How to Set Up Your Own Hair Care Brand

When you are setting up any business, you need to make sure that you have the basics in place before you begin. The hair care industry is dominated by several large businesses but there is still plenty of room for smaller businesses to enter the market, especially if you are planning to create organic products or have another niche in mind.

All industries go through particular trends and the hair care industry is no different. Keeping an eye on the trends is a good way to work out how to pitch your own products. For example, you might notice that there are lots of products using coconut oil recently and decide to join the fashion with your own coconut products. Alternatively, you could look at the current trends and find a gap to fill instead.

Product Design

The beauty industry – and the personal care industry by extension – is often all about marketing the best version of your customer to themselves. Your products are there to make them feel fabulous and look amazing and so the product needs to do exactly as promised.

Where most products just need to be functional, yours will also need to look and smell attractive to your customers to persuade them first to buy it and then to use it on their hair and body. Your product design may also be affected by the niche of the market you are targeting. For example, if you are going for the organic market, you may choose not to add colorings to your product or may only use natural colorings.

You should also think carefully about where your product is most likely to be placed in a store and how it will look on the shelf. This is important because your customers will have expectations based on where they find your product in store and will be able to make a comparison with other similar products.  This is where packaging comes in.

Packaging

Your packaging design is the most important asset you have to tempt customers to step away from their usual products and try yours instead. If you have poor packaging, it doesn’t matter how good the product inside is, it will take a long time to persuade people to try it. This means that once you have an idea for your product, you need to figure out what will be highlighted on the packaging to sell it.

Many shoppers don’t really think about what they are buying; instead, they work around the store picking up the things they usually get and are attracted to bright colors and interesting shapes much more than they are fancy descriptions. Knowing this should certainly impact the way you package your product and you should be able to describe your brand to a 5-year-old successfully.

Hair care products come in all different shapes and sizes but it still takes a good eye to identify the kind of bottle that will stand out for all the right reasons. This time last year, Dove, an international beauty brand based in the UK discovered that their 6 new bottle designs based on female shapes were an idea better left in the boardroom than transcribed to the store shelf. While their aim was to promote body diversity, they came across as patronising instead of motivating.

However badly the PR stunt went for Dove, what they did show was that a different shape could stand out a mile on the shelf. Perfume bottles are another great example of how this works and could be a good source of inspiration for your own design. Once you have an idea, talk to a company like C.L. Smith about creating a mockup and seeing how the design works practically as well as aesthetically.

Create a Business Plan

Now that you have your product and packaging, you will need to create a business plan to figure out how to progress your business. The perfect business plan is your opportunity to prepare yourself for the future and figure out what you are all about. Writing a snapshot of what your business goals are and how you plan to achieve them will really help to focus your mind and keep track of your progress.

Costings are certainly one of the most important aspects of your business. While mock-ups and samples can be quite expensive, ordering in bulk will often drive the cost per unit down – you just need to be certain that you will be able to sell everything you make. You should factor in all your expenses including office space, supplies, staffing, marketing and even basics like transport to ensure that you understand how much you need to earn to keep the business running.

You should also think about how you are going to fund your business to begin with. Setting up a service business might be quite a cheap operation (especially if it’s literally just you and a laptop) but running a business that sells products is much more costly to set up. Not only will you have all the costs above, but you won’t have any income just yet to cover those costs as you will in the future. You will also need to factor paying off your loans into your profit margins.

This is also a good place to start working out what your marketing strategy will be including costs and projections. Your marketing campaign at the beginning of your business will be very different to the campaigns you run when you are better established. With this in mind, you might like to run the costs of a few different ideas to allow you a more dynamic approach to your marketing strategy in the future.

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Image Credit: Stock Snap

Marketing

The initial purpose of your marketing campaign is to raise awareness of your new brand. This means that rather than persuading people to buy, for now, you are just persuading people to have a look and get familiar with your branding. For most businesses, social media marketing is one of the best ways to do this as it allows you to target lots of people you think will be interested and encourage them to follow you in some way.

Competitions are a great way to encourage people to share your social posts and can be a very cheap method for raising awareness. For example, you might ask people to submit before and after photos of their hair after using your product to win a prize. They will then share their picture (with a related hashtag for your brand) and all their friends will see it. The more people you can persuade to join in, the more brand awareness you will achieve.

At this stage, the more impressions you can get, the better so you could also think about giving away some freebies. Samples are a great way to give people a taste of your product in the hope that they will like it and choose to buy more. Lots of hair care companies team up with magazines to distribute samples but you could also go to events or set up on a busy high street to get similar results. Just make sure that your branding and packaging is all recognisable so that your customer know exactly what to look for next time they go shopping.

Once you are a little more established as a brand, you can start shifting your attention from brand awareness to conversions. Content marketing is the ideal way to do this as it sits in the middle of the two giving you a chance to get in front of more people while persuading them to buy. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to show off your knowledge and establish yourself as a brand leader.

A blog is the easiest and most obvious way to start your content marketing and you should think about the kind of things that your customers will be interested in reading on your site. For example, they might like to know how to use your hair mask or whether cold water is really better than warm with conditioner. You could also create video tutorials that can be shared around social media – especially on Instagram. The more content you produce, the more likely it is that people will keep coming back to your site and the more entrances they have too.

Setting up a hair care business and brand is never going to be easy in such a diverse and crowded market. However, if you have a great and original idea that could be just what the market needs, you should follow your passion and set it in motion.

Like any other business, the hair care industry requires plenty of research, detailed planning and excellent marketing to ensure that you stand out and get noticed. However, you will also need to have lots of flare and passion for this competitive industry and be certain that what you are planning to offer can’t be found anywhere else. It’s a tough ask, but if you get it right, the rewards will be amazing.

Top Reasons People Hate Your App

It can sound a bit harsh to say someone hates your app, but if you’ve gotten to the point where you feel like it could be possible, it’s time to figure out why. When you have a business, and you create an app, your objective obviously isn’t to have people hate it.

Unfortunately, more often than not that can be the case. If you can identify what elements of your app design or functionality users don’t like, you may be able to fix it without a complete overhaul.

If you’re not sure where to start, the following are some of the top reasons users could be less-than-thrilled with your app in its current form.

Users Don’t Know When Something Is Happening

You’re using an app, you push something, and it seems like nothing happens. There’s no acknowledgment that you’ve taken action.

Is it working or not? It’s extremely frustrating but all-too-common.

When you create your app, you want your users to know that their action is recognized. For example, you can show an icon of movement or that the screen is being refreshed. You want to be able to create a sense of cause and effect for user actions.

Advertising Feels Intrusive

Nobody likes intrusive advertising in any media. We’re at a point in digital technology where people can largely avoid advertising altogether if they choose. So while you may need to drive revenue with in-app advertising, you need to be careful with it.

You don’t want to include super graphics-heavy advertising or video ads that are going to make someone’s phone seem like it’s going haywire every time they use your app.

You also don’t ever want to include any unresponsive advertising. It’s going to be highly frustrating, and even if your app itself is great, it’s probably not going to matter.

Constant Push Notifications

Push notifications can be an excellent marketing tool, but not when you’re bombarding users. If someone feels like their smartphone is buzzing every hour with your push notifications, they’re probably going to uninstall the app.

As with advertisements, you need to be smart, strategic and discerning with your push notifications, so they create value rather than turning off users.

Constantly Asking for Reviews

When someone downloads an app, they do so because they want it to bring value to their life. It’s not about your business getting feedback.

If you’re using every second a person spends in an app asking them to like or share it, they’re going to feel frustrated.

That’s just a big interruption and obstacle in the overall user experience. If someone is trying to complete a task in your app and they keep being stopped so it can ask for a review or a like, it’s a problem.

Of course, in-app feedback can be useful, but it can’t be overdone, or like advertising, it can’t feel intrusive to the user experience.

Finally, be on the conservative side when it comes to how many personal details you’re asking your users for. Yes, your app may ask for some, but it’s important that you do so for a purpose, and you disclose this to users with transparency. Otherwise, they’re going to feel like you’re trying to exploit them or take advantage.

Clicks, Customers and Communication: Perfecting Your Business’s Online Presence

In a world where everything is now becoming downloadable and digital, it is now fundamental to have a business with a strong online presence. Many consumers won’t even consider investing their money in a business if you can’t find it online, read reviews or follow them on social media. If you’re new to running a business or aren’t sure how you can up your game in the virtual world there are several things you can do to make your company stand out from the crowd. From social media tactics to effective web design, these methods might seem time consuming and daunting at first, but they will truly help you to take your business to the next level.

Dazzling Designs

A website is the first go-to feature for building a strong online presence; your potential customers will head straight to your site and will want to see exactly what you can offer them. It needs to be speedy, slick and smart, so you might want to consider a company which can offer professional web design for seo. With SEO optimization and a stunning, eye-catching design your company will jump to the top of search engines and draw in a higher volume of potential consumers.

Advert Advantages

Online advertising is a must have if you want to be discovered on the web. Your brand name, service information and promotions can easily be displayed on the web using pay per click adverts. This is an extremely effective method of marketing as you don’t have to pay until someone physically clicks on your advert and visits your website. Set your own budget and assess how well it works for you; you might be able to increase this over time as your online presence and engagement increases. Within your advert you should include some form of enticing ‘free’ deal, where people input their email addresses into a form and receive a special offer. This will allow you to gather a collection of contacts which you can then target with email marketing campaigns. You get two birds with one stone, using a relatively low cost tactic.

Consumer Communication 

Make sure you’re actively engaging with your potential clients when they ask you questions about your product or services. You have the power to persuade them to spend their money, so don’t ignore their queries. Offer them five star customer service, using a friendly and welcoming approach either via social media messaging or online comments.

Build a Blog

Creating a blog for your website offers an additional online platform for your business. You can personify your business and create worthwhile content that customers will be excited to read. There is also the opportunity to collaborate with other companies by advertising their services on your blog or gaining a sponsorship, so that’s extra income in your pocket straight away.

It has been proven than businesses thrive when their online presence is authoritative, professional and engaging, so make sure you are using the tools that the online world has to offer. Your company name will be publicized, your business will skyrocket, your profits will increase and your consumers will be content.

Breathe New Life Into Your Business – Consider A Rebrand

Making the decision to rebrand your business is not a step to be taken lightly, however most companies at some stage will undergo rebranding. Rebranding if carried out carefully can update the image of a company, keeping it current and fresh. Of course rebranding should not occur frequently as this would cause confusion and mistrust amongst consumers.

There are many reasons why a company decides to rebrand, perhaps the company has launched a completely new range of products, they may have merged with another company or they may want to simply stay on trend, in line with their competitors.

Before deciding on a total rebrand, look carefully at what you would like to achieve. It is possible that only parts of your brand needs updating or maybe a few tweaks here and there would suffice.

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What steps should be taken for a successful rebrand?

Focus

For your rebrand to be a success you really need to focus on what your brand is all about and who your target market is. Carry out market research by asking for opinions on possible logos and colours. Describe your brand in words and see if the images and designs you have chosen communicate the same message.

Design

Once you have a clear idea of what your brand is aiming to say, it’s time to start designing. Don’t be afraid to be bold, as you will want your brand to stand out over your competitors. If you take part in trade shows your tradeshow displays  need to make maximum impact and a strong recognisable logo will help you achieve this.

There are experts available to hire, who will help you create the perfect brand, you may feel that this is an expensive option, but having good branding is crucial to business success. Ensure you stay in the loop when outsourcing branding to ensure your vision is effectively communicated and created.

Careful consideration should be taken when deciding on fonts and typography in your logo and promotional material. Often a brand can be recognised simply by its typography – think Coca Cola!

Launch

Once you have integrated your rebrand across all literature, websites and media platforms it is time to launch your rebrand. This is a process very similar to the one when you launched your business in the first place. The main exception to launching a rebrand in comparison to a new brand, is that you will want to keep your existing customers, as well as attract new ones.

It is important to ensure your existing customers are aware of your rebrand and why you are doing it, they will want to feel confident in your business. Keep customers informed throughout the process and answer any queries accordingly. Your customers are valuable assets in attracting new customers both during the rebranding process and after your launch.

To conclude rebranding can breathe fresh life into your business, but it should be done with focus and planning. Try to avoid confusion and place emphasis on keeping existing customers on board. Your logo and brand is your identity within the market place, so it is crucial to get it right.

7 Ways To Make Your Site More Exciting

If you’ve recently started to look at your website and think that it just seems so boring, then it may be time for a change. On the one hand, this may be because you’ve just gotten used to it. So you’re more bored with it than anything else. But, it may also be because the website itself is actually boring. And when that’s the case, you may have to worry. Because if you’re finding it boring, the what are your customers thinking? Either way, you don’t have to just leave your website as it is now – you can really change things around and make it so much more exciting.

Sometimes, you just have to get yourself into a position where you’re bored with your website to then be able to change it. Because you’re not always going to be able to see what’s wrong when you’re not looking at the same old things. But, even when you know that something isn’t quite right, you don’t always know what will make it better. And that’s where this post comes in. Even if you quite like your site as it is now, you may take something away from this that can take it to the next level. Because we’re going to walk through seven different ways that you can make your website more exciting.

Do A Complete Redesign

Of course, the very first option you’re always going to have is to do a complete redesign of your site. Because when you think that the site is boring, or it’s just not really giving you the results that you want, you need to shake things up. A great way to do this is to make sure that you’re taking your analytics and really honing in on the elements that need improving. When you do, you should find that the end result not only looks great, but it much more suitable to what your customers want functionality wise too.

Change Your Branding

Sometimes, you’re not going to have to go to such drastic measures to make your site more exciting. If you love the layout and the functionality is perfect, maybe it’s just the branding that needs to be changed. From your logo to the fonts and colors used, sometimes you just need to shake up the visuals you have to make them more suited to your brand identity.

Start A Blog

From here, you’re then going to want to think about starting a blog on site too. If you have a blog already, then maybe you need to refresh your content or start a new series – both can be incredibly influential to your customers and viewers. This should also become a huge part of your marketing too. It can be a lot of extra work, but if you put the effort it, it will pay off.

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Launch An App

How are you doing on the mobile front? If you’re not optimized for mobile at all, then this should be your first change. Even if you don’t know an awful lot about it, you can work with the software companies that do. By launching an app, you’re going to be adding a new dimension to your offering and even be able to target a new segment of customers too.

Use Video

Next up, you should give video some thought too. A lot of customers prefer video to imagery or written content. It can often get information across in a much more engaging way. So definitely think about what you can do with YouTube or onsite content going forward.

Create A Members Area

If your feel like your site is just the same, and that it’s not really offering anything exciting to your customers, you’re going to want to up your game with a member’s area. Not only is this exciting for your customers, it gives off an air of exclusivity. It’s somewhere that you can engage your customers more, and interact with them more – which has a huge benefit to both parties.

Focus On Interaction

Finally, you’re also going to want to make sure that you’re interacting with your customers as well as possible too. And you can definitely use your website to do that. With a great live chat offering, you can often add to the customer experience and make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your customers happy, and even improve your conversion rate too. It’s a great way to not only get feedback, but stop customers from dropping off through the sales funnel too.

Google Says Freshen Up Your Content

While there are – probably – dozens and dozens of ways in which Google likes to rank the content on your website, none of them has become more emphasized than “freshness”. So, in order to get straight into it and not beat around the proverbial bush any longer, here are some of the most important ways in which the god-that-is-Google tends to determine how fresh your content is.

Date Of Inception

Every single web page is going to be valued based on its inception date, something that holds less and less value as time goes on. Just so you know, the inception date is the time when Google first becomes aware of this new content, which tends to happen when the crawlers first detect it on your website or when Google finds a link to this content.

A Matter Of Updating

This is something that has gotten a little bit more attention over recent months. Instead of just rating your content on when it was first uploaded, Google also ranks your content on how regularly it is updated. Content that gets tweaked regularly has more value than content that never changes. Let’s say you go back through your content and change a sentence. Whoop-di-do. However, if you drastically change the main body then you will be having a much bigger impact on this freshness thing.

Frequency Of Changes

Ask those in well-respected SEO services, and they will tell you another huge proponent in the hunt for a better rating is the frequency in which your content gets updates because that is what will keep the Googlebots coming back to crawl your website. Let’s use some examples. Let’s say you have a blog that gets updated once a week as a means to keep your customers in the loop with what you are up to. Okay, that’s once a week something new gets added. Compare that to a major newspaper where their entire body of content gets altered daily and you see which one is more valuable to Google.

New Pages, Please

Another great way to improve the freshness of your website is to create new pages. This is something that a blog manages to do better than anything else because you are not only creating new pages regularly, you are also adding pages that are high in original content. That’s epic. That’s going to get you a freshness score to be super-proud of. You don’t need to go mad on this front, but a new page every so often will have a big impact.

Linking Plays A Lovely Role

Just so you know, the freshness-o-meter is not restricted to your page’s only. It also has a lot to do with the external links that you are using. These tend to wield a lot of power when it comes to measuring freshness. That is why you should always include a cocktail of internal links, outbound links and, if possible, links on external websites that link back to you. Google loves link-building because it makes you look relevant or, to keep with the word we have been using, fresh.

Millennial Trends: Create a Workplace That Works for You

When people talk about Millennials, they see them as a generation dependent on cell phones, always on the go and very aware of environmental issues. But realistically, this description is applicable to almost anybody in the modern, civilised world. What distinguishes Millennials from others is the fact that they know how to use the new technologies to their advantage and they use the availability of the vast knowledge online to be informed and involved in important issues.

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Thus the workplace has evolved not only to suit their needs but also to be a better environment and more oriented towards the human factor.

Work and fun go together

It’s not unheard of that you can have fun in the workplace. But usually that means that you do the job you love, and more and more it means that you need some time to relax and reset during work hours. Many companies practice this way of thinking by having recreational areas where workers can play board and video games, read books and other literature in the specially designed nooks and use some of the stress-relief techniques, such as barefoot walking on the grass, gardening or yoga. Some companies even have masseurs on staff and psychologists.

Flexible work schedule

If your company can allocate the time and resources, try implementing flexible working hours. If it’s too much trouble, then try a flexible start of the workday. For example, if you usually work from 9 a.m., then allow for employees to arrive between 9 and 11. Not everyone is a morning person and this flexibility can contribute to a great extent to the productivity of your workers and their satisfaction with their job.

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Listen to their ideas and opinions

As a generation which uses the Internet for research and to be up-to-date with happenings in the world, their ideas might bring new perspectives and approaches. Sometimes they can even suggest strategies which will help you recreate your image and brand, being that they follow the newest trends when it comes to their interests and education. They are the generation that is competitive by trying to be the best in their field of expertise thanks to their diligence and dedication. So their opinions and ideas, no matter how extreme or far-fetched, are usually based on extensive research and observations.

Be transparent

Every employee wants to know what the goals and objectives of their employer are. Also, they would like to know where they stand in that organisation and how their work contributes to the company’s success. But the difference between Millennials and other employees is that they are going to leave if they think that you are doing something behind their back and at their expense. The fact is that you should expect nothing less from the generation growing up in an evolved society which is well aware of all the violations of human rights and is not afraid to voice their disagreement and outrage.

Technology

Millennials are very well educated on what technology you need and how it operates, and they can be a positive example to other employees how to modernise their everyday workload and provide better results. Another aspect of Millennials’ work habits is that they don’t waste time and energy on everyday verbal communication, but preferably stay in touch with all their co-workers and team members via software like Skype, for example. This way the place is not a problem for performing tasks and work-related activities, and therefore the productivity doesn’t suffer.

Office design

Millennials attribute great value to the look of their office space since they are supposed to spend a big portion of their day there. Their ideal office is collaborative with no walls, open and promoting interaction between employees. This doesn’t mean that privacy should be excluded or replaced. Also, Millennials are more prone to bright places, but will always choose windows with direct sunlight protection such as custom made curtains made by Eiffel for example, since they don’t like anything preventing them from doing their jobs to the best of their ability.

In the end

It’s important to recognise everything listed here not as something Millennials need in order to work for you, but what you as an employer must have to achieve maximum productivity for your company. A happy employee is a productive employee, and having Millennials on staff can only motivate others working for you to perform their duties to the best of their ability as well as to exchange knowledge and thus find the best approach to execute an old task in a new, more effective manner.