Melinda Coss Blog

The Ps and Qs of Social Intercourse

Uncategorized Apr 21, 2020

If there is any upside to lockdown it has to be that it gives us the time and opportunity to reach out to people online and to make new and valuable business connections but because we are doing this remotely there is perhaps a temptation to leave out some of the social niceties we would adopt if we were approaching people offline.  This is a huge mistake.

 

Social media works because it is primarily social – people do business with each other when common interests line up and when a level of trust is established.  To get the best results from Social Media connections we need to make friends with our new contacts so lets look at how we would do this socially because the same rules should apply.

 

Imagine you are at a party (think Facebook Group) and you see someone you would like to connect with.  How do you start the conversation ?  In a social situation you would introduce yourself and then encourage your potential friend to tell you a bit about...

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9 Ways to Survive the Crisis

Lets face it, the fear all around us right now is palpable. COVID-19 is one viral transmission we didn’t set out to achieve!   It threatens our health and challenges us with change and change is scary. But as with everything, it is only scary if we focus on the negatives so lets stand back and take a long hard look at what is happening here.

The Universe has been telling us for years that we are getting stuff wrong. Its pelted us with fire, flood, bloodshed, famine & locusts to try and get its message across and now – maybe because we didn’t listen hard enough, its decided to legislate by throwing in a plague.

The first thing to remember is that we have been here before. Oldies like me can maybe put some perspective on the whole situation because we lived through the Polio Pandemic in the 50s, an awful time that left over 400,000 people worldwide with some degree of physical paralysis. Today medical science has progressed...

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12 ways to Create Brand Loyalty

Uncategorized Feb 01, 2020

12 ways to Create Brand Loyalty!

With the vast amount of competition and white noise out there on average, it will cost your business five times more to find a new customer than it will to serve an existing one. An existing customer will also spend far more than a new one per transaction which is a really good reason to focus on creating brand loyalty.

So how do you keep your customers loyal?  Yes, your product needs to solve a problem and yes you need to be visible in as many channels as possible but once your customer has decided to buy here are 12 ways you can help them make that crucial decision to buy again. 

Customer service has a big role to play. Make sure your delivery process is memorable by packaging your products in a beautiful or original way.  If at all possible include a handwritten note and always ask for feedback and include an upsell to another product in your range.

Create Engagement – Your aim is to make your new customer feel like one of the...

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How to Sell Natural Skincare Products

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2019

Ask anyone for the reason why they buy a bar of natural soap and you will get a surprising range of answers. One would expect the fact that you buy soap to get clean to be right up at the top but because of the PR surrounding the benefits our wonderful products can bring, ‘getting clean’ is pretty near the bottom of the list.

The most common reasons people buy a bar of hand made soap are as follows:

  1. It is moisturizing
  2. It is kind to my sensitive skin/Eczema etc
  3. It smells great
  4. It doesn’t contain nasties
  5. It’s a luxury I can afford
  6. It looks pretty in my bathroom
  7. It makes me feel good
  8. It is a lovely gift to give others
  9. It is natural and ecologically friendly
  10. It cleans me

 

If creams, lotions and potions are your passion there are many other reasons you can add to that list, some originating with skin condition, ethnicity, fear, age and, of course, our desire to look good.

I list these reasons above because if you are running a soap or skincare business it...

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Is It Wise To Use Rare Botanical Ingredients In My Skincare Formulas?

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2019

If you are a cosmetics formulator the answer to that question is relatively simple, you use the ingredient that will give the best results for the intended purpose of the product. Provided the research has been done, and the ingredient declared safe, a formulator is free to use whatever he or she wishes.

If you are a marketeer the considerations are more complex: your choice of ingredient could be the raison d’etre of your brand. As an SME looking at a new ingredient you need to ask yourself the following questions:

 1.  Does it really do what it says on the bottle ?

  2. Is it economically viable given my intended target market and price point

  3. Can I source it safely and reliably ?

  4. Has anyone heard of it ?

There are many companies who have made their names focussing on unusual cosmetic ingredients and they have done so with total passion and complete belief in the results they could achieve. Who knew that mud from the Dead Sea could be a...

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When is The Right Time to Introduce New Products into Your Range?

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2019

In Europe, it costs an artisan producer approximately £2,000  to create, test and package a new basic skincare/toiletries line.  This does not include the cost of formulation which if carried out by a qualified formulator averages at around £1,500 per product for a relatively basic formulation.

For someone just putting their toes into the water launching a small range can amount to quite a substantial investment and for those creative souls with a million ideas the task of honing down the number of items to include at launch is a difficult and painful decision.  On average they start with between three and five products but the temptation to expand the range both in terms of original product and/or fragrance variety is intense.

For the new skincare business the first priority has to be to focus on sales.  If you have set your target as a flagship store they are unlikely to buy from you unless you have a range that is comprehensive in terms of covering...

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The Most Common Mistake People Make When Writing Sales Copy

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2019

As a skin care entrepreneur it goes without saying that you are passionate about your products. You created them, you live them, you breathe them and doubtless you would eat them for breakfast if you possibly could. It is therefore completely understandable that when writing copy for your website or for sales promotions your desire is to communicate that passion to your customers.

Who, we think, could possibly resist the messages we give out about the gorgeous ingredients we use, the loving efforts we take in creating our products and our ethical stance on fair trade and sustainability and of course making sure that Orangatangs always have a good breakfast and an endless amount of trees to swing from.

Make no mistake here, I totally share all of those sentiments, the problem is that most of your potential customers are not prioritising in the same way that you are.  It is proven that a visitor to your website will spend precisely three seconds there before deciding whether to...

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Your First Business Plan

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2019

If you are about to start your first business the prospect of writing an accurate business plan can feel downright scary but a well considered plan lets you spend money on paper rather than from your wallet and that is more than worth the effort. A business plan will also show you whether the model you have chosen will reap adequate rewards to keep you in the style to which you have become accustomed or whether you should maybe consider staying in your day job until you have got your venture off the ground.

If you plan to raise investment for your business your bank or potential investor will want to see a business plan that is ambitious but consistent and that shows sensible amounts of money being spent on items and services that will help your business to grow. Being frugal and asking for small amounts that might just get you by might feel honourable but it is not what an investor wants to see.

If this business will be your total means of support the place to...

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How To Choose A Brand Name

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2019

Creating the perfect brand name should be the first step you take towards building a relationship with your customers.

The initial reaction of many first time entrepreneurs is to use a name that will tell your customers what sector you are in and what products you are selling but approaching the task in this way pigeon holes your identity and can restrict you from diversifying in the future. Building a successful brand requires an investment of considerable amounts of time and money and, if you do it well and create a strong following, it can become the biggest asset in your business so why not give yourself the best opportunity for flexibility by keeping your name generic and, if really necessary, adding a strap line to describe your specific products or services.

Brand recognition begins with your name so your first consideration should be to ensure that the name appeals to and engages your ideal customer and, as importantly, defines and communicates the culture and personality of...

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Artisan Skincare Brands Should Dream Big !

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2019

' The Artisan' is by definition someone who tends to dream small. The passion is in the detail, the quality and the creativity and these values can manifest into unique and wonderful products that really deserve a universal sales platform.

The skincare market is flooded with gorgeous artisanal products made by highly creative people who are not adequately paid for their efforts so how can we change this ? All that is really required is a mindset shift and a better understanding of the brilliant resources we have available to us. We need tounderstand the obstacles during the planning stages of our business and change them to advantages.

 You cannot make money if you try and do everything yourself

There is magic, talent, science and alchemy involved in formulating an amazing skincare product but once the formula is in place the manufacturing process is not rocket science. Before you use ‘small batch production’ as a USP consider what will happen when you are flooded...

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