“Our own product line, perfect for us and it would make us unique!” is thought that has crossed many spa mangers, owners, operators minds, and it is absolutely true. But, be prepared…
…it takes more time than you think
…it is more complicated than you think
…it costs more than you expected
If you still want to go ahead, then here are a couple of wise advice from us (having created own lines for AmanSpas, Jiva (Taj) spas, One&Only Spas, Auriga (Capella) spas and our own LivNordic wellness brand).
1. First you need to be very clear on what you want, for example a special theme/concept, natural vs. not natural, medical vs. pampering etc. and compile this in a product tender brief. Do you want the creating company to also choose packaging, what is the quantity etc. Be specific!
Tip1! Ask for a final liter cost price from the companies – it can be a “to-from” price, but then you have capped the purchase cost. If you don’t do this from the start, then you are up for a nasty surprise. We have seen this over and over again!
2. Once you know exactly what you want, you send out your tender to selected companies and when you get the proposals you will see that they vary considerably, and it is time to start negotiate. Go for it, it often works!
Tip2! Decide which one to go with combining your business mind and gut feeling. If indecisive, go with your stomach, it never lies.
3. When you come as far as selecting and having an agreement signed, then it is time for the selected company to start developing and wait for the first samples to arrive.
Tip3! Once you get them, make sure that you have prepared a selection of people of varying origin, gender and age to trial them and have a form ready for them to fill out in order to give the product company comprehensive feedback for the next round of samples. You do this as many times as needed before you are 100% satisfied with the samples.
4. Meanwhile you should have been looking at packaging and that is almost the trickiest part! Most packaging companies wants you to purchase quantities of 20,000 of one size, you can get away with as little as 3,000 but if you are just one spa or even up to 4 spas, this is still too many. This means that your choice is very limited to companies that supply a small amount, and you have to be very creative with the labeling as the bottles and jars on offer are very standard.
5. You have your products, jars and labels and you are happy. If you reach this stage, then it has most likely taken you about 12 months or more and you are tired, but happy as you are finally on your way!
Tip 4! We strongly recommend starting with body products and then possibly going for facial products, but as the technology, laws and research is changing by the second, it might be better to keep the facial line with a professional licensed line.
I am not even going to get into licensing and the challenges and loopholes with getting products into different countries, don’t forget to look into that too! China for example, you will have to ship product and empty bottles separately and then have them filled there…Egypt, well, just don’t go to Egypt trying to get products in and well… just make sure you know what is needed for the region that you are in.
If you have questions or comments, feel free to e-mail us questions! We would be happy to advice you not to the same mistakes we have done!