What Beauty Brands Need to Know Before Entering the U.S. Consumer Market
International beauty brands strive to find success in the U.S. market.
But success often depends on the infrastructure the international beauty companies have in the United States when they start promoting new products to American consumers.
They can often go it alone and hire an entire American staff of salespeople, marketing professionals, and operations personnel.
Countless foreign companies try to enter the U.S. market on their own and fail. They hire sales staff, operations employees, and support staff. Let’s not forget they need to hire in-house marketing professionals or spend a lot of money outsourcing it.
By the time they ship their product from their country to a warehouse in the United States, they have taken a small profit margin and made it even smaller.
Instead of going it alone, overseas firms need a partner in the U.S. that has developed a proven system to cut expenses and reach retail outlets.
Let’s take a step back. You might ask why successful international beauty brands want to enter the U.S. market.
It is what the mountain climber replied when asked, “Why did you climb Mount Everest?”
Because it is there, the mountain climber said.
The U.S. cosmetics industry is the Mount Everest of the consumer market.
Statista.com reported the U.S. beauty market reached almost $50 billion in 2019, while Forbes put the global beauty industry at $532 billion. The U.S. makes up almost 10 percent of the worldwide market.
Beauty companies, just like all brands, want to grow their business, and a great way to accomplish this goal is to succeed in America, where the U.S. cosmetics industry has thrived. Consumers here are spending a higher percentage of their disposable income on cosmetics products, such as skincare.
What can I say? The American market is the industry’s holy grail. To succeed in the U.S. is the equivalent of gold medal of the Retail Olympics.
Another factor beauty brands are responding to is the changing spending behavior of the younger generation of consumers, such as Gen Z-ers. They are are making organic and natural skincare products one of the fastest-growing segments in beauty care. Eighty percent of Gen Z-ers are buying organic and natural skincare products.
Understandably, international beauty brands want to sell their products in the U.S.
To help foreign brands, Mitch Gould, founder and CEO of Nutritional Products International,I developed the ‘Evolution of Distribution’ platform. Instead of starting from scratch, Nutritional Products International provides all the necessary infrastructure overseas companies need.
NPI has a food scientist that makes sure the brands meet all FDA labeling requirements. Color additives that are allowed in Europe or Asia may not be allowed in the United States. NPI’s food scientist will work with foreign brands to make sure everything is kosher with the FDA.
Another obstacle that could cause international brands major headaches is U.S. Customs. You don’t want your products to be stuck at customs for weeks or even months.
NPI’s operations director has worked with hundreds of international companies to ensure U.S. Customs gives them quick access to their products. NPI has decades of experience working with customs officials.
NPI has vetted shipping services that provide door-to-door service or, in this case, country-to-country. NPI’s recommended shipping providers will pick up your products at your location and bring them directly to its warehouse in South Florida.
NPI has the experience and expertise to make sure your products arrive safely in America.
Beauty brands also need experienced retail professions.
Suppose international beauty brands do not understand the U.S. consumer and the American retail landscape. In that case, they will be running faster and faster on a treadmill going nowhere once their products are in America.
Most foreign companies don’t have contacts with buyers from large and small retail chains. If they do this themselves, they have to hire a sales staff and a support team to reach out to the thousands of retailers across the United States.
You can’t just cold-call these buyers or send emails and expect them to respond.
NPI has decades of experience of working with American retailers. NPI is also a long-time veteran of ECRM buyer-seller programs, which allows new brands to meet with 50 to 100 retail buyers in a week. Attending ECRM is costly. NPI is there every year representing new brands.
ECRM brings buyers and new brands and products together for private one-on-one meetings. ECRM now hosts annual events that allow our staff to meet virtually with buyers from different retail outlets in the United States, such as Walgreens and CVS Health. My staff meets annually with buyers from regional and national food, drug and mass health chains.
It is expensive to attend ECRM, especially for small companies. A NPI retail professional has attended ECRM events for more than a decade. NPI has built up personal relationships with buyers from all the different retailers that attend these shows.
NPI promotes its clients’ brands in private, one-on-one meetings with retail buyers. During the meetings, NPI highlights the benefits of the brands that it represent. It is a very efficient process.
Experience is important.
NPI has a retail professional who understands retail brands better than most professionals in the industry. He used to work as a buyer for Amazon and Walmart, the two largest online and brick-and-mortar retailers in the United States, respectively.
The NPI team has worked both sides of the aisle.
NPI knows what buyers want. When NPI introduces retailers to its clients’ brands, NPI is speaking their language.
ECRM events bring together buyers from major retail chains, such as Associated Food Stores, American Pharmacy Cooperative, Burlington Stores, Cardinal Health, Food Lion, Fruth Pharmacy, H-E-B, Harris Teeter, Kinney Drugs, Kroger Digital, Lewis Drug, Meijer, Nutrition Smart, Rexall Pharmacy Group, Rite Aid, CVS Health, The Vitamin Shoppe, Walgreens, and Wegmans.
You cannot emphasize this enough: Experience makes a big difference.
The final obstacle that international beauty brands confront is the lack of brand awareness.
You can hire a Madison Avenue marketing agency that will cost you six-figures, maybe even seven-figures.
IHM develops a multi-prong approach to build brand awareness for our clients’ brands.
InHealth Media creates targeted press releases that are distributed to hundreds of publications. IHM’s staff develops a marketing plan for the brands that can include public relations, email blasts, earned media, social media influencer campaigns, and social media advertising programs.
And IHM does it efficiently.
IHM markets brands at a fraction of what the big, New York City agencies would charge, and it does a great job.
Retail beauty manufacturers don’t always understand that promoting their brands is different from marketing a car or a refrigerator. You need a specialist who understands the retail landscape to introduce your brands to American consumers. The IHM team works solely for health, wellness and beauty brands.
They understand the marketing dynamics for these industries and how to reach the consumers for these brands.
International beauty brands face a daunting challenge and must deal with many facets when attempting to enter the American market for the first time.
To recap, they have to deal with FDA and Customs regulations, logistics, sales, and promoting. Without an understanding of the American consumer market, companies that take on all these challenges are doomed to failure.
NPI has the experience and knowledge to guide its clients to success. Gould’s “Evolution of Distribution” platform provides solutions to all these obstacles under one umbrella.
Gould said NPI essentially becomes your staff in America.
Instead of renting office space and a warehouse, instead of hiring a sales, marketing, and support staff, and instead of doing all this long-distance, NPI becomes your partner for success. NPI has been working with beauty brands for decades. NPI’s success translates to their success.
MORE ON NPI AND ITS FOUNDER
NPI is a privately-held company specializing in the retail distribution of nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, functional beverages, and skin-care products. NPI offers a unique, proven approach for product manufacturers worldwide seeking to launch or expand their products’ distribution in the U.S. retail market.
Mitch Gould, the founder of NPI, is a third-generation retail distribution and manufacturing professional. Gould developed the “Evolution of Distribution” platform, which provides domestic and international product manufacturers with the sales, marketing, and product distribution expertise required to succeed in the world’s largest market — the United States. Gould, known as a global marketing guru, also has represented icons from the sports and entertainment worlds such as Steven Seagal, Hulk Hogan, Ronnie Coleman, Roberto Clemente Jr., Chuck Liddell, and Wayne Gretzky.