You worked hard to learn your craft and created wonderful products that you are in love with. Now, you want to sell them. To sell successfully, it is important to get the word out, so you develop marketing strategies, strategies that involve a compelling description of how the product will benefit the user. It is tempting to go overboard stating claims, including every possible benefit, real or not.
But is your marketing truthful? Is it legal? Is it possible to truthfully market a product?
Without a doubt, the purpose of marketing is to convince the customer that your product will fulfill a need or desire; the verbiage is usually sincere, yet it may be misguided. It includes every property of every ingredient and assumes it is available to the skin. It promises that the lotion (as an example), will remove wrinkles, cure eczema or cure acne. The skin will absorb the vitamins and minerals and other constituents of the oils that the maker so carefully chooses.
These claims come from excitement over the first-class ingredients, but not necessarily with knowledge about what they do.
Sure, marketing and writing copy are supposed to be motivating and compelling. It sets one business apart from all the others. It attracts the ideal customer. It is what sells product, so it deserves a great deal of thought and effort to get right.
Is it possible then, to handle marketing with integrity? Can you convince potential customers of the value of the product without exaggeration or misinformation?
It is tricky, for sure, but take these steps to create a marketing campaign that gets your products noticed without sacrificing truth and integrity.
- First, acquaint yourself with your country’s laws and regulations. It is imperative to know what you can and cannot legally say or sell. For example, in the USA, the FDA forbids selling products that make drug claims without certain required actions such as testing and a compliant facility. Research what the FDA considers a disease, so you will know that claims to treat disease are off-limits for cosmetics makers. A simple web search will bring up links to the necessary FDA information.
Not in the US? Legal requirements vary from country to country and require certain steps to sell. It is the responsibility of the maker to learn and follow the regulations and laws.
- Another task is to learn about the skin and ingredients to know which are available to the skin and what it will realistically do.
- Third, consider your clients and their needs and desires. Think about the marketing terms that will appeal to them and promote your product as something that will make them look and feel better.
It is possible to market successfully without sacrificing the truth. Engage customers with creativity but stick to cosmetic terms and remain within legal guideline. Educate yourself about the skin, ingredients and other factors to create a realistic, yet appealing picture. Finally, employ enticing wording to attract customers. Successful marketing that is also truthful is in your hands.
May your days be filled with suds and wax.
Beth Byrne, for Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles Magazine