Thinking of launching a niche brand? We talk to Tijana Desancic, co-founder of C Lab & Co – a natural beauty brand that has gone so gang-busters it has ended up in the hands of Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars.
If a brand could have a wish list, being thrusted into the hands of Hollywood’s elite would be up there. And that is exactly what happened to Tijana Desancic and her mother Sally Desancic, co-founders of C Lab & Co. Their natural-as-they-come coffee body scrub was added to the famed goodie bags at the Oscars, meaning, right now, C Lab & Co could be sitting in pride of place inside Leonardo DiCaprio or Eddie Redmayne’s bathroom.
“Talk about a dream!” says Desancic. “This opportunity came about after an email I received from this Los Angeles based PR agent asking if we were willing to fly over and attend. I actually had never really heard of these ‘gifting suites’ so I ignored the emails thinking they were spam. It wasn’t until the agent called the office and spoke to me about is when the penny dropped. We had a little over a month to prepare ourselves and fly everything over. I swear we looked like we were moving countries with all the luggage we had on us!”
C Lab & Co comes under the umbrella company Core Metrics – a family owned and operated business, which the Desancics have had in operation since 1997 – alongside six other skincare brands, which are “all unique in their own way and suited to different demographics,” says Desancic. “Our philosophy is quite simple: create high quality, affordable products that work.”
Obviously, not all brands take off the way C Lab & Co has, so what does it feel like to have your idea shoot to fame the way this natural exfoliant has?
“What a ride!” says Desancic. “To think when we first had this idea, we were so nervous about the concept we took two years too long to launch it!”
The idea behind this product is the coffee granules, which act as a natural antioxidant and help stimulate blood-flow; regular use is said to help reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. While it is not a professional product per se (rather a “back-to-basics natural option” says Desancic), it is an Australian brand gone big – so, if you’re in the professional arena and wanting to launch a brand successfully to market, there are plenty of cues to take away.
Products don’t just shoot to fame all on their own, especially one that is basically a tried and tested formulation (in Desancic’s own words, “products like these have been around for so long”). To become a hit, it comes down to savvy marketing.
“How you market them is essentially how you stand out in the crowd,” says Desancic. “We knew we had to be different, not just in our offering but in the way we market the brand against our competitors.”
Desancic’s course of action has been “social media, media launches events, goody bags, collaborations with other brands and influences”. And with plenty of new products in the pipeline to bolster C Lab & Co’s offering, this Aussie brand is only set to grow.
Thinking of launching a product? Tijana Desancic gives her top four tips on how to promote your brand online.
#1. Keep things simple
“If consumers are going to your website to shop online it’s because they already want your product, they don’t need to be sold. So make the process simple for them and don’t fluff it. They’ve done their research on us. They just want the product – so give it to them.”
#2. Be consistent
“Post more than once a day on social media. A customer needs to see your brand seven times at least for them to remember you.”
#3. Have clear images
“It a professional account. Not a personal once. So make sure the images reflect your attention to detail.”
#4. Be real
“Don’t be fake. Sell the real deal. There’s no need to pretend to be something you’re not with particular images. It’s now a growing trend to research or bathe in the fact that every pose or flat or influencer has an interesting “regular” background or story. So we can’t fake it on social media anymore.”