How can product companies market themselves going forward during
this time?
Marketing and brand building activities will be challenging over the next six months, as most companies strive to understand how well their stockists have navigated the critical shut down period. There’s also the possibility of further unpredictability, which may unfold through to Christmas, so companies need to take the time to consider how they can shift their sales and marketing focus from sell-in promotional activity, to stockist supportive sell-thru activities. 

Product companies have at their disposal a variety of concepts that can increase the attractiveness of their products and treatments, which ultimately increases their usage and/or sales. These sell- through concepts may vary from Bonus Offers, Gift with Purchase, Purchase with Purchase or other clever value-add promotional concepts. 

Others are looking at what they can bring to their stockists to help them strengthen their business. By way of example, during the May and June period, we’ve been running weekly business building meetings, on Zoom. Our programs are performance based and focus on three key business drivers: 

1. ATTRACT – the ability to attract clients as and when required 

2. DELIVERY – concepts that enhance the delivery of client service and increase the average client transaction 

3. PROFIT – comparing business profit levels to industry benchmarks and identifying additional profit opportunities 

These have helped many product company clients to rethink their business strategies during both the close- down and initial stages of reopening. By providing client supportive activities such as this, we’ve been kept remarkably busy over the close-down, with over 600 registrations across three different programs, designed for three industry sectors. 

Margifox Distributors was one of the forward- thinking companies who made the program available to their stockists, for free. In one of these we were discussing an ATTRACT strategy, where you create a one-minute video and then repurpose it to 15 different and separate social media posts – what a time saver!

Neil Osbourne says you shouldn’t stop building your brand during the pandemic.

What are some of the key strategies beauty supply businesses should be putting in place?
In the short to mid-term, product and service companies could benefit from rethinking their business focus, because clinics will be facing many challenges over the next few months. It’s possible that various restrictions or weaker trading conditions may linger, which in-turn will prevent clinics from achieving their BC (Before COVID) turnover levels. At the time of writing, many clinics are forecasting a strong four weeks after reopening, then a general softening across the following business phase –with some suggesting they may fall back to 70-80% of their BC turnover. 

Given this, a key business strategy for beauty supply businesses is to focus on supporting their stockists through education and business development. Therefore, Product and Service suppliers may need to explore strategies that will help strengthen their stockist network. Education, product knowledge and skill development strategies will benefit those on their way up. We’re looking forward to helping re-strengthen our industry.

This article first appeared in the July issue of Professional Beauty magazine. Download the issue here.

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