home blog Build your Private Label Brand (Part 2): Knowing Your Market

    Build your Private Label Brand (Part 2): Knowing Your Market

    It’s time to build your brand in the private label cosmetics industry

    Branding isn’t something that can happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and research to develop the perfect brand– the work you do preparing to shape your product experience is just as important as the product itself. After all, some brands sell better than others simply because they are more memorable and fit into a specific market. While building your brand, you’ll have to really narrow down your passions to find a spot in the market. In part one, we talked about how finding the best business model for you relies on asking yourself questions about your business. This time, we’ll be asking some more questions to help you find the perfect niche market for your products.

    Narrow Down a Product Type

    First, you’ll need to determine your hero product, which you’ll be most well-known for. All businesses have to start somewhere, and having one or two high-quality products is the best way to get your name out there. In the cosmetics industry, it’s better to specialize in one product or niche than feature a broad array of products that don’t fit into a specific category or match a customer’s specific needs.

    To begin, brainstorm what kind of cosmetics you’d like to focus on. Start with specific aspects of cosmetic care, like hair, skin, and nail care, or begin with a specialized type of cosmetics.

    Finding a Niche

    In business, a “niche” is a spot left unfulfilled in a market– in other words, a hole that needs filling for a specific audience. A good niche will appeal to a specific group of people or solve a specific problem. To fulfill this goal, you’ll need to conduct extensive research on your niche and the problems your target market has to deal with. You’ll have to plan your solutions and ensure they align with your own values and skillsets. Combine your niche with your brand to make a unique and memorable product. Buff City Soap, for example, establishes itself as a bright, bubbly, and fun brand with its simple, pastel designs and bright colors. The eye-catching appearance stands out among a sea of black-and-white minimalist designs and draws consumers in to see what makes them stand out above the competition.

    There are many places to find your niche in the cosmetics industry. Here are some of the most popular:

    Personalized Care

    Personalized care products usually revolve around customers taking a quiz to identify their hair, nail, or skin type. Then, an algorithm takes these results and cross-references them with a wide range of available products to find the best fit for the customer. Brands like IL MAKIAGE and Function– of beauty rely on online quizzes to help customers find specific products.

    Cosmeceuticals for Kinky Hair, Dark skin, or Oily Skin

    Let’s be real: the cosmetics industry is horribly whitewashed. People of color tend to get thrown to the wayside in lieu of new trends, but lately, that’s been changing! The emergence of beauty product businesses that focus on providing coverage for darker skin tones, curly or kinky hair, and other overlooked POC beauty needs is a burgeoning niche of its own. Almost any niche needs coverage from a private label specializing in ethnically diverse beauty products.

    CBD Skincare

    CBD beauty products primarily use CBD oil derived from industrial hemp. This means there is no THC in the ingredients or products. CBD products are best for reducing inflammation and irritation in the skin, and it is also an antimicrobial agent and can help skin and hair retain moisture. Lately, people with cystic acne and psoriasis have turned to CBD products for cost-effective, gentle treatment for redness and irritation.

    Vegan Cosmetics

    Vegan cosmetics use ingredients derived entirely from plants. While not all botanical products are vegan, all vegan products are considered botanicals. Vegan beauty products feature a wide range of cosmetic products to sell and are best suited for customers looking to remain environmentally-friendly while looking great.

    All-Natural/Paraben-Free Cosmetics

    In a similar vein to vegan cosmetics, all-natural or paraben-free cosmetics do not feature any laboratory-synthesized ingredients. Instead, all ingredients come from pre-existing sources, like plants or animal products.

    Gluten-Free Cosmetics

    Gluten-free cosmetics products don’t contain any ingredients derived from wheat, barley, or other glutinous plants. These products are ideal for people with severe gluten allergies and celiac disease, as they contain alternatives to gluten that some products may otherwise not have.

    Medical Cosmeceuticals

    Like gluten-free cosmetics, medical cosmeceuticals are designed to fit a niche identified by a medical condition. These products are usually made to treat a skin condition or provide desired cosmetic effects without irritating the skin. People with diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, cystic acne, and skin cancers have different needs regarding skincare products and must often pay extra for safe-to-use products.

    What Should I Choose?

    Ultimately, your cosmetics brand should showcase what you’re looking for in a self-care line. The quickest and easiest way to find your niche and product typing is to look at what you’d like to see on the shelves, available as a product that will help you and people like you. Maybe your hair gets too frizzy in humid weather, or you can’t seem to find shampoos and conditioners for curly and kinky hair. Perhaps your skin is incredibly sensitive, and all the value lotions you’ve tried cause breakouts and rashes? Research common problems that stem from what you or close friends are dealing with daily, and aim to find solutions to those problems

    Take Your Market Research to the Next Level

    If you’ve got a vague idea of what you want to sell, this step may be easier for you. Regardless, looking into market availability and trends is easier than ever, thanks to market research tools and databases like Qualtrics and Google Analytics. 

    When conducting your research, you’ll need a mix of consumer behavior and current economic trends. Overall, prioritize these questions:

    • Is there a demand for your product?
    • How many people would want to buy your product?
    • Where are you looking to sell your product? Is there a demand for your product in a specific area?
    • How many similar products are already available in the market?
    • What are the current prices for these competing products?
    • What is the average pay and cost for selling your product?


    Typically, market researchers go out and ask consumers on the street about their product needs. If you’re already established as an esthetician or dermatologist, the best place to ask would be with your customers– market research is anonymous, and you’ll be able to gather data from people who are already interested in your given market. When researching on your own, there are a few ways you can go about gathering information. Analysts' most popular research methods are anonymous surveys/questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions. 

    If you’re conducting your research online with third-party tools, the United States Small Business Association has an excellent database with archived statistics

    Establishing Your Brand

    So it’s time to build your brand. As the face and “personality” of your product, your brand should ultimately fulfill a consistent style and aesthetic. Brands are what people will recognize first and identify products within the brand to recommend to others. Strong branding, regardless of aesthetic, is what people will remember when interacting with a product. Scentbird, for example, uses its classy look and many name brands to build its reputation. With small, uniform packaging, Scentbird products appear classy and minimalist, yet portable and affordable. On their website, the brand uses a distinct monochromatic peach color scheme with bold, easy-to-read lettering, making them fit in well among the many designer brands they sell.

    Getting the Aesthetic

    Your aesthetic doesn’t have to be classy to appeal to consumers. Choosing your brand’s look and feel largely depends on your target demographic. These days, minimalist designs with bright pastels are popular since they fit a wide range of audiences. However, these designs may be a bit too familiar among the sea of competitors. 

    The best way to create a recognizable brand is to look into your target market and the general personality of shoppers. Compare them with your competitors and how you envision your brand to create a unique tone for your business. Choose fonts and color schemes that fit your brand’s tone. When customers look at your product, they need to know the general vibe of your brand immediately.

    If you’re not the artsiest person, working with an illustrator or graphic designer to brainstorm your brand aesthetic is a great way to get started. Artist tools like the color scheme designer can also help give you ideas for what you’d like your brand to look like overall. Apply these colors to your website and packaging, and include them in your store if you have one.

    Choosing Fulfillment Options

    The final piece to establishing your brand is how you’ll sell and distribute your product. We’d talked about this briefly in the business model lesson, but finding the right way to distribute your products isn’t tied to a specific business model. Consider Amazon Marketplace Fulfillment options if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to get your products out there. Alternatively, you could set up a home site and store products in a local warehouse to ship directly to customers that order online. This method is handy for subscription-based models, as orders are easily automated within the warehouse. 

    If you’re looking for a more in-person approach, brick-and-mortar stores are a fantastic way to establish your brand locally while still allowing you to expand outside of your hometown in the future. If you cannot purchase a storefront, partnering with spas, salons, or other beauty parlors is another excellent way to advertise your product to customers while still selling it. For estheticians, this means displaying your products near your chair, at the counter, or by the door when customers enter.

    Helpful Links and Guides

    Check out our in-depth guides for more information regarding trendy products and ingredients below:

    -Hale Cosmeceuticals Active Ingredient Library

    This time, we discussed building your brand and carving out a space for it within the cosmetics industry. Finding your niche is a time-consuming process that requires a mixture of market research and personal preference. Once you’ve figured out your specialty, a world of opportunities opens up to you for designing your brand image. We also discussed how you’ll go about selling and distributing your products and what aspects of brand design need to be involved in creating the perfect product space. As always, check out our partnering resources and schedule a free consultation today if you’re interested in starting your private label journey!


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