Supritha Ramesh, Director, Sash Products.

A budding entrepreneur, Supritha Ramesh always had a keen interest in beauty and wellness. Two years earlier, when she experienced massive hair loss, she did not resort to any hair fall treatment, but instead, planned to start her haircare brand with the support of her friend, Sohan Shankar. The affordable products offered by the beauty brand are aimed at people who fall victim to unprecedented hair loss or face other hair issues like dryness, dandruff, itching, baldness, etc. Passionate about her job, Supritha has written research papers and presented posters at the National level. The budding entrepreneur is a great multitasker as she balances her academics and runs a beauty brand like a pro and has found success in both fields. 

 

With exacerbating internet penetration and a rising tech-savvy population, both start-ups as well as established players, are leveraging digital tools to grow their businesses. Digitalization has been fundamental to drive the growth of organic beauty brands as the industry thrives on innovation and trends that change at the drop of a hat. More and more organic beauty brands are taking the digital route to gain direct access to customers and carve a niche on their own in the beauty segment on social media platforms. Besides, digitalization has made it easier for business owners to directly engage with customers to inform them about their product usages, new product launches, deals/offers, etc. Being a haircare brand owner, I would like to highlight certain advantages of using digital tools to expand business based on my personal experiences.

Ease of Reaching out to Potential Customers
Every digital platform has a different set of audiences based on their tastes, preferences, and needs. Selecting the right social media platforms that suit your business requirements and potential customers’ preferences, the brand owners can market their products and increase sales, which can be challenging and expensive with traditional marketing tools. The digital platform has made the task of reaching out to customers simple and cost-effective. Influencer marketing paid social media advertisements, search engine optimization, right hashtag usage, etc. are some of the ways business owners can expand their customer base.

Enhances Customers’ Knowledge
Many organic beauty brands publish blogs, invite experts on the social media channels to talk about hair/skin problems, organize Q/A with audiences, etc. to inform and educate their audiences. This not only enhances the customer’s knowledge about a certain skin/hair issue, but also helps gain traction on the website, rank higher on Google, create more engagement on social media platforms, and build the credibility of the brand. When customers make the right selection of the product and achieve the desired results, they tend to make the purchase again from the same brand, and hence brand loyalty is established. Despite the multiple advantages, digitalization has one drawback. Sometimes the skin/hair issues can be complicated and might require physical examination from a medical professional. However, analyzing the product ingredients as per suitability can help to avoid any serious repercussions.

Ease of Product Availability
The age of digitalization has made everything accessible within a click. The increasing smartphone usage has made customers rely on digital platforms to fulfill their requirements, from basic essential items to beauty needs. Big data and artificial intelligence are playing a key role in personalizing marketing experiences, which helps to attract potential audiences ready to avail products at their doorsteps by ordering items from the convenience of their homes. Providing quality customer service and solving grievances when required, many organic beauty brands have been successful in expanding their consumer base.

Influencer Marketing
Many people are reluctant to use new products, especially on their skin or hair due to fear of developing any side effects or negative consequences. However, influencer marketing plays a key role in reducing customer hesitance towards a new beauty brand launched in the market. Influencers have become the best mode of making clients understand a brand or a product better. Influencers have the power to create a positive picture of the product by sharing their experiences and results with their followers, which can help to enhance credibility for a newly launched brand and increase sales of the item. Besides, influencer marketing can help to increase follower count, create more engagement, and create awareness about the products. In recent years, many beauty brands only promoted their products on social media with the help of influencers like mama earth, wow skincare brand, plum, etc., and have been successful in establishing their brand within a short period. Undoubtedly, digitalization has also helped many influencers set their lives!

Customers’ Feedback
Customers’ feedback plays a major role, especially on social media platforms. Posting video testimonials or reviews helps establish brand credibility and influences the decision-making of fellow audiences. Besides, the customers’ feedback helps in understanding the people’s mindset and their expectations for better product development or improving services in order to increase consumer satisfaction. This also helps the customer to directly contact other customers who have used the products beforehand and understand how the product really works. Additionally, customer feedbacks indirectly help in increasing sales when customers start talking about the product. Word-of-mouth has a great potential to determine the success of any product in the age of digitalization.

Cost-effective Marketing
Bye to those days when the brand owners had to spend crores for just 30 seconds of television ads. Because of digitalization, marketing has saved a lot of money for small brand owners and improved the efficacy of marketing. Digital ads are relatively affordable than advertising the same product on billboards, radio, TV, or other mediums. Thus, reaching the tech-savvy population with high disposable incomes becomes easier on digital platforms for brand owners who recently launched products or started afresh in the beauty industry. Many brands do a barter system or collaborate with influencers for affiliate marketing instead of paying them directly for their services, which helps to achieve the purpose without spending lavishly. Besides, the metrics help to identify what works and what does not on digital platforms, which can help marketers to change the strategy to accomplish better results unlike doing traditional surveys to determine the product perception. Being consistent on the social media platforms leveraging innovative marketing tactics can help to increase the brand’s reach organically.

Enhancing Transparency with Customers
As consumers are increasingly becoming sensitive regarding the environmental credentials of cosmetics, they want to buy products from brands that are authentic and transparent. Organic beauty brand owners are sharing the journey of products, from idea generation to manufacturing process to reassure the customers about the product quality and demonstrate authenticity. This way, the brands are able to emphasize transparency regarding the type and origin of ingredients used in the products and influences the decision-making of customers. Associating a brand with some cause helps tap a different set of audiences and expand the brand reach even further. Besides, the storytelling and sharing behind-the-scenes help to build a connection with customers.

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