A Personal Touch
It's no wonder that personal care products are a popular product category, given their distinctive connection to human sensation. If your clients are interested in attempting some sensory marketing, below is some advice on getting the most from personal care products, from creative usage ideas to why safety
standards are so important.
LOOKING FOR AN IDEA? TRY TRADE SHOWS AND EVENTS
There are many ways and venues appropriate for marketing with personal care products, but one stand-out option is for trade shows and events. The products are often small and light, making them easy to carry around on the show floor, and since attendees are likely to be there for long hours, and possibly far from home, they'll be a welcome giveaway. It goes without saying that an appreciated giveaway to the large, captive audience you'd find at a trade show or event is of enormous marketing value, but there are a couple of tactics in particular that can be especially effective.
Jennifer Brigandi, marketing director for Tekweld, Farmingdale, N.Y., explained one such tactic, which uses personal care products as pieces in a trade show treasure hunt. "One of our clients set up a 'treasure hunt' during their last trade show," she said. "The treasures were six different promo items that their attendees
received when they hit certain checkpoints in the show. At the last booth in the show, they were given the opportunity to guess what the items had in common. If they guessed correctly, they got entered into a raffle for a big prize," she
explained. "All who came to the last booth got the final piece-an imprinted vinyl bag to hold the previous items they received, along with collateral materials. It was a fun and interesting way to keep show attendees invested and paying attention at their show."
Katie Beitz, marketing director for Raining Rose Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, noted the effectiveness of cross-selling with personal care products at trade shows. "One of my favorite ways people use our product is for cross-selling," she said. "[Clients] put a new service they are launching on the lip balm label and pass those lip balms out at events with their current customers. It is an easy way to capture an already captive audience and really gives you more bang for your buck with your promo item."
All of this is not to suggest that personal care products are good only at trade shows. Dan Ball, MAS, national sales manager for Webb Company, Eagan, Minn., detailed the versatility of personal care products. "[They're] universal," he said. "Most distributors think personal care products are limited to health care or people who travel. This is far from the truth," he continued. "There is not an industry sector that can't benefit from health and personal care products, so there is
massive potential in this category," he explained.
Obviously, quality matters with every product, but personal care items are judged a bit more severely for two reasons: No. 1) They're used on people's skin, around their eyes and even in their mouths and No. 2) There are retail analogs that most end-users are going to be highly familiar with. If a lip balm feels slimy, if a lotion smells weird, if a hand sanitizer stings a little, end-users will notice because of how familiar they are with the retail versions of these products.
"Quality matters," said Beitz. "Your customers are accustomed to the high-quality, retail-level lip balm they purchase, so don't cut corners. Pitch them lip balm that you yourself love," she explained. To ensure product quality, she recommended asking a supplier for its testing paperwork and making sure its products are made in an FDA-audited facility.