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So, you’ve created a new skin care product and you’re ready to share it with the world. That’s great news. The skin care industry is booming right now and there are countless opportunities open to entrepreneurs who have great products and good quality branding.
Yes, branding is as important as product quality. After all, the best skin care product in the world is no use to you if nobody knows about it but you. Well, ok it has one use – you’ll have fantastic skin. But when your goal is to share your product with the world and get them buying, you need to carefully consider how you present it to your target audience.
What is skin care branding?
Branding is the process of differentiating your product from other similar products. In the case of skin care branding, it describes the steps you take to ensure your target market chooses your product over your competitors.
Successful branding gives your product or range its own identity so it is no longer just another package among many. It stands out, gets noticed and sells.
There are four key components to skin care branding:
Understanding your values
Knowing your customers
Where your product fits in the market
The person behind the brand
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Understanding your values
Modern day consumers care about what the brands they buy from stand for. The chances are you know what your values are and what drove you to create the products you want to sell. But to convince and convert customers, you will need to articulate your values in a few short words.
Understanding your values enables you to identify your niche. skin care is a personal thing. Consumers tend not to flit from one brand to another very often. By conveying what is unique about your product that makes it different from the rest, you will tempt people to try it.
Is your business driven by sustainability, a particular quality related to one of your ingredients or luxury. Of course, these are just examples and there could be many other values. The key question to ask yourself here is ‘What motivated me to create my brand and why did I create it the way I did?’
Knowing your customers
Who are your customers? What common thread unites them? Why will they buy into your brand?
One way to get to know your customers is to create buyer personas. These are fictitious people who would be interested in buying your products. Get together with colleagues, family or friends and create a portfolio of 5 – 10 personas.
For each of them write down:
Where they live
Which skin care brand they currently use
Go for people of different ages and status. Once you have your list, analyze it honestly. If you decide one of your personas is not really your target customer, make a note of why and then remove them. Your final list of buyer personas will guide your branding decisions.
Here, Pure Skin Artistry have placed their target customer in their ad. The logo is modern and feminine with black and vibrant pink combining to convey authority and fun. The addition of gold on black also adds a touch of luxury.
Are your products at the affordable end of the market, are they luxury or are they somewhere in between? Do you sell only online, through boutique outlets or high street stores? How will your customers find you? Understanding how you fit into the current marketplace will help your branding convey the right message to the right audience at the right time.
The person behind the skin care brand
Stories sell. When you’re not a celebrity or an established brand, it’s important to tell your story or the story of your brand history. It might be that you struggled to find skin care products due to a skin condition you have but then discovered a unique ingredient and chose to launch your brand. Or maybe you went traveling and were inspired. Whatever it is, your story can help connect you with your customers and let them know that this is something you believe in and not just a way of making money.
Once you understand these component parts of your branding, you’re ready to move on to start creating it.
So, green and white works well when designing branding for a skin care product. They express what the product is and make sense to consumers. But that presents another issue. So many companies in the skin care industry use green, white or a combination of the two, that it can be difficult to make your product stand out.
In this example, Versed has added black to their take on the combination of green and white. Black represents luxury and authority. In this case, it also provides contrast to the lighter hues associated with skin care branding, to help Versed products stand out.
Green and white are great choices if creating a brand based on organic ingredients, natural products or sustainability But you don’t have to stick to the status quo. skin care straddles necessity and luxury, so if you’re looking for something different, you might want to think about lush, rich colors like purple or deep blue as used here by Sand and Sky.
For a more detailed look at how to select the right colot for your brand, take a look at our blog on the subject.
The importance of getting your logo right
Colors attract the attention, logos speak to your audience. Your logo is the visualization of your brand. Think of major brands such as McDonald’s and Apple. Their logos are instantly recognizable. They are also simple and timeless. Both companies have gone for minimalism in their design. A busy logo takes too long to compute and modern day attention spans are short.
Design trends come and go. A logo is for the long-term so don’t be tempted to follow the latest fashions.
For the same reason, think about how it will look in different sizes. You may be starting out with just business cards and packaging, but if things go well, is the logo going to work on posters or billboards?
It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to use shapes or images. Dot and Key specialize in organic, luxury skin care and use a simple, understated logo with delicate and formal text styles which resonates with a premium brand and subtly says ‘we don’t need gimmicks’.
Incorporating the word ‘skin care’ into the logo design ensures customers quickly understand what the brand offers. It should be noted that omitting this word would have made it difficult for customers to know what the brand does, so if just using words, make sure you still make it obvious what your brand does. Ok, so Apple doesn't sell fruit, but they’re big enough to get away with it now and it’s worth remembering that their original logo included the words ‘Apple Computer Co’.
Your logo is fundamental to your brand identity. There are free logo design websites available where you can create something ‘ok’. But ‘ok’ is neither unique nor memorable. If you don’t have an artistic eye, find a freelance graphic designer who can turn your ideas into a stylish and recognizable logo.
Choose the right slogan
Your slogan should be short, sweet and memorable. Along with your logo, the slogan you create will define your brand. It must be consistent with your color palette and logo. A slang style slogan, for example, will jar with a luxury brand.
Focus on what differentiates your brand from the competition, and keep it simple.
Slogans must be adaptable to changing trends. L’Oreal created their famous ‘because you’re worth it’ slogan in 1971 to convince women to spend more, but it works just as well as a slogan that says ‘believe in yourself’ that resonates with today’s market. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a time when it won’t work. Likewise, Panasonics ‘ideas for life’ has double meaning and is timeless. It says the brand is innovative and its products will last.
What does your skin care brand sound like?
Your brand’s tone will pull together all the other elements. For a luxury brand, your tone of voice will need to be clipped and sophisticated. A fun brand with bright orange and pink accompanied by a graffiti type logo will need something more modern and ‘street’.
When trying to work out the right tone for your brand, try to personify or caricature it. Think about who your brand is trying to communicate with and for each idea you come up with, consider how your target audience would engage with it. Anything that your target market will not respond positively to must go, regardless of how good an idea it may be or how much you like it.
If writing isn’t your forte, find a freelance copywriter. They will be able to understand your brand and your audience, and convey the right tone to unite the two through words.
If you’re not sure about how to get the tone right for your brand, don’t just leave things to chance; getting professional support from a freelance graphic designer may be a better solution.
Common skin care branding ideas
There are some common branding ideas that many skin care brands choose:
Luxury products are often marketed as higher-end items to a very specific niche. These brand designs are sophisticated, elegant, and refined.
In the example above combines black and silver with a simple, minimalist logo similar to a barbers sign. The components come together well to speak to its target audience of professional men with disposable income
Organic and sustainable skin care products are increasingly popular. They often opt for a natural and friendly brand image.
If your brand specializes in creating skin care products for young children, a youthful and vibrant approach will appeal to your target market.
Mass appeal products are often marketed as affordable and versatile products, usually with a more generic branding choice that doesn’t fall into any of the above categories to ensure it appeals to many people
Freelancers give you the best skin care branding solutions
When creating your skin care branding strategy, rather than struggling alone, hire a freelancer.
With freelancing platforms, you can simply post a job and freelancers will actively compete for your business. Whether you’re looking for a complete branding solution or just a logo designer or creative writer, it’s a great way to get the best freelancers to come to you.