Trying to build beauty brand? Find a USP

Mumbai: The Rs.25 billion (over $500 million) Indian health and wellness market is on the rise and new players are frequently entering the business. But the burning question is how to build a brand name amid such competition.

Experts say tapping customers` minds, developing a USP and out of the box thinking can help spas, salons and beauty products find a firm foothold.

Natasha Shah, director of The Natures Co, told reporters: "Our spa menu is designed for quick facials and mask packs that allow clients to initially test the product and then go for it. We have confidence in our product and quality is what we vouch for."

She said The Natures Co is completely eco-friendly and the first PETA-certified company. PETA is the animal rights NGO People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.

"The USP of our company is being vegan, environment-friendly, and we use the best natural ingredients. To make your product a successful brand, you need to believe in it. Make the best product available to the customer and success will eventually follow," she said.

The Indian health and wellness market is estimated to be growing at the rate of over 25 percent per year and this is mainly because of the growing disposal income and changing lifestyle.

Some feel beauty product manufacturers need a strong research and development team to help in establishing a brand successfully.

"Listen to customers because their feedback is very important. How a customer feels after using the product tells a lot about the brand and rates its success chances. And it helps you in maintaining your brand identity. We try to deliver the promise of quality with constancy," said Rahul Kale, director of ayurvedic products company Iraya, told reporters.

Recently at a two-day event called India Salon Pro and Beauty Market India, experts discussed how to improve services. With so many products being launched, there needs to be some unique quality to upgrade your brand. So, the USP of a product plays a pivotal role in its promotions.

Innovative thinking is the order of the day, feels Kale, who chose to go natural by adding ayurvedic methods to its products.

"The USP of the product remains keeping the product as natural as possible. We use natural colours and don`t use synthetically derived fatty acids.

"Ayurvedic recipes with a detailed process give maximum benefit to the customers," he said.

Shanoo Bhatia of Eureka Moment feels one should also observe clients "when they enter our salon or retail stores. How he or she feels our products, the body language, how they touch a particular product or when they look at something and smile, we take note of everything and create a story board. It helps us to understand what actually inspires a client and make him/her interested in a particular product or services."

She also feels the products have to be different.

"Create a brand that has a special meaning and be different. It is very important to create the wow factor. It is very important to know what the latest trend is. One has to constantly reinvent his ideas to bridge the gap," said Bhatia.

Word of mouth can work wonders in promoting a product, says Natasha Shah, adding, "If you give enough opportunity to clients for tests and trials, they will notice your brand and through word of mouth eventually the brand will get the best promotion."