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  • Alison Wait

How Do I Create a Successful Skincare Brand

Updated: Nov 4



During my 25 years in the skincare industry, I’ve worked with existing brands to capitalise on their professional skincare lines, with others I help them modernise their existing range to synergise new and improved products to compliment the many devices in the market and for start-ups I have helped them create capsule ranges for use in their own clinics as well as providing at-home skincare regimes for their customer base.


I love being involved from the concept with the research and development of potential new products, getting in the lab and mixing the blends, creating signature aromas for a brand and providing the resources to launch these products for both here in the UK and in the international market.


Skincare is one of the most lucrative markets with incredible opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to start their own lines and done right you can build a fabulous brand. There is no doubt it is a highly competitive market but there is always a demand for serums, moisturisers, masks, exfoliators and effective skin-improving products.


Starting a skincare line of your own does require some initial investment but the amount you spend will depend on the type of company you want to run. I’m often asked the question about the number of products you need to have available to launch your own line, but the reality is many well-known, successful brands have launched with just one product - often now their ‘hero’ product in much larger portfolios.


Once you have an idea of your first product it is essential to prove the demand for what you want to make before wasting time and money on the manufacturing process. I advise that you work with a mentor to do your due diligence. Market research on competitors and the marketplace will help you get to grips with pricing and whether there is consumer demand.


Launching your own skincare line is exciting but there is a lot to consider, and this is where collaborating with a mentor can really help take you and your brand to the next level. Let’s be realistic not everyone has the manufacturing facilities to upscale their products or the understanding of the rules and regulations for launching country-to-country. Choosing a reputable manufacturer will take a lot of the pressure off your shoulders when you are designing your own line and having the right mentor will be able to introduce you to the one that fits your needs. You want access to manufacturers that will make your small batches of your product initially. This will keep costs down for you and help you understand how your product does in the market, before considering upscaling manufacturing, as your brand grows.


According to recent statistics around 80% of beauty businesses fail within the first 18 months but the question is why? It doesn’t matter how fantastic the product is you are creating if you don’t have the right resources in place to ensure a successful launch and continued support to grow customer loyalty. Customers don’t just fall in love with your product (no matter how good it is), they develop a relationship with your brand and the personality you decide to build for your business, whether that is the socially conscious route, a luxury brand or one aimed at the aesthetics market.


There are several factors why beauty brands don’t make it past the first 18 months but there is a lot of support available. The key is to recognise and find the right expertise and outsourcing for you and your brand.


What should you consider when starting your own skincare brand:


1) A lack of expertise in both new and established businesses can lead to costly business mistakes and ultimately failure. When starting up many businesses focus purely on the product they want to produce and lack experience with safety and toxicology certification, manufacturing, packaging, and timelines required, distribution channels and marketing. It still surprises me that 20% of businesses contacting me don’t have an existing business plan in place. So, when it comes to scaling their brand with manufacturing, distribution to international markets etc they have often failed to gain the success their products deserve.


Finding your niche to target your specific market is important for the products you are going to sell. But very often this is where the sole focus is dedicated. Absolutely you will need to decide what makes your products stand out from its competitors, the features and benefits etc. What kind of customer you want to attract with your point of difference, but planning is essential, it requires constant management and a well-structured business model.


2) Brands often underestimate the resources required that are necessary to complete the targeted activities at each level. It is a marathon not a sprint. Frequently adequate resources aren’t available in-house when needed which can deplete a successful launch or provide the momentum to grow your brand. This is where the right outsourcing services can help to support you either during the launch process or to take your skincare line to the next level.


3) Very often brands make good judgements and start initiatives for the product launch with marketing services, website design, country registration and distribution channels but underestimate the scale and timeline required in-order-to-succeed.


4) As your brand grows and evolves, so do the skills, knowledge and people needed to manage it successfully. Keeping competent, experienced advisers onboard is crucial to a skincare company’s success. Part of my job role is on retainer for my clients where after the initial launch process has successfully been completed I am asked to provide additional advice as and when my clients require solutions for when the needs of the business change such as the recent pandemic and challenges with slow production, finding new sources for bulk ingredients and shipping alternatives.


5) It’s the age-old adage ‘know your target audience’ but it’s essential for the success of your skincare line. There are more than 40,000 beauty businesses in the UK and as consumers become more knowledgeable about the actives they are using on their skin it becomes increasingly important to understand your audience. Your brands success depends on customer satisfaction but don’t underestimate the cultural differences from country to country, when launching into these markets.


6) Anyone who’s ever managed a team knows that hiring staff can make or break your business – particularly in the service industry. Research shows that 23% of beauty businesses fail because they did not have the right team in place. When outsourcing look at the right experience with testimonials (NDA’s permitting), excellent interpersonal skills and good time management.


Starting your own brand doesn’t have to be as scary as you think. It can be done in incremental stages and the right mentor will guide and teach you how to do a lot of the work for yourself in addition to offering the services needed to get it right.


If you are ready to UPSCALE and GROW YOUR BUSINESS with a STRUCTURED, INTENTIONAL AND COST EFFECTIVE plan let’s have a 20 minute ‘getting to know each other’ call, to see if I’m the right mentor for you.


Email: alison.wait@kickstartbeauty.com

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