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What product managers can learn from the story of a beauty product
There is much to learn from a good product story; how an insight leads to an idea, which becomes a product concept and grows into a business case resulting in developing a new product that is launched and grows through the product lifecycle.
Personally, I also enjoy learning from industries I’m unfamiliar with. So, when I discovered a new beauty brand that is in the formation process, I was excited to talk with its founder, Ginger King. She is a chemist with previous senior management roles at several large cosmetic companies. Her first product under her own brand, FanLoveBeauty, is a lip balm.
There is a lot you can learn from this interview beyond elements of the product journey. This includes how to speak with passion about your own product — something Ginger does well.
Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers
[5:14] How did you create your first product for FanLoveBeauty?
My first product is a vegan lip balm designed for speakers or others who talk a lot. I got the idea because I wanted to create a healthier lip balm for my friend mentor Daymond John. My lip balm differentiates itself because it does not contain petrol or lanolin, two common but unhealthy lip balm ingredients.
[10:17] Once you had the idea, what happened next?
Almost all other natural lip balms use beeswax, but I wanted mine to protect bees and be vegan, so I decided to not use beeswax. Through competitive studies I found that most natural lip balms also don’t contain active ingredients. I added superfoods like flaxseed oil, mango, almond, and sea asparagus. The lip balm I now sell is my tenth formulation. A board of beauty experts and Daymond John gave me feedback on each formulation to help me arrive at the final product.
[20:07] What did you do to validate the need for the product?
I did a pre-launch and received feedback from users. Some people bought the product during the pre-launch, and others I provided it to because I knew they were influencers who could give me valuable feedback and help with marketing.
[21:55] What is your target market?
I was originally inspired to make a lip balm for speakers, but my lip balm is for anyone who talks lot—podcasters, salespeople, teachers, and anyone else who uses their lips a lot. I know that if professional speakers like it, then a broader audience of aspiring speakers will also want it.
[25:07] How are you continuing to grow your marketplace?
My company is called FanLoveBeauty because I create products for people who inspire, educate, or entertain. Those people contribute a lot to society, but there aren’t any beauty products dedicated to them. I encourage people to work with me to give me product ideas. If you tell me about a specific artist or educator who has contributed to society, I will create a beauty product for them.
[27:06] How do you implement the brand concept of creating products for people with specific needs?
I call it FanLoveBeauty because fan love is very passionate—I want to create the very best products for celebrities whom people love. My social cause is donating to a suicide prevention foundation because some celebrities we love have committed suicide because of depression. Along the same line, I include mango butter in my products because mango helps people feel better.
Bonus Question: What is it like to have Daymond John as your mentor? What key insight has he shared with you?
I have followed Daymond John for ten years. Before asking him to be my mentor, I did my homework—reading all his books and watching his videos. We’re friends because I never asked him for an investment. We focus on relationships, not transactions. Don’t approach people asking what they can do for you.
A key insight I learned from Daymond John is, Don’t get investment too soon. Before FanLoveBeauty, I had another skincare brand, and I wish I had known this then. I got invested in very early, and the partnership fell through. It would have been far better if I had bootstrapped every single step.
- Ginger’s lip balm business, FanLoveBeauty
“If you never quit, you never fail.” – Unknown
Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.