How does a new small business take on a market leader? Can a new online retailer reach the dizzy heights of ASOS or can a small chain of grocery stores change the shape of food shopping in the shadow of Tesco or Sainsbury’s? The answer, sometimes at least, is yes.
A giant’s advantages can also be its weaknesses
Size can be a hindrance; in Goliath’s famous punch up with David, his strength wasn’t much use at all when the diminutive David changed the rules of the fight.
In the same way, large corporations can be slow to react to change and run the very real risk of failing to notice innovation right under their nose.
When beauty therapist Marissa Carter developed a new fake tan during maternity leave from work, it probably seemed unlikely that it would compete with St Tropez, Loreal and Garnier products but after only a short while her product Cocoa Brown is being stocked in Boots, Superdrug and even Primark (a store that doesn’t traditionally carry cosmetics). It is so good that in fact 3 bottles are purchased every minute in Ireland where the founder hails from.
Marissa, our “David”, knew what the Goliaths were doing and knew that they lacked a product that that didn’t break the bank which was also suitable for troublesome skin too.
She says, "My inspiration for the Cocoa Brown range came as a response to the lifestyle needs of my beauty customers, my own love of looking naturally bronzed and my passion for exciting beauty product innovations. My product has been incredibly successful in Ireland and I’m aiming for the same success and more in the UK. The Cocoa Brown team believe our products are something special - it is a high quality, quick, affordable tan and we believe it is better than anything else on the tanning market today."
Marissa’s innovative product sets itself apart by eliminating the unwanted signature scent that is infamous amongst self tanning products and, what’s more, once applied it develops in just one hour in comparison to the 8 hours it takes other tanning lotions.
Armed with her wonder product Marissa started to approach prominent fashion and beauty bloggers and journalists to test the product. Rave reviews starting rolling in and she was then able to take her product and testimonies to larger stores who quickly snapped up the brand.