ASCP Skin Deep

May/June 2013

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Exploring Private Labeling by Keith West-Harrison There are more than 230,000 licensed estheticians in the United States. Depending on where you live, there are probably plenty of professionals who do the same thing you do. How can you stand out? Branding your own products is a powerful way to start. 22ASCP Skin Deep Whether you know it or not, you are already a brand. You have your own special way of providing services to customers; you may be known for a specialty you offer, or a specific skin type you are great with. For better or worse, you are cultivating a reputation in your market, so it makes sense to pay attention to that reputation and make sure it���s one that will win new customers and retain old ones. This same care and attention applies to the products you sell. Today���s estheticians are competing with department stores, online discounters, and beauty stores like Sephora and Ulta for the client���s retail dollars. As a spa owner and esthetician, I got very concerned when I realized people could come see us for a fabulous facial and then go elsewhere to buy the products for 20���35 percent less than my retail price. Selling your own brand is one of the hottest ways to attract and keep a loyal retail trade, instead of being just one more source for a product that clients know they can easily purchase elsewhere. May/June 2013 What is Private Labeling? Simply put, a private label product is any product created by someone other than the company whose brand name appears on it. The practice dates back to the early days of department stores, which saw value in selling clothing that carried the store���s own label. Check your own closet and count the items sporting a brand name exclusive to the store that sold them to you. Then check your kitchen; almost every supermarket has its own brand of products these days. These are examples of private labels. No matter what type of product you want to sell, from luxury to economy, there are suppliers who can make it for you. Many estheticians will say, ���We���re too small, too new, and too unknown to have our own product line. I need to wait until my practice is bigger, better, and more talkedabout.��� Meanwhile, they continue to hand over potential profit and name recognition to established national brands that are available in more and more locations every year. But no matter how small your practice, the only way to expand is to make sure you���re seen and remembered. Private labeling can be one important step in that process.

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