Pondering Private Label

Spa owners frequently ask me if it makes sense to start their own product line, and my answer is an unequivocal yes. For a spa, the development of a private label line can help in myriad ways. It can dramatically increase profits, improve in-spa retail opportunities, help build brand awareness and positioning, and act as a tremendous promotional aid.

Developing a line of products to complement your current skincare and bodycare offerings can also create a completely unique point-of-difference between you and your competitors, and it provides an excellent way for your spa to cross-market back-bar products in your retail space. Customers often want the products used on them during treatment for homecare, and if your spa is the only place those products can be purchased, they serve as a way for clients to extend the experience and drive them back to the spa for more services and products.

In addition to helping your spa financially, having a line of products helps control the type of services that can be offered and enhances specific treatments. Instead of being at the mercy of the products that are already on the market, you can create a line that differentiates you from other spas' service menus and back-bar options. By taking the time to research innovative scents, packaging, and ingredients, you will be able to create a line that truly stands apart from others.

As a savvy spa owner, you should ask for help from experts during each phase of your line's development. From finding out the packaging resources at your disposal to investigating the latest in formulations, there are numerous companies out there that can help you address your individual needs and concerns. (See the Resource Guide below for some options.)

Once you decide to proceed with development, you should think about what you can do to set your spa apart from the competition. You must work with experts to create products that boast new and innovative packaging designs, taking into account the look, shape, and feel of each product as well as its delivery system. A great option for many spas is to use a custom mold, so as to distinguish the line from all the stock packaging out there.

You should also spend ample time developing the most effective packaging for your products as possible, paying special attention to easy-to-use components, such as pumps, sprayers, and squeezable items. This is crucial for the esthetician, as he or she needs to be able to access the products while using his or her hands during a procedure. If packaging can deliver the product with one hand, it is even better for your spa professionals and their clients.

Resource Guide
Resource Guide

Lastly, in this day and age of buyer consciousness, you must work with a chemist to make sure close attention is paid to the materials used in your spa's products and packaging. Your line should have the highest percentage of raw materials allowed by the FDA. The only way to do this effectively is to have an active level of most of the raw materials, which increases the products' efficacy and performance. Though this results in a higher retail price for the consumer, it actually drives revenue for the spa.

Once you have the products in hand, make sure to train your employees on how to sell them; educate them on the use, benefits, and ingredients; and make sure they know how to use them effectively when working with clients. Always remember that spa brands are different than other beauty brands and should be much more treatment-oriented than products sold at department stores or other beauty outlets. Once again, it is crucial to ask packaging experts and other beauty insiders for help and feedback in developing your line, thus delivering the best results possible.

Vonda Simon is the founder of SeaCliff Beauty Packaging & Laboratories, a company that provides innovative packaging designs, develops new product formulations, and more. For more information, call (949) 955-1239 or visit www.seacliffpackaging.com.