands can easily coordinate campaigns running across Instagram, Facebook, Mailchimp and more.

When to launch a product sampling campaign

It’s important to note that marketing plans will differ based on the product being promoted: each plan should be tailored to the specific product launch.

One way plans will differ will be in their timing.

For instance, interest in SPF ingredients will peak during the summer so a campaign will likely have more success at this time than if launched in winter.

It’s also strategic to launch fragrances in the run up to key events (such as Christmas, Valentines, Father’s and Mother’s Day) when consumers will be looking for gift ideas.

When product sampling, brands will often run a pre-launch and a launch campaign. A pre-launch sampling campaign is typically run two weeks before the full size product is available to purchase, to drive up interest and excitement ahead of the official launch.

Example of a successful product launch

We recently worked with a global beauty brand to support the launch of their new fragrance, working with carefully chosen influencers and launching the campaign across social media and through email marketing.

Our campaign saw a high opt-in rate of 72% and attracted 84% new customers for the brand, demonstrating a huge increase in brand awareness through sampling.

The campaign also involved sending follow up emails, with tailored content, that resulted in high open rates and very low unsubscribe rates. This helps build the foundation of a strong, personal relationship between brand and consumer.

Want to use the power of product sampling in your marketing? Book an introductory call with Odore here.

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