Are you ready to sell your soap and are looking for some unique marketing ideas?
Some time ago, I stumbled upon some wonderful soap selling ideas on Marr Williams' website 'Smelly Chick's On-line Soap Making Resource'.
Unfortunately, this site is no longer up and running but lucky for us Marr graciously allowed me to publish a couple of her ideas on how to sell bath products.
When sales are slow, it’s time to think outside of the box in order to drum up business and find new ways to sell your soap. I can’t think of anything that would work better for Bath & Body businesses than Spa Parties.
I personally have been to several spa parties thrown by Mary Kay and Arbonne consultants, but they always seem to miss the mark. I attribute this to the fact that more time is spent listening to a spiel about the benefits of each product than actually enjoying the product itself. I think we can do better.
There are at least two ways of throwing a spa party. For the purpose of this article, I will call them 1) a ‘Spa in a Box’ party and 2) a ‘Make Your Own Spa Products’ party.
As I mentioned before, I believe spa parties fail because they aren't really spa parties at all, but more of the same type of product-sampling-get-togethers we've always been obliged to attend. Why not add some entertainment value and let your guests actually experience your products in a setting that feels like a spa? Obviously guests won’t be bathing at your parties, but facial, manicure and pedicure products would work beautifully here.
Idea #1 - I see real value in designing a Spa in a Box type of product grouping in addition to selling your soap and items separately. Sleek boxes or tins that scream up-scale spa quality would be a must to package this special group of products in.
Idea #2 - Set the mood. Work with your hostess to decorate the space in a way that soothes and relaxes. Wine and bubbly would make excellent refreshments. Carrot juice and wheat grass is another option, but, BLECH! I personally would prefer a Pinot Grigio. Music is also a great way to achieve a spa effect. If you can only do one thing to improve the environment, music would be the way to go.
Idea #3 - Products that can actually be used by party guests should not be demonstrated but experienced instead. Briefly explain the purpose and use of each product and then turn your guests loose to enjoy the process. You’ll be amazed at how much product information will come out naturally over the course of the event. By all means, take a list of touch points for each product to ensure you cover everything, but let the information flow naturally by giving detailed answers to questions and comments whenever possible. For example, when a guest remarks on how smooth her skin feels after using a sugar scrub, take the opportunity to explain the scrubby effect of the sugar and the skin conditioning effects of the oils.
Idea #4 - Some products won’t actually be used by guests at the party, but simple demonstrations can still be fun and educational. For example, you can demonstrate how your bath bombs work by filling a large bowl with hot water to drop the bath bomb into. Allow each guest to put their hands in the water to experience what the bath bomb would feel like in their own tub. Demonstrate how special your handmade soaps are by having guests wash one hand or arm with a store bought detergent bar, and the other with your skin loving soaps. Seeing is believing and their own comparisons will sell your soap far better than you telling them about the differences ever will.
This article contains only a few of my ideas on how to achieve a successful spa party. Brainstorm for more ideas keeping your specific product line in mind. You may also consider specialized parties that would give your hostess a choice of a manicure party, pedicure party or facial party. The main objective is that your guests have a good time, feel pampered and know that, without a doubt, they can enjoy the same pampering at home by purchasing your ‘Spa in a Box.’
So - why the heck you would teach people to make their own products when you are trying to sell your soap to them? It’s a fair question and I have 3 reasons why you should.
1. By teaching your customers to make a few simple products, you establish yourself as both an expert and if done correctly, as someone who is passionate about Handmade Bath & Body products. I’ve taught many web and graphic design courses and am often told by former students that each time they apply a technique that I showed them, they think of me and my class. That’s pretty powerful stuff and in the B&B business, it will likely translate into repeat sales.
2. Demonstrating how a product is made proves that you really are the maker of the products and that you are not simply reselling them. You really do know what ingredients are used and why.
3. In today’s economy, budgets are tight. If your potential and existing customers can save a few dollars making some of the products themselves, they will feel better about purchasing the products they cannot or do not want to make at home.
There are several products that can be taught in a home party atmosphere. Sugar and Salt scrubs immediately come to mind. You can easily find or create wonderful scrub recipes that are both inexpensive and simple to make. Your cost for teaching the class would be minimal if you shop around for deals on oils, sugar and/or salt, fragrance and some sort of container to store the scrub in.
Other products to teach at this type of party would be Milk Baths, Bath Salts, Bath Fizzies, and Facial Astringents. The key is to keep it simple and use ingredients that can be found locally to make it easier for your guests to actually make the product again at home.
Make Your Own Custom Soap parties and classes are gaining in popularity too. Generally the party guest/student is charged a minimal fee for supplies. You could perhaps use this model for your spa parties if eating the cost of the materials is out of the question. I personally believe that a minimal investment in ingredients will gain you more sales and more parties, and more sales, and more parties, and more sales…
That wraps up Marrs post on Spa Parties...hopefully you have found these ideas on how to sell your soap to be as inspiring as I have and are able to utilize them to fit into your own soap marketing plan.