Emotion is the latest buzzword in marketing, branding and advertising. And for all the right reasons. Emotion is the glue of memory, it instigates action, and on top, human beings associate meaning with everything. Your brand needs to create emotional resonance with the consumer, so that, it can move way beyond the early-stage market newness, whether it is with the trade press, PR influencers, and the independent store buyers, etc. But, when it comes to hyper-growth, we also need the science behind the diffusion of an innovation.
Emotion is a key component in the acceleration of a diffusion. There is a science of how a new idea or the product diffuses into the market for adoption.
Jump Paradigm, a Four-Jump Sequence of Hyper growth
I have created a 4-Jump sequence for hyper-growing early-stage beauty brands.
1. Jump Pad-Brand Idea
Let’s start with the first jump, I call the Jump Pad. It is all about your brand idea. It is like a launch pad that comprises a hyper-growth opportunity, which your brand is uniquely positioned to take advantage of.
This is the first, and the most important step in the four-jump sequence. Why? Because, without this, none of the other jumps matter. This jump is about putting a stake in the ground with your brand idea, defining clearly who your target consumer is, who isn’t, which channel you’re going to go to market with, who do you compete with, what category are you going to play in, why are you unique, and what is your reason for existence, etc.
If you are a pre-launch brand, you could come up with this brand idea based on an insight you have because of personal experience with beauty products. Or, even better, by creating a small experiment /validation with consumer research. And, if you are a half a million to $1 million beauty brand, then you can arrive at an insight by following your super fans. Why your fans buy, come back to you and keep on buying your products will give you an insight, helping you frame your brand idea.
For example, for Glossier, their brand idea was, and is, Democratizing Beauty by collaborating with real people and creating products with them, rather than in corporate boardrooms. Everything the brand does, from then onwards, is driven by this brand idea, selling direct to consumer, the pricing of the products, collaborating with other small businesses or upcoming businesses for content, launching with fewer products, etc.
Everything is governed & dictated by their core brand idea.
I won’t talk about Glossier’s current problem in this episode.
Another example, a Toronto based brand called Nudestix: Instant no makeup, makeup brand. Everything, that the brand does, from product development to the content etc. is driven by this core idea of instant no makeup, makeup. Great brand ideas usually lie at an intersection, just like the example of instant no makeup, makeup for Nudestix. In all the interviews, I have done-of consumers of no makeup, makeup-one frustration, they have with no makeup, makeup is that it takes actually more time than makeup.
The point I’m trying to make is your brand idea needs to have, at the very least an element of surprise and emotion. Most of the indie beauty brands do not have a very well defined brand idea, which, at least has some element of surprise and emotional resonance with the consumer beyond the functional ingredients and functional benefits of different products.
2. Jump In Love At First Sight: Brand Story
The second jump is about Jump in love at first sight. In this phase, you emotionally transform your brand idea by entering into the life of the consumer. And, then, you apply this emotional transformation, of the brand idea, to every touchpoint with the consumer, whether it’s your packaging, website, sales letters, content, social media presence, internal email flows. Anything and everything that your brand does, has to be aligned with this emotionally transformed brand idea to create a love at first sight with the end consumer.
Case in point: One of our clients, MadeMan skin care offers the emotional promise of comfortable and sophisticated skincare, for lazy men, by shipping two products skincare regimen to their doors, every two months, with an ahead of the curve, packaging design.
3. Jump-Start Your Tribe-Advocacy
The third jump is Jump-Starting your tribe for advocacy.
You need to leverage your communities and transform them into 6x profitable super fans through advocacy.
Why do we want them to be advocates beyond just being loyal consumers? Because, in addition to buying more products, or higher size or higher value products, we want them to refer new consumers back into our funnel, so that, the funnel feeds itself back creating a virtuous hyper-growth cycle.
Advocacy is the distinction between an average growth and hyper-growth. For this, we need to create partnerships for leverage and we need to actively seed communities and groups that are aligned with our brand by using our brand story along with products and not just doling out samples.
Some of the lesser known truths about advocacy: Surprise and Delight, are usually not buzzworthy or advocacy friendly, because, they do not happen as frequently for advocacy to happen. Ideally, you want, every interaction with the consumer to be buzz worthy. Another insight around advocacy is, online is not the be all and end all of advocacy. On the contrary, less than 20% word of mouth happens online, and it’s the offline that always triggers the advocacy part or the buzz for a brand, but, online does accelerate buzz. We cannot ignore the offline contribution to advocacy.
For example, one of our clients, Besame Cosmetics, transports women on a romantic trip when they sit on their vanity by using their products, collections, and even the packaging of their cosmetic products. The brand has grown into a multi-multi million dollar cosmetics brand, purely on advocacy from one consumer, one fan rather, to the another.
4. Jump Market-Focused Market Amplification
The fourth Jump and the last jump is Focused Market Amplification. I call this jump: Jump Market.
If you notice, this is the fourth, and the last step in the sequence for hyper-growth or hyper-jump. Unlike some of the beauty brands, where the first thing they do is rush to the market players, putting their products within retail, with anyone who’s willing to place their products on their shelves. Wrong strategy.
In this jump, you start working with marketplace stakeholders, intermediaries, that are between you and your target mainstream consumer with utmost focus and experimentation. You focus on velocity from the retailer and not on opening new doors. You focus on your beachhead geographies rather than going & selling your products through every location possible, you evaluate different options of raising capital rather than taking any money that comes your way, you start using a margin-based strategy to fund your hyper growth, and last, but not the least, you start creating systems and hiring people, whether outside vendors or internal employees to create leverage for driving and managing hyper-growth.
For example, with one of my clients in Los Angeles, we first started working with select retail locations within a certain geographical area with the intention of increasing the velocity from the shelf above the category average for that retailer. This, we accomplished by working on merchandising, placement, packaging, and collaborating with the buyer to find ways and means of increasing the velocity from the shelf without just throwing dollars on promotions or discounts.
Hyper-Growth is not a hustle problem. Hyper Growth for your beauty brand is a strategy problem. There is a Four-Jump sequence to help your beauty brand grow to $100 million and beyond.
First jump is the Jump Pad, you have a brand idea and you put a stake in the ground with that brand idea.
The second Jump is Jump in Love at First Sight with an emotionally transformed brand idea and applying it to every touchpoint with the consumer.
The third jump is Jump-Starting your tribe by proactively working with communities and partners for leverage so that you create 6x profitable super fans &
The last jump is Jump Market, Focused Market Amplification, which is about partnering with intermediaries, who, can take your brand to 10x more mainstream consumers.
If you want to hyper-grow your beauty brand and take it to the next level, up to $100 million and beyond, subscribe to this podcast for unique fundamental strategy and insight.
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Thank you for listening.