Sampling continues to be one of the most powerful drivers for textured-hair consumers to purchase products. Using and liking a sampling is the No. 1 reason respondents purchased a new product, according to the latest release of NaturallyCurly’s TextureTrends report. And when it comes to sampling textured-hair products, curlBOX is a go-to for many women with curly, coily and wavy hair. We spoke with Myleik Teele, founder of curlBOX, about trends she’s seeing in sampling:
NC: You started curlBox seven years ago. What are some of the trends you're seeing in sampling?
Myleik: A trend that we continue to see in sampling is the importance of “authenticity.” Sampling is not just about shoving a product in a consumers' hands. It's about making a genuine effort to connect with their heart and mind. Something else we’ve seen is the desire for “something new.” Even though many have found their “holy grail” products, they are still intrigued by product innovation. More than 70 percent of our sampling is of new products. I believe curlBOX continues to be successful by providing a unique service of content, media and products to a growing audience that is continuing to reflect the ethos of the mainstream culture — beauty comes in all shapes, colors and sizes.
NC: What is the textured hair consumer looking for? What are brands looking to accomplish?
Myleik: Consumers are looking for personalized curation and better experiences. They want to make true connections with brands that understand them and that aren't in and out or inconsistent. Brands are looking to connect with consumers and need to do so with the long term considered and/or partner with other brands or movements that have consistently been there for their target audience.
NC: How has that changed since curlBOX initially started?
Myleik: We’ve become the catalyst for products and brands entering the hair care category. New brands leverage our trusted community and highly-engaged audience to increase brand awareness and instantly reach into new audience targets. We close a gap that other big brands can’t reach in delivering informational and inspiring content for our core consumer. We don’t just find the new trends — we start them.
NC: When you talk to brands, what advice do you have for them to increase the chances that their sampling program will be a success?
Myleik: You have to get involved. It’s the same as leaving your products on a table at a hair show – you need to be there to answer questions and educate the consumer. The same goes for participating in sampling programs. You should show enthusiasm and answer questions as they are coming across social platforms. Most times the consumer needs more information and who better than you to jump in?
NC: Where do you see sampling going in the future?
Myleik: Sampling will continue to thrive and will be maximized when consumers believe the products have been chosen by a trusted source. Consumers still look forward to and appreciate brand innovation love when they can sample the entire set of products designed to work together vs. your hero product.