Finding gaps in the market can lead to further growth

March 16, 2023By Inside Beauty Articles, Views

by Megan Moyer, corporate marketing manager, as appeared in Inside Beauty for Drug Store News

It’s well established that the majority of new product launches don’t last in the market beyond the year of introduction. To beat the odds and develop a product that has a long life, it’s best to find gaps in the market and meet a consumer need that no-one else is either addressing or satisfying.

That has been the path of growth for Okay Pure Naturals, a company with a wide breadth of products that grew out of feedback about consumer demand and lack of products to meet those needs from both consumers and retail partners.

Starting in 2010, the first products the company offered were their castor oils and shea butters to the multicultural market segment. Initially sold to regional South Florida businesses, it was while they were talking to those retailers and salon/barbershop owners that they learned that the same customers usingOkay Pure Naturals African shea butter the castor oil and shea butter products also wanted natural soaps and hair treatments and there was a void in the market for those product types for that market segment.

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According to co-founder and vice president, Osman Mithavayani, using Okay Pure Naturals products elicits a feeling and emotion not found when using other brands, and that is their differentiator. He also noted, “We are an all-in-one, everyday beauty care solution brand. It’s very rare to find a company like ours with the variety of products that address the needs of the whole family, including their pet.”

Having an in-house chemist and their own manufacturing plant allows the company to be nimble in meeting demand with their current products — now in distribution worldwide — as well as addressing the next identified consumer need. In fact, technology has also been key to customer satisfaction and growth. Mithavayani spoke about using robots to automate the selection and shipping processes — similar to the robots Amazon uses — to improve their omnichannel service.

Mithavayani said another competitive advantage is that Okay Pure Naturals products are made in America. The company’s products are sold in Canadian, Arab, Chinese, and other Asian markets, and, while labels are modified to be in the language of the particular local regions the products are sold in, the indicator that the products are made in the U.S. is important because there is a prevailing perception that products produced in America are high quality.

Okay Pure Naturals’ top selling products include the items that gave them their start — the shea butters and castor oils. Additionally, their shampoos, leave-in conditioners, coconut oil, and a couple of their men’s products which are carried in multiple chains in the U.S., including Walmart and Dollar General, round out their best sellers.

In 2022, Okay Pure Naturals added gummy vitamins and supplements to their product portfolio. Inspired by Mithavayani’s father who believed the products would add value to their overall offering, the company introduced nearly two dozen SKUs. Six of the gummy products will be available in Walmart because they are both kosher and halal certified.

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Sustainability is important to the company. As a natural brand, Mithavayani says they always consider their environmental impact. They’ve worked to reduce their footprint and have a recycling program. Their goal is to turn their distribution centers into all electric with zero use of propane.

Looking ahead, Mithavayani is excited for the increased distribution they have secured in 2023 and parlaying that into further pickup at more locations with current retailers and getting into new retailers. Product development will focus on results-driven formulations and updated packaging. “We know to succeed in this market we have to continue to evolve,” Mithavayani said. He also noted that while their initial products were developed for the multicultural market, consumers outside of that segment are also finding benefit in using those products and he looks forward to expanding on that message.

New product launches that fill a gap in the market have to meet the identified need to consumers’ satisfaction in order for success to follow. Maintaining that level of quality as the product line expands and new items are introduced is not only necessary for continued growth, but also to maintain the reputation established by the initial product. Brands that follow this formula should beat the odds and enjoy longevity.