Monday, September 16, 2013

Lesson to Lilylolo and other burgeoning businesses: look after your early-adopters

A snapshot of the Lilylolo products on my dressing table
It's been a while since I updated the blog, so as you can imagine, something has me really steamed.  

I have a shedload of Lilylolo cosmetics.  

Lilylolo, as you may be aware, makes mineral cosmetics.

Mineral cosmetics are basically, pots of powder. As anyone who uses them would agree, Lilylolo's products work well, but they don't travel very well. Being pots of powder, they spill everywhere, so they are "stay-at-home" cosmetics, rather than "take-everywhere" items.
Lilylolo's Twitter page has a great photo of the powdery nature of their products

Imagine my delight when my beautician/beauty therapist, during her make-up lesson with me yesterday, showed me that Lilylolo has innovated! They now have lockable lids on the powder eyeshadows and foundations. Eureka!

I was so excited after my make-up lesson, I promptly directed my web browser to LilyLolo for some more mineral love.  

And, having just learned about the latest packaging innovation, when I placed my order for a not insignificant £30 of items, I asked if they would please send me some of these ultra-cool sifter lid thingies to sit inside the half-dozen of their eyeshadows I already own.  

Their response?  

Thanks for your email

Unfortunately we are not able to send out the sifter lids separately

These have been phased in and should be complete now on all the eye shadows

Kind Regards

How did this make me feel? Frankly, it made me feel like they couldn't be arsed to look after me. 

As you can see, their active Twitter stream has a recent tweet about "rewarding loyal customers". I have been a customer since 2009, and estimate I have spent hundreds of pounds with them. But regrettably, my request was not accommodated.

One could argue that, as an early adopter of their products, I got their crude, early items, whilst their newer customers have done much better. Not only have they gotten improved products from an enhanced product line, but key to the matter at hand, they are the beneficiaries of Lilylolo's packaging innovations.  

Because let's face it: a little pot of powder with a screw-on lid is pretty primitive. Actually, it's about as primitive as it gets. No one else would have gotten away with selling you £8 of powder in a little pot that spilled every time you opened it.

Except Lilylolo. In 2007-08-09 they had the market cornered on mineral cosmetics in the UK.

But now I feel like chucking them. Because they apparently do not value me enough as a customer to send me a half dozen little stoppers for my eye shadow pots.

And even if they don't have individual sifter lids sitting around the warehouse, how hard would it be to send me six of the whiz-bang new empty pots, for me to transfer my shadows into?  

I have worked with lots of manufacturers. The packaging always gets better as the business grows, both aesthetically, and technologically. They hire a talented graphic designer, and they grow to a size where they can afford decent -- dare I say, "sophisticated"? -- containers.

But no, no sifter lids for me.

And that makes me feel. . . not very appreciated.  

What lesson should retailers take from this? Look after your early adopters. If your product has improved and they want a piece of that improvement -- for goodness' sake -- SHARE IT WITH THEM! It's not going to kill you. And it's not going to break the bank.

I am guessing those sifter lid inserts probably cost - maybe - 10p each. 20p at a stretch. £1.00 worth of sifter lids? How many people would I tell about these, and how awesome it was that Lilylolo sent them to me?

Now? Not so much.

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