My name is Stefanie Parks, Co-founder of The Media Captain. Since 2010, when our agency was born, I’ve worked with hundreds of brands. From Billion dollar enterprises to startups, one of my passions is working to build a brand from start to finish. There’s nothing more rewarding than taking a blank canvas and turning it into a piece of artwork you’re proud of. In addition to The Media Captain, my brother and I successfully launched one of the largest eCommerce dermatologist backed skin care sites, DermWarehouse. After working with hundreds of brands and seeing what I liked and didn’t like, it was time to develop our own brand. That’s how Park Perfection was born!
The idea for Park Perfection and our own line of skin care products started with another idea. After Jason and I had started The Media Captain together, we had another idea to start an eCommerce store selling professional strength skin care products. This idea made perfect sense based on the backgrounds of our family: Jason and I owned a digital marketing agency, The Media Captain, and our dad is a dermatologist. Because of this, we had the digital marketing expertise to not only grow our company, but also to build, design, and maintain the website. Our dad had the skin care expertise and allowed us access to hundreds of brands that would only work with a physician.
In 2016, we launched DermWarehouse. Over the next three years we went from selling the 20 brands we started with to over 100. We gained over 30,000 customers and built DermWarehouse to one of the largest Derm Backed eCommerce sites in the country.
After spending three years not only growing our customer base, but also talking to thousands of customers about their biggest skin concerns, we saw an opportunity to start our own private label that would address issues our customers were facing that weren’t currently being met. We knew that once again, our backgrounds in digital marketing, skin care, and eCommerce would allow us to be successful in growing our own line.
2.) Finding a product
When you start a business, you need a product or a service to sell that consumers like. It’s that simple. I speak to customers all day long at DermWarehouse and have the chance to discuss their biggest skin care concerns with them. This gave me a very interesting opportunity to decide on a product that we would start with for Park Perfection that I knew customers were looking for and couldn’t find.
At the same time that Jason and I were starting to explore the idea of developing our own product line, we began speaking with the owner of one of my favorite products on the site, a 2-in-1 eye product that works both instantly and over time to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and under-eye bags. I was wowed by this product and also had a great relationship with the woman who had developed it and owned the brand. To make a long story short, we were interested in acquiring the brand and she was interested in the partnership as well. Not only did she have this amazing formula for us, she also had relationships with a lab to create the product, as well as the vendors for all of the packaging. She agreed to help us through the entire process our first time around.
While we couldn’t love the product that she created any more, we wanted a fresh start with our own private label. We felt that with The Media Captain’s branding and design expertise, we could improve on what the old owner previously had.
I remember the evening vividly. Jason was at my apartment prior to his agency’s holiday party. We were excited about our new product and acquisition but we didn’t have a name. Jason set his iPhone on a timer for 10-minutes and we started shouting out anything that came to mind. He hit gold when he mentioned “Park Perfection.” We felt that having our name behind the brand would be crucial for branding purposes, as we want people to know our story and the fact that we have a dermatologist behind the brand and behind the company. We also wanted an elegant name to match the elegance of the product. Before getting our hearts set on the name, however, we made sure to check GoDaddy to see if the domain was available and also run a quick Google search just to see what popped up.
4.) Logo & Color Scheme
Our design team at The Media Captain is phenomenal. I went to the designer to discuss my vision with her. I wanted something that was elegant and luxurious. I knew we’d be selling a high end product so wanted the branding to match that. This is a great product for both men and women, so I also wanted a design and color scheme that wouldn’t be too feminine or scare away any men interested in the product.
Our lead designer came up with multiple logo variations. She gave us different color and font options. Ultimately, we decided on the options below because we felt that it hit on everything that we wanted in terms of color, feel, and design.
5.) Bottle Selection
Once we had the logo and color scheme, it was on to the bottle we’d select for our product. Again, we were lucky in the fact that we’re surrounded by thousands of beautiful skin care products at our DermWarehouse office. I selected a handful that I liked to show the bottle manufacturer. They mailed me 5 different bottles and I chose my favorites. I narrowed the selection down to my two favorites that fit what I was looking for, but was somewhat stuck when making my final decision. I then took to Instagram Stories and Jason took to LinkedIn to post the two options and let our followers decide which they liked best.
Once we had the bottle selected it was time to move onto the packaging. Obviously, this is very important based on the fact that when our product hits retail shelves, this is what they’ll see. When someone orders online, this will be their first impression.
We had to carefully choose what language to use on the boxes. There’s very little real estate, yet so much that we wanted to say. There are also strict guidelines about what language can and can’t be used when it comes to skin care products. For example, you cannot say that a product will reduce wrinkles. You can say, however, that a product will reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Once again, I worked with our designer and came up with the following packaging options below.
Samples were extremely important for us to have when launching this product. It’s always helpful to have something for a potential customer to try when telling them about something new. This product is very special because not only would the sample allow potential customers to experience the look and feel of the product, but because it has instant results, the samples would be a huge sales tool for us. Not only that, but the fact that we have our dad’s patients plus 30,000 DermWarehouse customers, we knew we’d have a very captive audience to try the samples!
Our designer took the look and feel from the bottles and designed the perfect sample sachets for us. This was a bit tricky considering how small they are, but she made sure to include the most pertinent information and make them look amazing all at the same time.
8.) Product Photography
When you’re selling anything online, you want to make sure that you’re showcasing your product in the best light possible. Especially after working so hard on creating packaging designs, we wanted to make sure the beautiful and elegant designs we created really shone through on our website. We utilized our TMC photographer and enlisted the help of a specialized product photographer to create both website photography and lifestyle photography to use on our sites and our social media pages. These images ensured that potential customers would have the best possible first impression potential customers got about our product and brand.
As the production of our product was wrapping up, it was time to start putting together the website. We were planning to sell the product on DermWarehouse, but also on a separate Park Perfection site. Our designer laid out all of her ideas, while their content team worked with me to put together the content. Once we had the final design ready to go, the development team got to work building the eCommerce site. With only one product to start vs. almost a thousand products we started with on DermWarehouse, our WooCommerce site came to life within only a few weeks.
In addition to selling our product on the DermWarehouse and Park Perfection site, we knew that selling on Amazon would be a huge opportunity for us. After working on getting DermWarehouse up and running on Amazon, plus many of The Media Captain’s clients, I knew that it wasn’t always an easy feat. Especially in the beauty category, there are many requirements that need to be met and Amazon requires a good amount of documentation. Because of this, I made sure to get started early setting up our Seller Central account, listing the product on Amazon, and gathering the required documentation that I needed. My prediction was right. It did take a lot of effort and a lot of back and forth to get approved in the skin care and beauty category and then get approval to list a topical product. Amazon isn’t very helpful in telling you what you’re missing, if anything. I went back and forth with them for 2 weeks trying to figure out what additional information I needed. They wouldn’t tell me what it was, just that it was something. Finally, we got the right mix together for them and Park Perfection Instant Eye Lift was approved on Amazon!
11.) Start Spreading the Word
Many business owners think that they can develop a product, build a website, and all the sudden, customers will start coming. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s up to you to get your product out there for the world to find. Luckily for us, we’ve spent the past three years building relationships with thousands of customers on DermWarehouse. We started spreading the word about Park Perfection Instant Eye Lift by promoting the product to our customers, plus family, friends, and the patients at our dad’s office.
From there we devised a PR and outreach strategy to start spreading the word far beyond our own contacts. We put together an awesome gift box and began sending our product out to reporters and buyers at big retailers. We know that even though we’re giving these products away for free, it will be well worth it for the possibility of getting our product in the right hands. We’re ready to hit the ground running with our outreach and we believe that we have something very special with this product. We know that the best way to promote Instant Eye Lift is to let people try it!