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Beauty Experts on Building Brands With Longevity

In the third module of Yellowbrick's Beauty Business Essentials course, in partnership with WWD Beauty Inc and FIT, instructors outline the necessities for successful brands.

Kicking a business into gear may take grit, but according to industry experts, building a beauty brand poses its own challenges.

In the third module of Beauty Business Essentials, the digital course offered by Yellowbrick, Fashion Institute of Technology and WWD Beauty Inc, differentiating products in a saturated market takes a combination of imagination and business savvy.

“There are different challenges; first one, is the financials and funding that it needs to be successful. A budget should be allocated to branding, along with marketing. Then, the pressure to deliver short-term financial gains,” said Delphine Horvath, professor of cosmetics and fragrance marketing at FIT.

“Branding has a long-term vision, and decision makers tend to focus more on measurable tactics. It often means building assets like a brand, and it’s something we can see in companies. Family-owned companies such as Estée Lauder, Hermès, that have this longevity, they have this long-term vision and really planning the strategy long-term. Whereas other companies, such as Coty, have a short-term vision. They are public companies with a short-term vision to deliver short-term results.”

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Creating products with differentiation is also imperative to standing out in the cacophony of brand launches, Horvath said. “Another challenge is in such a saturated market, it’s the ability to define how the brand differs from the competition. What is your competitive advantage, and is this advantage really key from the consumer’s perspective? Lastly, making the brand consistent, it’s not just about the logo. It’s ensuring your brand difference while keeping the message consistent across hundreds or even thousands of pieces of content.”

Once a brand’s raison d’être has been established, tying back to a brand’s purpose while keeping a finger on the pulse of market trends is key to keeping up momentum.

“What is your brand creating for? What we call the DNA of the brand, what is it made up of and how do we identify? The brand has to speak,” said Emily Bond, head of fine fragrance, North America at Givaudan. “How do I create something genuine and authentic of the brand, and what are the cues in the brand I have to be true to?”

Brands are also well advised to keep tabs on market research — figuring out what’s selling and why — Bond continued. “I try to identify, ‘What’s the white space opportunity? What’s out there and what isn’t?’ I want to make sure I’ve got room to sell my product in a pretty cluttered environment of beauty,” she said.

For more from WWD.com, see:

William P. Lauder on the Lipstick Index

P&G Beauty’s Alex Keith Talks Grace Under Fire

Sue Nabi Wants to Make Coty the Place Everyone Wants to Work