Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dollar Shave Club Sells for $1B

What makes Dollar Shave Club so profitable and valuable enough for Unilever to want it?

People like subscriptions. No one wants to run out of certain products, like razors or toilet paper. Amazon has offered subscription service on consumables for years. Busy customers like knowing that certain products will be on hand without having to remember to pick them up at their local store. Cosmetics fans look forward to finding out what will arrive in subscriptions like Beauty Box. Even kids and dogs get in on the fun with Little Passports and Bark Box!

Discounts are powerful. Dollar Shave Club offers a great deal on both razors and other products like shaving creams and lotions. Other subscriptions also offer discounts and will point out how much more your items would cost if purchased separately. By “locking in” to a subscription, consumers get better, “bulk” pricing, and the business gets solid, recurring revenue.

So how can your business get in on subscription services? Look at your product line. Are there items that people need or want to buy regularly, like personal care products? Cosmetics and beauty stores would make strong contenders in this space! 

And what about hair and nail salons, or spas, that offer mostly services versus physical products? You can still offer regular customers discounts for scheduling monthly or quarterly appointments in advance. Or, for every appointment you can offer a certain percentage in discounts (4 appointments per year gets you 10% off while 12 appointments per year gets your 25% off!). You can also start a preferred customer club that offers previews and special access to new products before they are available to the rest of your customers.

Whether you are running a salon or spa, or a brick-and-mortar or online cosmetics business, you need branded packaging that conveys the importance and elegance of your products and services. We want to help you develop that brand and get your products into your customers' hands. Contact us to find out how.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How Are You Promoting Your Brand?

Branding is intended to generate a response. The feelings and thoughts that the consumer connects with a brand's image will ultimately influence that brand's ability to prosper. It is vital that people associate the right things with your business. What follows are four of the most important things that you can do to bolster your store or brand's image and reputation.

1.) Customer service. Customer service is one thing that will never go out of style. Most retailers make commitments, but not all follow through. In an effort to make sure that your customers have the type of experiences that will promote loyalty, make the most of each opportunity to provide the best in customer service.

2.) Utilize your online presence. The web allows for unparalleled marketing potential. Social media is a place where you can showcase your promotions and products, and you can connect with customers and respond to their feedback. Don't waste the opportunity afforded.

3.) The drive behind the brand. It's important to determine what the driving force of your brand is. What is your goal? Your purpose? Your mission? Customers are experts at understanding whether or not a company has like-minded priorities and intentions.

4.) Be smart about brand placement. How does one do that? It's straightforward: the more your brand in seen, the more people will recognize it and will feel comfortable with it. That means committing to consistent visual elements that will bring to mind your company's strengths. 

We can help you create and accentuate your brand in a way that highlights your company every time the customer sees it. Contact us today so that you can begin utilizing our vast array of package branding options.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Craft Cosmetics Packaging Trends

According to an industry analysis conducted by Grand View Research, the craft cosmetics industry is on pace to become a $16 billion industry by 2020.  This trend represents an opportunity for small retailers to capitalize on the hot concept of "seasonal and local" when sourcing products for both brick-and-mortar and online specialty sales. To better understand the opportunity at hand, let's take a closer look at some of the forces shaping this trend.

  • Organic and local: Green is queen in the world of women's marketing, especially in the health and beauty sector. According to WomensMarketing.com, research shows that 54% of women prefer organic skin products and plan to purchase them in the future.  Greater awareness of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonly used in the production of such products leads to an "if you can't eat it, don't wear it" mentality. In addition, the reliance of mass-produced cosmetics on petroleum by-products flies in the face of efforts to reduce production of fossil fuels.   
  • Cultural marketing: Local craft make-up brands capitalize on another current market force, popular specifically among millennials: cultural marketing.  In the past, cosmetic branding downplayed cultural and ethnic differences and promoted a more generic beauty ideal.  Now, new brands emphasize and value differences between Caucasian, Latino, African-American, Asian and blended-ethnicity customers.
  • Indie brands: With the rise of social media as a marketing platform, indie brands offer the unique points-of-view and intriguing brand "voices" that motivate today's women.  The hottest brands tell a story and create a sense of community through their philosophy, their marketing strategy, and even their ingredients.
An enormous opportunity exists for retailers who can leverage the trend of craft cosmetics in innovative ways.  One simple strategy, the packaging of cosmetics according to themes that resonate with a "seasonal and local" ethos, can be used to showcase the unique selling points of products in both brick-and-mortar and online settings. Reusable packaging, including tree-free, linen pouches, and zippered vinyl make-up bags, conveys an overall philosophy of sustainability while allowing for customization in merchandising (think a mix-and-match of products along seasonal, local and/or cultural lines).  

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect packaging for your cosmetic items. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Warning From Sears

Many department stores have been in the news lately, struggling to keep their doors open. Sears, in particular, has been in the news after announcing in February that they would be closing another 50 stores over the course of the year, after having closed 360 stores and 160 K-Mart stores (owned by Sears) in the last five years.

What happened? Sears, like many other department stores that are struggling, did not change with the times. Over the past few years, Sears has stated that it would become more digitally oriented, it would begin taking up less physical space and it would become more focused on membership. None of these things came to fruition. In fact, the situation is so bad at Sears that female shoppers prefer the clothing selection at Goodwill, rather than the women's clothing department in Sears. 

In the midst of the department store doom and gloom, smaller stores can learn from their mistakes! Consumers are no longer willing to shop the way that they did 20 years ago, and they expect a completely different shopping experience. In the three ways that Sears neglected to move forward, smaller stores should take initiative and use them to create more profitability and better customer satisfaction. Also, just like with ships – smaller ones are able to change course faster!

1.      First, a digital presence is necessary. This means a mobile-friendly website and a firm social media presence.
2.      Second, take up less brick and mortar space and move to a more online medium. Consumers want to browse in-store, but also be able to shop from the comfort of their home--allow them to do this.
3.      Third, create a connection with customers. While Sears was going to do this through a membership program, it can also be done through more intimate contact on social media and a more personalized touch with every interaction the company has with a customer. 

Observing the moves and mistakes of large retailers can help small retailers of all kinds to not just stay afloat, but grow and succeed. Branding is always an important part of growth for any company, so be sure to contact us for advice and options on your branded retail packaging.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Day Devoted to Customers Brings Big Haul to Amazon

Certainly most businesses could learn a lesson or two from Amazon.com, whose massive multi-billion dollar website has been hailed as a leader in customer service and satisfaction. This e-commerce giant had its second annual Prime Day on July 12th, not only offering amazing deals to its Prime subscribers, but also enticed many to sign up for the free 30-day trial that converts to a yearly membership status if not cancelled. According to CNBC news, last year more than 179 million visitors logged on and has now established Amazon Prime Day as the fourth busiest shopping event behind Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday.

Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) can also set apart a day of special discounts to loyal customers. Instigating a customer appreciation program is a great way to thank your loyal customers while increasing your customer base. Try one of these quirky concepts:
  • Hold a learning day to offer free tips on the use of your product line.
  • Offer one lucky customer an over-the-top experience they will share with others.
  • Have a book give-away particularly tailored to your product or services.
  • Start your own VIP rewards program with a discount on the customer's anniversary.
  • Feature customers on your businesses website for a personal touch.
  • Everyone loves receiving gifts; mail your customers something special.
  • Offer a day of upgraded services for your customers.
  • Throw an in-store party, maybe a wine tasting or appetizers.

There are so many ways to show your customers how much you value their business and also how your business cares about their satisfaction. For all of your everyday packaging needs, as well as any special promotional events you might run, be sure to contact us to discuss your packaging options! 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Brick & Mortar Struggling, Online Sales Soaring

The global economic insecurities of the past decade are still rattling retailers. But maybe the Great Recession is getting too much of the blame. Rebounding, even surging, sales from online giants such as Amazon indicate that more and more consumers are turning to the web for their shopping.

Major retailers are definitely rattled, though. A June 8th article from CNNMoney reported an announcement from Ralph Lauren saying the company "was looking to cut about 1,200 jobs -- 8% of its full-time workforce." Ralph Lauren isn't the only retail giant taking a beating. Nordstrom, Macy's, and Walmart also announced layoffs.

The ecommerce industry growth at the expense of retail stores isn't just an American problem. An article in Forbes magazine shows that the British retail sector is behaving almost identically to the American retail sector, the trend toward online shopping for apparel indisputable, rising 18.5% while the in-store sales dropped 1.9%.

The growth of ecommerce is directly related to the ease, especially for the technologically savvy millennials. With a smartphone and five minutes, you can check dozens of reviews, compare prices at ten different stores, and order a new sweater. All while you wait for your coffee.

The Takeaway

The retail sector is increasingly overshadowed by online shopping. A strong online presence is a must. With it you'll need a robust shipping system and branded e-commerce packaging. For help with any of your packaging needs, please contact us.

Friday, June 24, 2016

10 Jewelry Trends for Fall

As we head into the hot summer months, it's time to think about how to stock our stores for the fall and important holiday shopping seasons. JCK fashion magazine recently reviewed the fall runway shows and offered 10 jewelry trends that retailers should be prepared for:

  • Choker and collar necklaces: This trend hangs on for the fall and the daring fashionistas will pair them with longer necklaces.
  • Mismatched earrings: This European trend could be finding its way Stateside.
  • Safety pins, locks and hardware: This edgy trend is enjoying a moment, but you'll know if your customers want to go this far.
  • Yellow gold: To pair with the 1970s and '80s styles that are making a comeback.
  • Long pendant necklaces: These also are swinging from the '70s trend and can be one piece in a layered look.
  • Chains and bow: Combining the hard chain look with the softer bows and ribbons makes a dynamic pairing.
  • Oversize earrings: A carryover trend from the spring so you can have another chance to clear out your showcases.
  • Pearls: Pearls are creeping out of their traditional mode, but what's hot are big baroque and colorful pearls.
  • Layered necklaces: One is never enough! Think up-selling!
  • Long drop earrings: Fashions are trending long and the earrings need to hang with them.

Jewelry isn't just for high-end or boutique jewelry stores. Hair and nail salons, spas, and cosmetics retailers, as well as clothing and gift stores can also grab some of this lucrative business for a small investment and nice mark-up - your cash register area is the perfect place to grab these sales! 

As you think about stocking these hot items for fall, don't forget to make sure you have the appropriate packaging on hand as well. Contact us today to get the right size packaging and trendy bags to promote your store.

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