Online Exclusives

Tell Your Story

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | July 17, 2013

Direct response is effective.

What does it take to get into direct response television (DRTV)? Is innovation enough? No, you need a face behind the brand and a chronicle of your efforts to innovate, according to industry experts such as Jani Friedman,  vice president of new brand development, Guthy Renker; Dr. Nicholas Perricone,  founder, Perricone MD; and Jamie Kern Lima, co-founder and CEO, IT Cosmetics. All have found success in the direct response format and they shared their insights during HBA Global Expo last month.
Direct response TV is not for all brands but for the select few with special qualities, it can be a game-changer. Innovation is important; a charismatic spokesperson and intriguing founding story are equally significant, noted the experts.
According to Friedman of Guthy Renker, 63% of the adult population buys products from television.  But out of 146 beauty spots that launched in the US since 2010, only 7% are “blockbusters.” Examples include G-R’s Wen hair care products and Meaningful Beauty skin care.
“Marketing success is contingent on having a well-oiled machine,” said Friedman, citing features such as studio production, rapid order fulfillment and customer retention as key elements.
Characteristics of a winning brand on DRTV also include  a compelling story or spokesperson and demonstrability (identifying a problem and solving it). The story of how and why this unique product was developed will also add allure, said Friedman. Nearly a year ago, Guthy Renker took over management of Dr. Perricone’s winning Cold Plasma Sub-D product.
“A reason to buy it is that it has a credible founder with an incredible story,” said Friedman.
When asked why he pursued an infomercial, Perricone said it was a great opportunity to tell his story, and the consumer could recall it every time she saw the SKU.
 “You have to have a real story,” advised Perricone. “Success is based on continuity.”
Another leading contender in DRTV, Jamie Kern Lima of IT Cosmetics, then shared her expertise. Kern Lima’s award-winning QVC color cosmetics brand stemmed from her experience as a television news anchor battling the skin condition rosacea. She even went as far as to demonstrate the effectiveness of her products by removing makeup on one side of her face live on television and then applied a foundation powder that literally erased all signs of redness/discoloration on her skin.
To other marketers, Kern Lima suggests the following to build business: “Get your product right, as trust is everything. Our goal is to not make a sale but gain a repeat customer. And don’t forget the power of authenticity…over time, the brands that are the most successful have founders that are the same off-air as on-air.”
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