Shopify Success Story: Bathorium, a luxury bath salt brand that succeeded with differentiated products in a saturated market.
by 300cbt Team·
Competition is inevitable in life and business. Whether you're starting a new business or creating a strategy for an existing business, competition affects every aspect of your business plan, from pricing to promotions. Of course, if the market for my product is saturated, differentiation becomes an essential element of the product. How can you run a business and find customers if there are 100 competitors selling the same product? Will my product stand out to customers in a crowded marketplace?
A successful brand that took advantage of these concerns is Bathorium , a luxury bathing product brand.
When starting a business, finding your target market is very important. In situations where product competition is fierce, product differentiation can be the greatest competitive advantage. When you're competing with a very unique product, it's easy to expect there to be no competition. However, no matter how innovative a new product is, it cannot avoid competition as other competitors eventually enter the market. Gregory Macdonald, Merchant Success Manager at Shopify and founder of Bathorium, a luxury bath products company, emphasizes that product differentiation is the only way to survive in the e-commerce market.
Competitor and product analysis
Bathoreum's founding story begins with founder Gregory's trip to Italy. Gregory happened to stay at an Airbnb and said he really liked the bath products the homeowner recommended he use. It is said that this bath product was a homemade product made by combining oil and salt. After returning to his hometown, Gregory tried several bath products to recreate the emotion he felt in Italy, but could not find a similar product. Rather than being discouraged, he jumped into research on competitive products.
I went to the Bay, The Detox Market and Holt Renfrew and spent hundreds of dollars buying every type of bath bomb and bath ball on the market. When I used the products I purchased, most of them contained only salt or oil, or impurities that did not decompose settled to the bottom of the bathtub. There wasn't a single product that I was satisfied with.
- Gregory, founder of Bathoreum
At that time, Gregory was confident that any product that could replicate the Italian experience would be successful in the North American market even if it competed with existing competitors, so he began product development.
Gain a competitive advantage
Trying out a competitor's product first-hand will give you a clear understanding of the product's features, as well as its shortcomings and commercialization opportunities. These are Gregory’s comments about product testing.
When testing a product, we had our own official checklist to check scent, color, feel, solubility, etc. The concept of the original product was ''beautiful red.'' Even if it was the same red, we filled the bathtub with water, tested it, mixed it again, and tested it again countless times to get the result we wanted. Our goal is to provide you with the perfect shower experience through our bath products. So I tried to find a spectrum of red that was not just red, but red with stripes, like blood spreading in a bathtub. Neither too much nor too little.
A thorough product analysis also provides an opportunity to discover new market opportunities. If you carefully analyze your product, you can discover blue oceans even in a saturated market.
Product experience-centered marketing
Once you have launched your product, now is the time to deliver the customer experience. No matter how great a product is, its existence is meaningless if customers don't recognize it. Below are Gregory’s comments on product experience strategy.
I have a product that is different from the rest, but how can I let people know about it? How should you share this message with loyal customers of your brand or other bath products? So we reached out to customers directly with our products across all sales channels, from Etsy to Pinterest, large retailers, and small retailers. For the first three years, we focused on promotion through samples and are still offering many free gifts. Free samples are a great help to your conversion rate. A free sample strategy can shine when product differentiation is clear.
Increasing product perfection
If your product has entered the sales growth phase, now is the time to improve its level of completion. Below are Gregory's comments about the Bathorium package.
Many people say that Bathorium's current package is very pretty. But in fact, we initially used regular plastic packaging and labels printed on our office printer. Creating the perfect brand from scratch to enter retail stores right away isn't easy. After launching the product, you can develop the product through feedback.
Are you hesitating to launch an overseas shopping mall because the competition for similar products is too fierce? Are your customers unaware of the product you have developed? Do you have a product but have concerns about packaging or brand? Once you have a good understanding of your competitors' products and have put enough effort into perfecting them to satisfy customers and close the gap in the market, you are ready to start selling. Bathorium proves that the rest is completed naturally and sequentially.
It is said that the truth lies in the proverb. One of the famous proverbs is “Well begun is half done.” So, shall we begin?