How to Develop Your Own Beauty Brand: The Vision

Dave English, Head of Beauty QA and Technical Development, is one of our in house experts here at Matrix. In the past, Dave has led development teams in The Body Shop and Boots and has a wealth of experience when it comes to knowing the different factors that need to be carefully considered in order to create successful beauty brands and products. So who better to give some top tips on how to make your beauty brand dream a reality….


The first thing you need to do is ask yourself three key questions: What is your BIG idea? Who needs it? What is your point of difference?

This does not need to be huge; it could be a new design, trending fragrance, a product you have never seen before, a product that does something you need, saves you time, can be carried with you or something that you just love and are passionate about.

The next thing to consider is why would people buy your product, instead of a competitor? The most successful and disruptive brands are those that begin with a strong vision. For example, the entrepreneurial mother who developed a range of natural care products for her baby because she didn’t want to use products that she perceived as harsh available to buy on the high street. From the outset, she had a strong vision; she knew what she wanted to create and why she needed to create it.

You need to consider who your audience is and the types of brands and products they currently buy and identify the type of product that you want to create. A face cream? Shampoo? Body butter? Full skincare range?


Claims, Ingredients, Packaging and Price

Active ingredients are the key ingredients that are going to help deliver a benefit for your client. What should they do? Is it a natural product or a highly technical product? Answering these key questions, allows you to choose your active ingredients far more effectively.

Claims are the personality of the product and really help to sell it to your target audience e.g. organic, naturally derived, firmer skin, voluminous hair. Whatever claims you choose should be completely in line with what would appeal to your target audience and what really matters to them.

Think about the fragrance that you want to pair with your product and what will work with the idea e.g. if lemon is an active ingredient the scent should be citrus to match the active and reinforce the scent story. The fragrance should always compliment the key ingredient(s).

Texture is also important to get right to ensure it supports your product’s personality and story; match the texture to your claims. Do you want a delicate, light feel or something that’s a bit richer and more luxurious? Ensure it is logical to the consumer.

Packaging can be environmental, luxury, simple etc. Again, always think about the customer and anticipate what they would expect the product to be packaged in and what would make sense to them.

The final selling price of your product determines how many options you have throughout the creative process. The higher the selling price the more options you have for packaging, design, active ingredients and fragrance levels.

Our working example: Cactus deep moisturising night mask 

Development journey and logic:

Cactus: is a natural moisturiser and you can buy an organic version. If it comes from a specific region you can add provenance to the ingredient e.g. “containing organic Mojave Desert Cactus sap”.

Deep Moisturising: this implies that it’s a stronger than average moisturiser so you need to be able to justify this statement. To achieve this, you add more moisturising ingredients or leave on for longer. As the product is a mask in this example you would be leaving it on for a longer time so this supports the claim.

Night: a good time to moisturise as it helps to nourish skin during its overnight repair and renewal process so provides a good product benefit story.

Mask: a product that you will leave on for a period of time i.e. overnight while you sleep and then wipe off residue, or apply during the day if you need a product that’s deeply moisturising. This makes it a multi-functional product and a good promotional story.

Fragrance: should smell cooling and fresh in line with what the consumer would expect.

Product: would suggest a clear gel to look like the cactus gel and allow a light refreshing application. Potentially give it a pale green colour to reinforce the refreshing aspect.

Packaging: as the gel will look interesting it would be preferable to use clear packaging so the customer can enjoy the look of the product from the shelf.

Although it may seem obvious, the most important question you need to ask when dreaming up your beauty brand is “Would you buy this?”.