The Lap of Luxury
Convincing your clients to buy wellness (or any) products requires your in-depth knowledge of the strongest and weakest aspects of those products. Even though personal care products are guaranteed to pamper users, their complexities are not always easily understood. If you take the time to study the minutiae, you can explain it to your client and land the sale. Promo Marketing interviewed wellness-savvy suppliers Bill House, vice president, sales and marketing for Alexander Manufacturing, St. Louis and Lindsey Whitney, president of Solar Advertising, Castle Rock, Colo., to find the what, why, who and how of selling classic and new wellness products in 2012.
WHAT'S CLASSIC: SPA GOODS
What: Lotions, nail clippers, hair brushes and anything else from the necessary to luxurious. House noted salon boards, emery boards, clippers, manicure sets, sanitizers and lotions as the most popular wellness products.
Why: Everyone can use personal care products, so finding your target market for them is not difficult. "In most cases our products are given to be used in the home or at a health care facility," said House. He added spas as a favorite market for personal care products. These broad options allow you to sell to all of your clients, especially as the number of businesses participating in wellness programs grows every year.
Who: According to House, health care facilities, cause-marketing programs, trade shows, special events, incentive gifts and senior living communities are good markets for personal care products.
How: House offered examples of wellness products sales. "We have several instances where emery or salon boards have been used as gifts for residents of senior living facilities," he said. "Salon boards [are] given as branding tools by doctor's groups, health care companies and equipment companies," House explained. Though his example took place at a senior living community, the idea is useful for almost any industry.
WHAT'S NEW: VEGAN PRODUCTS
What: Though organic products have been a staple of the promotional products industry for years, vegan products are only starting to make their way into health and wellness programs. Whitney explained the difference between organic and vegan by describing the difference between vegetarianism and veganism. "The best example I can give to illustrate the difference [is] that while a vegetarian does not eat beef, they do consume milk. A vegan, however, will not even consume the milk because it is produced by cows," she said. As for how this impacts promotional wellness products, Whitney noted that the most important factor is beeswax. "In relation to personal care products, a vegan will choose not to use anything containing ingredients such as goat's milk, sheep's milk, beeswax, lanolin and other animal products that are often used in lotions, soaps and lip balm. So while our lip balm products have been natural and organic for many years, they were not vegan as they contained beeswax."
Why: If clients are not enticed by the vegan attributes, consider many of the other positive traits. "The products in this [vegan] line are all-natural, recyclable, paraben-free, sulfate-free and eco-friendly," Whitney said.
Who: Whitney noted the market for vegan products is not as large as other wellness products, but Solar Advertising saw a demand. "We have had calls over the last few years from distributors hoping that our products were vegan in addition to being natural," she explained. "It was a need we heard from our customers that wasn't being met." The markets wanting vegan products are select, but big-budget, such as resorts and hospitals. Whitney also recommended hospices, salons, spas and female-oriented businesses and events as markets for vegan wellness products.
How: The word "vegan" can deter as many people as it can attract. Instead of avoiding the conversation altogether, do as Whitney does and admit that "veganism" might be a fad, but the organic qualities are still strong sales hooks. "There are people in the natural and organic industry that will tell emphatically that veganism is the solution to all the world's problems from cancer, to obesity, to poverty," said Whitney. "However, there are equally qualified people that see veganism as a fad. It all depends on your point of view," she continued. Focus on the organic qualities over the vegan ones, because the all-natural ingredients are the healthy ones. "Vegan" means fewer extras, not more of anything. Whitney offered an example. "The [Hellowmellow] avocado-mango butter, for example, is incredibly moisturizing and nourishing―while not containing any fillers or additives to downgrade the natural ingredients," she said.