Sonia Kashuk, Sonia Kashuk Beauty
Which product didn't do as well as you expected? What did you learn from that experience?
Trying to come up with unique ideas can have its downside, and we definitely saw that with a few products. Mass is a challenging environment, and without samples to test, consumers need to be able to look at the product and immediately understand it. When we started, we basically would put an item on the shelf and pray it sold. Unfortunately, there were quite a few times when our prayers weren't answered, and amazing products never really took off the way we hoped. For instance, I launched a product in a skin care line many years back called Recede Eye Serum. It was dispensed through these three metal rolling balls that cooled upon application. It was the first of its kind, and this packaging was truly ground-breaking. However, since the customer couldn't see or fully understand the applicator on shelf, people missed the point of difference, and the product was eventually discontinued. A few major brands launched the same concept shortly after with advertisements, and it resulted in huge wins for them. Fortunately, in today's world you can turn to social media for that added voice to give background on a product and essentially teach the consumer how to use it, which absolutely would have been helpful when launching those new interesting concepts.
What is your best advice to someone trying to break into the beauty industry in 2016?
There's always room for a great idea but most importantly think about your point of difference.