Readers Ask … is a column featuring the responses of industry experts to questions posed by the Skin Inc. audience regarding all aspects of the skin care industry, from business and ingredients to treatment protocol and legislation. Each month, a different question will be highlighted.
Answer this question by filling in the blanks: “My spa is the brand of ________ (spa category you want to compete in) that provides ________ (consumer benefit) because ________ (features of my spa that deliver the consumer benefit).
By filling in the blanks you determine the strategic decisions you need to make to create relevant differentiation for your business. You also need to determine how these branding decisions will be executed through your physical property and product offerings; communication and promotions; and the personality and culture of your staff and environment. Ultimately, brands have personalities and characteristics; communicate in an individual way; and develop and change with time, just like people. So, decide what kind of “person” your brand will be and behave consistently until there is a good reason to change.
—Szilvia Hickman, Senior Vice President Szép Élet, exclusive distributor of ilike organic skin care and Purée Organics
The best way to brand yourself is to constantly commit to delivering excellence. Word-of-mouth is by far the strongest form of branding and can really set you apart when you distinguish yourself as a top-notch professional. Become a community wellness expert; become the local source for consumer-driven skin care education, and then expand beyond your local area by using YouTube and YouTV. If you like to write, consider submitting skin care story ideas to print and online publications and top beauty blogs, and be sure to join reputable associations. Don’t forget to set yourself up with professional accounts on social media outlets, such as Twitter, Facebook and especially LinkedIn. Bottom line: Make wise investments into your personal and professional growth and watch “brand you” soar higher than ever.
—Maritza Rodriguez-Aouanough, Global Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Pevonia International, LLC
The biggest indicator of a brand’s success is its authenticity; this is especially important in personal branding. Take time to ensure that your intended personal brand aligns with your values and skills, and that you can live it with ease 24 hours a day. Then, your success in branding will depend on how well you communicate the expertise and the benefits you offer to your clients. As for communicating your brand, determine your brand standards and remain consistent in your logo, style and color scheme. Building a viable brand means breaking through the noise and being distinctive in a way that creates value for your clients.
—Richard Linder, CEO, PCA Skin
Editor’s note: The opinions and viewpoints offered in this column are those of the individuals, and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions or viewpoints of Skin Inc. magazine.