Au Natural

Test It Out

What do buyers look for in a skin-care product? Cheri Botiz, cosmetic product market buyer for Southern California and Arizona Nordstrom stores, says she might test a product on her hand, but she primarily looks for uniqueness. "I would tell new companies to make sure they have a point of difference [in their] ingredients and packaging, and a marketing plan in place to help the product," she says. "A lot of vendors just create products and think 'I'll just present it, and because it's an excellent product, it'll sell.' "

Botiz stresses that your packaging and ingredient approach should depend on your target market. Mass-market audiences most likely won't know or care about obscure wonder-ingredients but will notice brighter packaging. A higher-end audience (which is what Wang is aiming for-she's already turned down a huge department store chain because it was mass-retail) probably prefers a classier look and special ingredients.

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Au Natural.

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