Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Celebrating the Beauty of your Customer by Finding the Beauty in Your Brand

Pretty Face?

As a professional in the industry, you have a good grasp on the concept of beauty, but have you recently taken a moment to consider the face of your brand? What does it look like?  Arched eyebrows or high cheekbones?  What distinctive features allow it to stand out in a crowd?  How beautiful is your beauty brand?  Many beauty brands boast glamor and allure, but what makes a brand genuinely attractive?  As a brand manager, it is not enough to just know the product and its variations well, you must also understand how customers interact with the product in their daily lives.  As it may seem to the untrained eye, you are in the business of building communities of brand fans, but in actuality, your success is driven by your ability to engender confidence, style, and poise in consumers.  Concealers, liners, and pigments are tools used to help display inner beauty to the outer world.  In order to build toolboxes full of your branded products, you must: (1) profile your loyal customers and those who could become loyal customers in the future; (2) understand how they engage with the brand; and (3)  Capitalize and expand upon the “beauty” of the brand as defined by consumers

The Double Helix  

In the same way that double-stranded molecules determine our appearance and composition, your brand’s DNA determines its identity, aptitude, and scope.  A brand’s DNA is dependent upon the product(s) it represents, its origin, reputation, and possibly the people who build and endorse it.  By assessing these elements, you and your team will ensure that your communication strategies, product developments, and brand trajectory are aligned according to the most essential aspects of your product(s).  By understanding the core of your brand (i.e. what consumers associate with it, what they expect from it, and what characteristics could or should separate it from the competition), you will connect with consumers by intersecting at points of engagement, communicating authenticity, and creating financial and competitive results. 

Make Over 
       They are often highlighted during morning shows and teenage birthday parties, but makeovers have secured a place in almost every aspect of daily life.  In many cases, experts are solicited to lend consultant services, but since you are an expert on your brand, there is no need to seek the help of outside resources.  You can take a few simple steps to answer the question – How beautiful is your beauty brand?

§  Discuss the brand’s DNA and customer base with your team.  It is imperative for all those involved with the day-to-day business of the brand are functioning on one accord and working toward a common vision.  
§  Evaluate the current state of the brand in the competitive market and articulate weaknesses.  When everyone has gained a renewed sense of the brand's identity, the team must determine the ways in which marketing and advertising strategies are (or are not) aligned with the essence of the brand's DNA. 
§  Develop 3 ways to make your brand more beautiful.  Brainstorming never hurts!  Following a deep analysis of the brand and its position in the market, create a list of short- and long-term action items that will promote beautification.

Take the time to put on the best face of your brand.  After all, your customers do.

Andrea is a student in Northwestern University’s Master’s Integrated Marketing Communications program.  Her studies are concentrated in Brand Management and Digital Marketing, and she has a particular interest in the beauty industry.

Follow Andrea @A_BusseyIMC 

"Love of beauty is taste.  The creation of beauty is art." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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