As CEO and Co-Founder of vegan beauty business, Seeds of Colour, I was recently asked by a potential investor to lay out some of my business principles. We know how difficult it is for female CEOs and Founders to raise funds, so we are careful to jump through all the hoops.

  1. Always start with the consumer.  Spend time to understand consumer insights, needs, barriers and triggers. Conduct user trials and interviews to nail the consumer journey and build strong benefits. Beauty consumers are looking for functionality, strong proven claims and performance, natural unique ingredients, sustainability credentials at great value. 

  1. Build and Nurture Brand Equity. Strong brand equity translates into company value and sales. It is paramount to develop the brands’ tone of voice, packaging, brand world, values, and behaviours. Build distinctive brand assets (to trigger mental and physical availability in consumers’ minds). Keeping the comms relevant, distinctive, and consistent. Stay true to the brand lens.

  1. Maximise awareness and penetration. Target and convert beauty consumers to our brand proposition. Rum marketing activities based on the ability to drive awareness and trial, using a proven marketing mix for beauty brands (social media, PR, influencers, eCRM, content, comms/advertising, SEO/PPC, collaborations, etc.) 

  1. Innovation. Bring consumers innovation based on real insights and margin accretive products. Understand how and where to add value to consumes’ beauty routine in the range design. Have a strong USP, good value and cover core beauty routine occasions.

  1. Profitability. The launch of high margin products, managing commercial lines of the P&L for growth is paramount. Design a robust supply chain, efficient and constantly reassessed to provide savings to fuel growth. Understand drivers of margin and only launch innovation that is margin enhancing. Channel strategy to be designed balancing availability and brand expansion objectives with profitability per channel.

  1. Invest in marketing for return. Invest in marketing to drive growth that generates a return. Set clear objectives and measure all activities as possible. KPI dashboard includes the brand and ecommerce performance, key P&L lines, etc. 

  1. Win the Consumer Journey (online and offline). Availability is key. Understand the consumer journey and stand out at “the moment of truth”. Have an omnichannel approach moving from online (DTC, online retailers, Amazon) to beauty retailers like Sephora, Space NK and Boots.