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Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica

May 28, 2019

Did you know that one of the most effective ways to pitch your beauty products to a buyer is to formulate your cosmetics' range from the start with your ideal retailer in mind? Understanding what a retailer is looking for in your beauty brand and getting to know their retail space inside out is just some of the groundwork you need to do before approaching a buyer. After all, they get hundreds of email pitches every day and you need to grab their attention.

In this near hour-long episode of Green Beauty Conversations, our guest Gemma Harling of Lumi Consultancy provides a goldmine of information for the beauty entrepreneur serious about getting stocked in top retailers.

As a former senior buyer for one of the UK's largest beauty retailers, Gemma gives us insights into the role of the time-poor beauty buyer. She knows what gets buyers to sit up and take notice of a new beauty brand and has seen also just about every pitfall eager start-up founders make. As Gemma says, she has seen "the good, the bad and the ugly" of brand pitches, and is here to see your brand stands out and gains traction with your target retailers.

Getting a reply to an email, let alone a foot in the door to pitch your beauty products to a buyer in person is tougher than ever in a fast-moving beauty retail world where brands can come and go off shelves in less than six months. Buyers are on the look out for the 'next big thing' and while they don't wish to miss the chance of discovering a truly innovative, exciting indie brand, they also need to keep their large, established cosmetics' brands happy. Your pitch needs to be strategic if you're to get noticed!

Be prepared to take notes as Gemma walks us through her top 5 tips on how to pitch your beauty products effectively, from first email to buyer presentation.  Gemma has kindly prepared a workbook to download -  'Race to Retail' - which is a brilliant roadmap to follow in preparing to get retail ready.

In this episode on how to pitch your beauty products, you'll hear about:

  • Why it is important to be clear about who your  target customers are. Don't just think of an avatar but drill into any data you have to back up your brand's customer profile. Understand too the retailers' customers and see if yours match their customers' profile.
  • How to select your target retailers with intention. For example, a luxury-end department store with one branch might not be appropriate for your brand even if it seems a glittering prize. Think laterally and do your homework on which retailers are more suited to your brand.
  • Why you need a clear retailer USP: understand how your product range and brand give the retailer an edge, perhaps by filling a gap in their current offer.
  • Why you need to know your target retailers inside out. Walk the walk by going into their stores and seeing which brands and trends they promote.
  • How visiting some live beauty events or trade fairs can be a great way to meet your target retailers and buyers. They are also brilliant opportunities to understand retail trends. See our post on latest indie beauty trends in our round up of In-Cosmetics Global 2019.

Key take-outs on your brand's pitch include:

  • Find the right buyer to contact. Try using LinkedIn to research them and then follow them on social media. Many beauty buyers have their own accounts. You will pick up on what they are looking for in a brand and understand more about their approach to retailing.
  • Include a 'power statement' about your brand in your initial email. You could use impressive sales statistics, testimonials or press coverage.
  • Don't be woolly about your business projections in your pitch; present sales' forecasts for each retailer but don't pluck figures out of the air - do your homework!
  • Include your pitch presentation in the first email, but ensure it's clear, concise and visually impressive. Some buyers might be curious about your power statement and want to see immediately whether your brand is worth following up on.
  • Be persistent in following up any communications with prospective buyers, but don't pester them.

If you enjoy this podcast, see also our post 10 Tips to Attract Retail Beauty Buyers to your Skincare Brand.

Find out more about Gemma Harling and Lumi Consultancy's services to indie beauty brands here:

Lumi Consultancy website.
Lumi on Instagram.

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