Diaries Magazine

My Product Launch - Create Your Own Unique Product in 8 Simple Steps!

Posted on the 25 June 2016 by Thandi @sassymissy
Hey Everyone! It’s been a while since I sat down and really wrote a smashing blog post. Oh how I miss this. No worries, I’m almost done with my honours programme. So this year, I decided to create and launch my own hair product based on the need I saw in my community. The idea to start my own hair product was not impulsive, but rather something I spent a lot of time planning to execute. I am so excited to share with you all my new product Shea Goodness. Shea Goodness is raw Shea butter in its best form from West Africa. More specifically Cameroon and Senegal. I mixed the raw Shea butter a little, just to lessen its smell and make it softer to use. Shea butter is a rich organic oil which is thick and sticky in its unrefined state. It has many benefits especially for the epidermis layers of the body (Skin and Scalp). I have been natural for the past 3 years and I’ve tried many hair products/hair oils. To be honest, I stopped trying others when I started using Shea Butter. Here are some questions to ask yourself and tips that can help you on your journey to creating your own product.My Product Launch - Create your own unique product in 8 simple steps!
You do not want to create a product that is already in every corner and every shop. Think out of the boxand either create something brand new, or improve on an already existing product. You can only do thisby knowing the need in your community. I found out the need for Shea butter in my community by needing it myself. I buy my raw Shea butter from Cameroon (my home country) whenever I go on vacation because there are no retailers of raw shea butter in my town. Infact it is very difficult to find raw Shea butter locally, in South Africa. They do not grow the plant in this region hence raw Shea butter is not easily found. One has to order from external retailers abroad to get Shea butter. Once people found out that I somehow have and use shea butter, they started asking me to buy for them when I go back home for vacation. The light bulb switched on, and I realised the need. Many girls in my community are going natural, are natural or just want to better care for their hair. Shea butter is also gaining popularity in South Africa because people are starting to realize how truly excellent it is for hair. In addition, the want for Shea butter is being fueled by the fact that most hair bloggers and Youtubers use Shea Butter. So ask yourself, what is the need in your community, school, and neighbourhood?Figure it out and you’re ready for the next step.My Product Launch - Create your own unique product in 8 simple steps!

2. ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT IT?I am all about natural hair, ladies embracing their kinks and taking good care of their hair. Long gone are those days when we were told our nappy hair is ugly. And so the passion for my product comes naturally (naturally….get it?). Infact I’m here for anything that will uplift a fellow woman. Whether she is relaxed, natural or bald. It really doesn’t matter, so long as I can somehow partake in her empowerment, I’m good. And so creating a product that I know is needed and will help women have healthier stronger hair was a no brainer. You need to have passion for your product, because passion drives reason. If there is no passion, you’ll eventually burn out and see no reason for creating it in the first place.My Product Launch - Create your own unique product in 8 simple steps!
3. IS THERE A MARKET FOR YOUR PRODUCT?Very Important! If there is no market then who are you creating the product for? Yourself and maybe your roommate? I don’t mean market as in a physical market, I mean customers. Which goes back to the first question (The need). If there was a need for your product then there will definitely be customers. No need, no customers. I created a list of all the ladies who asked me to buy them Shea butter from home, as well as ones I knew will also be interested. Many girls/women in my community are on the same natural hair journey as me and know about Shea butter. Others just see my hair and ask me what I use and ask to have some Shea butter too. So once the product was created, I was confident it will be bought.My Product Launch - Create your own unique product in 8 simple steps!4. IS IT ACCESSIBLE AND ATTAINABLE?How are you going to get it to your customers? I started by selling to easily accessible to me. But I knew once the word spreads, I may not be able to get the product to people who do not know me. I do not want to start selling online or posting my product to people yet, until I’ve grown some more. So that option was out the window. Instead I approached a well-known saloon which is accessible to most people in my community and asked them if my new product could be displayed and possibly sold in their shop. I was excited when the owner agreed to not only display but sell my product in his popular saloon, for a percentage of the profit. This was a small sacrifice to make, because I knew I will be able to reach a bigger market and grow my brand/product faster this way.
My Product Launch - Create your own unique product in 8 simple steps!
5. TIME TO CREATE AND BRAND YOUR SAMPLE!Take your time to decide on the best way to package, label and produce your product. All my products are mixed by me at home. I take my time to make sure each batch is as good as the last one. If you have enough start-up capital, you can present what you want to a professional production company for your specific product. Otherwise if you’re starting small like me you can always make it at home. My brand is “The Curly Christian Girl”, soon to be changed to my name “Joan Akob”. I initially thought it would be a great idea to connect my product to my blog because that’s where my love for hair care grew. But I came to the conclusion that I want to be identified by my name and not my blog name. Because I envision getting involved in other things that may not necessarily be about hair care. So keeping the brand name “The Curly Christian Girl” may hinder me in that way. So that’s one thing I need to sort out. My Product Launch - Create your own unique product in 8 simple steps!6. USE YOUR PRODUCT AND HAVE YOUR OWN STORYI cannot stress enough how important this is! You need to know if your product is all you say it is. You need to be a walking billboard. Living proof that your product does the wonders you say it does! Okay maybe that was abit serious. But you get what I’m saying. Use it and develop your own testimony to share with people who may show interest in your product. My hair is like a sponge. It is hard, stubborn and just plain difficult. But the Shea butter mix I created is literally the only thing I use on my hair at the moment, apart from conditioner and shampoo. Nothing else can make my hair sooooooo soft for days. Like I can actually finally comb my hair!!! It’s a miracle guys. I never used to comb my hair because of how coarse it was. See? An honest helpful personal testimonial of my product. So yes, you can place your order now. #TongueOut.My Product Launch - Create your own unique product in 8 simple steps!7. TIME TO MAKE IT A BIG DEAL!You’re confident in your product, so now it’s time to put it out there. I’m talking across all your social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Whatsappp, Twitter). But be careful not to annoy people. No one wants to be spammed but at the same time you need to find clever ways of letting people know about your product. If you have the income to create a product launch event, then by all means have a product launch and invite people strategically. Once you create a hype (Like I’m doing now) people suddenly pick interest in your product even if they initially had no clue what your product is about. Get people talking about it! This does not guarantee that they will buy, but it does give people something to talk about. And who knows who might mention your product in a conversation with someone who was in need of your product? #Wink


Be open to suggestions from customers on how you can improve your product. You don’t want to stay at the same level, so listen, learn and grow. Keeping a list (names and phone numbers) of your customers will not only help you determine approximately how much to produce, but it’ll provide a means of communication. You will be able to easily advertise anything related to your brand, such as a new addition to your product line, or maybe a product expo/demonstration event.

These are my 8 tips/steps to creating and launching your own product! I do hope they were helpful. Do let me know. And I’ll also like to know if you’ve ever created your own product or if you’re thinking of doing so. And if you have more tips, feel free to add them in the comments below! Happy “Producting”
Joan Akob.

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