Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 11.30.59 AMClose your eyes. Picture yourself, not feeling well, browsing the “remedies” aisle of your drug store.  As if you don’t feel bad enough already, do you now feel worse?

Help Remedies (whose URL is helpIneedhelp.com; but temporarily down pending a sale to another owner) can ease your pain. In contrast to shelves full of confusing packaging and obscure jargon, they’re a “simple” healthcare products company that sells an assortment of single-ingredient over-the-counter medications.

I’ve meant to write about the company for some time now. Not only because we specialize in healthcare and personal care, but because Help is a role model for brilliant healthcare branding. Consider how the strategic and tactical elements below come together to create a compelling, seamless, brilliant brand experience:

1. Declaration: they lead front and center with a simple, human and approachable purpose that transcends the functionality of their products. No talk of what goes into their products, the efficacy of their products, or the technology behind their products. Rather, a refreshingly simple statement of what they (and their target audience) stand for, and stand against. You’d expect this from a company that goes by the very simplistic name of Help® Remedies – and they deliver.

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2. Differentiation: There’s no mistaking this brand for others. Because they’re unlike any other OTC brand in the marketplace. Everything they do is simple and less. And it’s not just a point of difference, but a point of difference that really matters to their customers. From their simple corporate brand name, simple packaging, simple product names, simple single-dosage product, simple and sometimes “quirky” messaging, through to their clean and intuitive website and distribution strategy (a mix of traditional retail and hotels and bars [where their audiences are]) – this brand is tight in its execution.

3. Know-How: Claims are easy to make. Backing them up is tougher. But our System 2 brain (that operates consciously to rationalize our System 1 choices) requires proof that a particular brand knows what it’s doing. Know-how can be earned in different ways, and will take different forms depending on the category. For Help, it’s the rational payoff of why “Less” is more and is the best possible solution for its target customer’s needs. Less drugs, dyes, confusion, waste…in the language of their customers.

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4. Emotional Pull: Help understands its customers. The brand creates an instinctive attraction that goes beyond considered, rational reasons for purchase through its simple, genuine, quirky, no bull approach. Beyond selling an OTC product, they’re selling their viewpoint on the category.

5. Alignment: all brand touch points deliver a consistent look, messaging and emotion. Which means everything contributes to building intended brand meaning. And this alignment also maximizes value across all marketing.

6. Shoppability: doesn’t get much easier, whether shopping one product or shopping across the portfolio of single symptom products. In a category fraught with too many product variations, Help eases the pain of product selection.
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7. Dynamism: the brand doesn’t rest on its laurels. It continues to surprise and delight its audiences, to keep them interested and engaged. Consider the different mock problems on their website like “help, I am lonely” or the pop-up “help shop” that opened for a time in the nation’s capital…

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You might now be wondering about sales of Help. Truth is, they’ll never be able to compete with the likes of a Johnson & Johnson. But that’s not their strategy. They’re targeting a younger consumer who is attracted to stripped down, more human, more hip and a touch of humor. For this audience, their branding is right on the mark.

Brilliant branding not only powers your business today, but provides the momentum to take today’s success forward into the future. It starts by differentiating your brand by critically and imaginatively finding the sweet spot of:

1. Your brand’s belief and purpose
2. Your best potential audience(s) attitudes, needs and behaviors
3. Competitive points of parity and points of difference
4. Your organizational culture and strengths

It then comes down to pushing, pulling and aligning the seven characteristics above.

To pull more people towards your brand, contact Rick Zaniboni at Trajectory.

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We’re always on the lookout for relevant new learning that can help our healthcare, personal care and wellness & active living clients. Thanks to well + GOOD, for sharing their 2016 Wellness Trends – the 16 top health and fitness trends that they believe will be impacting our year ahead.

Trends include healthy bowl eating, athleisure, on-the-go beauty and spa, drinkable beauty, meditation, minerals, and matcha, along with nine others. Good intel to help health and wellness marketers stay one step ahead of their peers by better understanding what’s driving their consumers – to create new and greater value based on what they really care about.

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We rarely tout our own work on our blog, but this is a timely topic in healthcare marketing as the industry evolves from volume to value, and marketers seek to engage value-conscious patients and consumers.

As consumers are now bearing a more significant share of their healthcare costs, and as they become more engaged in managing their healthcare, seeking value and transparency will likely weigh into shaping their perceptions, decision-making, and the long-term relationships they form with industry providers. This begins with education.

With this backdrop, we developed this 360º healthcare marketing campaign – 101 Reason’s Why – for our client Reading Health System. It was quite the team effort, researching and revealing 101 tangible “value” drivers (across quality, cost, technology, customer experience, convenience, innovation, etc.) reflective of what RHS is doing to deliver higher-quality care with an unrelenting focus on improving patient value.

Given that our 101 reasons span the entire healthcare system, and reflect the hard work of so many individual team members across the system, it’s become a strong rallying point for all internal audiences. And it helped that we took the time to educate all colleagues across the organization about the campaign and all of its different components prior to external launch.

The campaign can be seen, heard, interacted with and shared by consumers across multiple media channels (including the interactive microsite above). Here are just a few of our TV spots:

Reading Health System "101 Reasons Why" TV Commercial (Clinical Excellence) from Trajectory on Vimeo.

Reading Health System "101 Reasons Why" TV Commercial (Patient Access) from Trajectory on Vimeo.

Reading Health System "101 Reasons Why" TV Commercial (Patient Experience) from Trajectory on Vimeo.

To learn more about Trajectory’s healthcare marketing expertise, contact Rick Zaniboni at rz@trajectory4brands.com.

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Your healthcare marketplace is evolving from sick care to “well” care. Customers, formerly known as patients, are actively shopping providers. New competitors are encroaching upon your traditional territory. And your brand doesn’t align with your going-forward business strategy. Given the above,  you’ve made the decision to re-brand.

While your health system or hospital might have the skills, discipline and stamina to execute a strategically and tactically flawless re-brand – many will leave something behind.

Here are 10 common pitfalls to avoid:

1. Ready, Fire, Aim. The significant organizational time and expense of re-branding warrants tangible returns. Isolate and agree upfront to the specific business and brand issue(s) that this effort will address. In no case, should the decision be based on in our opinion

2. Not Realizing What’s On The Table. Your brand encompasses all the characteristics, both tangible and intangible, that surround your services. As such, realize that everything your organization says and does makes up the brand experience and reflects back upon your organization. So everything you do should be up for evaluation and refinement based on future business direction and brand positioning.

3. Going It Alone. Just as you wouldn’t diagnose your own physical ailments, the expertise and objectivity of an external consultant is critical to guiding you through the process and to credibly representing the issues and selling internally to your leadership, Board and teams.

4. Disregarding Your Legacy. While you can’t be led by the past, you never want to cast aside the strategic and tactical equities that the organization has worked so hard to create. So don’t disregard what’s working and can be built upon, because these are the foundational building blocks for genuinely ensuring future relevancy.

5. Not Having Key Influencers and Decision-Makers On Board. It’s a huge mistake to undertake this effort without the full, acknowledged support of senior administration leadership, medical leadership and Board(s). You then need to make them part of the process, understand their opinions and expectations, and keep them appraised along the way. We can promise you that none of them like surprises or being rail-roaded into a position.

6. Inward Perspective. Your external audiences are the ultimate arbiters of your reputation and financial success, so understand how they view the organization. Contrast and reconcile these perspectives against your own to determine the gaps that need to be filled to realize your objectives.

7. Bypassing Insiders. All employees must be on board. They need to understand and believe in the program, have a clear picture of its desired outcome and where they “personally” fit in the process. And they need to equipped and mobilized to deliver on your new brand promises. Generally speaking, you should ensure they all pass through three re-branding stage gates – Hear It, Learn It, Live It.

8. Lack of Demonstrated Senior Leadership Commitment. All the time and expense of this effort will be wasted unless leadership communicates [and is ready to demonstrate] their commitment and makes public that they expect the same of others.

9. Branding As A One-Time Event. As James Gandolfini would say “fuggedaboudit.” Because branding is like a marathon, not a sprint to the finish line. It always takes longer than you budgeted for, both time wise and cost wise.

10. Neglecting To Patrol And Control. All your hard work is out the window if execution doesn’t reflect your strategy. Create a cross-functional team to oversee on-brand implementation. And monitor and participate in the ongoing conversations taking place about your organization through social media to help shape (at least as much as you can) your own destiny.

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Here’s a pretty simple test to determine whether your healthcare marketing has what it takes to draw more people towards your health system, hospital or physician group.

It’s called the “er” test. It includes seven simple questions your prospects will intuitively consider as they evaluate whether your marketing is worth their time.

Here it is:

  1. Is it based on a compelling differentiater?
  2. Is it one your customer really cares about?
  3. Does it lead with what’s in it for them; rather than you boasting about you?
  4. Does it help better people’s lives? make them wiser, stronger, abler?
  5. Is it a harbinger for conversation and sharing?
  6. Is it wherever customers are, by being baked into every single point of contact?
  7. Is it proper, by being true to your brand?


So that’s the test. Seven simple, but really telling questions. How’d you do?

If you feel like you need to add some more “er” to your healthcare marketing, contact Rick Zaniboni at Trajectory.

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How do you determine whether it’s time to rebrand OR whether you might just need a new internal or external campaign?

View this infographic to find out what rebranding really means, the questions that will help you determine if rebranding is the right solution, and some tips to help you execute a successful result.

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The holiday season is in full swing and you are scrambling to find those last minute gifts for all of the loved ones on your list.

At Trajectory, our focus is on health, wellness and personal care brands. So we’ve canvased some of our team for their tips on a few health and wellness-related brand gifts for your family, friends and fitness fans. Enjoy. We hope you find it helpful. And here’s wishing you a healthy holiday season!

21 drops: Daily Dose Kit







Cary Cater, “the spirit of 21 drops”, felt a strong connection to plants and nature for as long as she can remember. Her years of personal experiences led her to create her 100% natural essential oil blends company, 21 drops. The brand offers twenty one therapeutic-grade aromatherapy blends. Their brand values epitomize what an organic company should really be about. And their products are fully tested for purity, made with raw materials, 100% safe and 100% organic. While all oils can be purchased individually, 21 drops also offers kits such as the Daily Dose Kit, which is perfect for a holiday gift.

For just $24.99, this kit keeps you on-the-go with three different oils called Invigorate, Focus and Sleep. Invigorate energizes and stimulates your body, Focus increases your concentration while sharpening your mind, and Sleep quiets your mind at night for a deep and relaxing sleep. It’s the perfect essential oil therapy sampler for the too-stressful holidays.


Burt’s Bees:Holiday Grab Bag

We all know Burt’s Bees. But you might not know its back story.  It all started in the late 1980’s when a Maine artist and single mom, Roxanne Quimby, began using leftover beeswax from Burt Shavit’s honey bees to make candles. The company now produces over 200 earth-friendly and natural personal care products. Emanating from a great company culture. No trash cans at desks, a little yoga with lunch, and yearly Culture Days to promote community outreach.

This holiday season they are offering the perfect present – a Holiday Grab Bag. It includes 10 natural products and accessories catering to all of your personal care needs. A Cranberry and Pomegranate Sugar Scrub, a Hydration Cream Cleanser, and Peppermint and Rosemary Body Wash,  just to name a few. You can snag these fabulous items in a festive pouch for just $25.00. Order soon and you’ll even score a free lip color trio with your purchase (ladies: keep this one for yourself, you deserve it)!


Lululemon:  Run and Done Ear WarmerFrosty Run GlovesSurge Run GlovesCatalyst Beanie


These four products all come from one of our favorite brands, Lululemon. Founded in Vancouver in 1998 by Chip Wilson, who was in the surf, skate and snowboard business for 20 years before he took his first commercial yoga class and fell in love. He opened his first brick and mortar store in 2000. Exploding quickly, the brand now offers a large selection of technical yoga and run clothes in many countries around the world. Lululemon’s mission is to create components for people to live longer, healthier, fun lives. Their inspiring manifesto gives a little insight to what lights the company’s fire.

These gifts are perfect for those athletic and stylish folks in your lives, or those whose New Years Resolution is to become one. For the women in your life, pair the Run and Done Ear Warmer ($26.00) with Frosty Run Gloves ($32.00) for the perfect winter-run accessories. As for the men, they are sure to love the Catalyst Beanie ($38.00) paired with the Surge Run Gloves ($32.00) to keep them warm and dry in the frigid weather.


Numi Organic Tea: Tea By Mood Gift Set

In a tiny 750-sq/ft apartment in Oakland, CA., brother and sister Ahmed and Reem Rahim combined their passions of tea and art to create the Numi Organic Tea brand. To dent what they observed as a largely undifferentiated U.S. tea market, they created super-premium, organic and Fair Trade Certified teas with 100% natural ingredients. The company also fosters a non-profit organization, the Numi Foundation, whose mission is to aid communities in supporting initiatives that nurture art, education, health and the natural environment. They also collaborate with non-proft organizations for fundraising events and give their employees four paid hours each month to volunteer for a non-profit.

Numi is the perfect gift for the tea-lover in your life. The Tea By Mood Gift Set is a thoughtful way to let someone you love enjoy a warming cup of tea catering to his or her different moods. Whether they are ready to focus, sleep, inspire, invigorate, energize, refresh, balance, reflect, or focus, this gift set has an organic and Fair Trade Certified tea to let them seize the moment. For $21.99, you get 40 tea bags in eight natural and delightful flavors.


Hydro Flask: 24 oz Narrow Mouth Bottle

Hydro Flask was founded in Blend, Oregon in 2009 when the company introduced their first all-insulated bottle line-up into the market. By 2011, Hydro Flask hit 1 million in sales. They now offer over 100 products across four categories: hydration, coffee, beer and food. It’s common for employees of Hydro Flask to meet up before work for a hike, spend their lunches outdoors in the sunshine and be found on the deck grilling burgers together after.

From mornings in the office to weekends hiking in the mountains, the 24 oz Narrow Mouth is the perfect gift for your on-the-go friend. Not only is this spill-proof bottle BPA and Phalate free but it keeps drinks cold up to 24 hours and hot up to 6 hours with TempShield protection. The Narrow Mouth is Stainless Steel, consists of a durable, sweat-free powder coat finish and sells for $29.99.


Aromafloria: Stress Less Spa Rescue Kit

Sharon Christie, a pharmacist, chemist and aromatherapist, spent many years researching the Amazon Rainforest and the folklore benefits of native plant materials before founding her company Aromafloria. She has been producing quality body care and aromatherapy products for nearly three decades. Their “Go Green” atmosphere is quite inspiring, manufacturing all of their products in a USDA Certified Organic facility that is 100% wind powered. Aromafloria’s unique formulas are created with custom blends of organic essential oils, therapeutic herbs, exotic botanical extracts, vitamins and minerals.

The holiday season is a stressful time for many. If you know someone who needs to throttle back, the Stress Less Spa Rescue Kit is the perfect gift. For just $12.00, you’ll find a Bath & Body Massage Oil, a Foaming Bubble Bath, an Ocean Mineral Bath Salt, and a Foaming Salt Glow Polish. Not only do these products provide stress relieving relaxation, but they are all 100% vegan, sulfate free, phthalate free and parabens free.

Every brand has a story. And hopefully, one of them dovetails with yours. And remember, healthy holidays are happy holidays. Enjoy!

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adventure lifestyle brand

Add another exciting brand to the list of adventure lifestyle brands like LL Bean, REI and Patagonia. It’s UK-based Passenger clothing, launched in 2012.

As a brand strategy + activation firm focused on health, wellness and active lifestyle, we were excited to connect with brand manager, Richard Sutcliffe. We talked about brand positioning, connecting with customers and about social media. And Passenger is using social media in new and exciting ways – as a platform to build communities around like-minded consumers, stretch brand meaning beyond clothing and create a distinct culture.

Tell us about your brand Richard…

Passenger originates from the South Coast of England near the New Forest situated a few minutes from the coast and the forest.  Both of these elements are a constant source of inspiration. Our Ethos is very simple. We aim to share what we as a team are passionate about and unite like-minded people through a sense of community.

We are dedicated to developing products that reflect everything we live for. We have a unique style that is based around balance, the balance between simplicity and functionality. We aim to really push the boundaries when it comes to quality and bridge the gap between style and the outdoors.

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A big part of the ethos for Passenger is being in or around the sea, it’s at the heart of what we do along with the music that inspires us, the places we see and experience as well as the people we meet along the way. We live for the outdoors, art, photography and adventure.

There are so many people that endure the rat race everyday, but like us, are constantly seeking adventure and the freedom that can bring. We want to inspire people to find their own paths, push their boundaries and embrace their own journey whatever that might be. 

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What role does social media play in your overall brand strategy?

Social media plays an important role for us and our like-minded customers. Beyond being able to engage directly with them, it helps reassure them of our values, lets them know (based on their interests and desires) what we’ve been up to as far as trips and adventures, lets us showcase new products and gives them a look at what’s going on with our brand.

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As a lifestyle brand, how do you authentically engage your customers? 

Being an adventure lifestyle brand we try and engage our market by actually living the lifestyle and ethos. We are a fairly small team and most of us in our free time can usually be found on a surf adventure, exploring the wilderness and generally living the life we showcase. This enables us to have a good understanding and relate to our audience as we love what we do. We often share posts and content from our own adventures and this resonates with people and helps us connect on a more personal level. We really love communicating with people who share similar values with, and who are inspired by, what we are doing.

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How do you feel social media can connect you to customers who may not find you through traditional channels?

Social media has such a big reach globally that we can directly impact individuals we would not be able to reach otherwise. It also allows us to reach a more defined market that potentially could be interested in what we have to say. It allows people to interact with us, and we can answer questions, share stories and information and connect a network together who share the same passions such us adventure lifestyle

Each platform (whether Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) has its unique strengths based on what we’re trying to do. We personally like to work closely on Instagram. Photography is a big part of our brand, and it enables us to use images to tell our story and engage with our audience.

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Final thoughts…

As a brand we are passionate about sharing stories, adventures and inspiring people. So please do say hi to us. As you’ll see, we’re more than just a UK surf brand or adventure clothing brand. Also, we have recently launched our Waves and Trees Project. These are the two elements that continue to map out our adventures, drawing us to explore new destinations and inspire us, being surrounded by both at our home in The New Forest, England. We’re actually in discussions now to make this part of a wildlife and conservation programme in our local area.

You can find Passenger online:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/passenger-clothing
Instagram: @passengerclothing
Twitter: @passengerwear

All photos courtesy of Passenger. 


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This article on Forbes.com – Social Media For Health Care, Who’s Doing It Right, highlights five healthcare social media campaigns that, according to author Steve Olenski, show you how it’s done.

Featured are these five organizations:

J&J: which launched its Care Inspires Care campaign, after seeing surveys indicating most people believed the world is a less caring place. The company created a Facebook page where people could share acts of care, and it named several health care organizations, FIFA World Cup volunteers, and J&J employees “Champions of Care.” J&J also created children’s books inspired by stories of health care workers who took care of sick children.

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GE Healthcare: whose campaign to boost the company’s image and attract top technology talent, created a Tumblr blog filled with stunning radiology images titled “The Pulse on Health, Science, and Technology.” It contains images of creatures, from humans to insects to one-celled organisms, rendered using imaging studies like MRI, computed tomography, X-ray, and PET scans.

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Arkansas Children’s Hospital: during the Summer, kids risk of death and injury significantly increases. To raise awareness, the hospital developed the #100DeadliestDays campaign, featuring a downloadable parent-teen driving agreement, infographics on topics like fireworks safety, and an Injury Prevention Center content hub providing fact sheets about risks to child safety.

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Melanoma Patients Australia: Facing increasing melanoma diagnoses in Australia, particularly for people ages 15 -30, MPA opened social network accounts for Melanoma. When Australians tweeted or posted about sunbathing, tanning, or spending days outdoors using hashtags like #beach, #sun, or #pool, an algorithm detected the posts and sent an immediate response from Melanoma. The campaign reached over 2 million people and drove a 1371% increase to the Skincheck.com mobile site.

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United Healthcare: As part of Source4Women, its digital and social media initiative promoting women’s health, United Healthcare created the #WeDareYou campaign. Every month, United Healthcare posts a series of challenges, daring women to live healthier lifestyles.

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These campaigns are successful, according to the author, because they mix timely health advice with clever calls for participation. And ultimately, can help bring out the healthiest lives in all of us.


We agree that they’re successful. They’re definitely true to each brand. And they target customers at the right time and address real needs or desires (though J&J’s campaign feels a bit more “institutional”).

As a company, however, we believe that social media at its best, transcends campaigns and marketing departments. To us, unlocking the full potential of social media (and brand building) means integrating social across all business functions, from sales to customer service to human resources – to be able to engage and interact with your target audience. We refer to this idea, and the principles behind it, as building Social Brand Capital.

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Pinterest for Beauty Brands

This past September, Pinterest released its monthly user total for the first time since the social media platform’s launch, and the number was big. Over 100 million big.

Unlike Facebook, which has become notoriously fraught territory for marketer’s trying to drive organic reach for their posts and products, Pinterest users are coming to the platform specifically to find new and trendy products, along with ideas for how to use them.

According to a survey conducted by Millward Brown Digital, 51% of active Pinners make purchases in the category of Hair and Beauty with the help of Pinterest. The agency also found that in the six months prior to the survey, “96% [of users] reported they use Pinterest to research and gather information. Ninety-three percent reported that they use Pinterest to plan for purchases, and another 87% reported Pinterest engagement has helped them decide what to purchase.”

As Pinterest continues to grow as a social media community, the opportunity for skincare and beauty brand marketers to drive business directly to their eCommerce site is a no brainer, but in order to be successful, here are five factors to keep in mind.

1. Photos should be bright and appealing

pinterest for brands

Product photos are great, but with the amount of images thrown at consumers every day, there is a real need to stand apart. We love how Le Labo uses the elements of their products to create beautiful and shareable images that any Pinner would want on their boards.

2. Include How To’s

pinterest videos for brands

Pinterest users flock to the site to learn about the latest trends in food, decor, and beauty, and sometimes it takes more than a great photo to get from the Pin to the shopping cart. We recommend sharing a little knowledge with your audience. Whether demonstrating how to use one of your hero products, or incorporating your star moisturizer in a tutorial on the perfect makeup routine, a little information goes a long way in getting your content shared over and over again.

3. Share your inspiration

pinterest for brands

At Trajectory, we are big proponents of living your brand belief. Alongside your product shots and how to’s, be sure to include a few boards that show what inspires you as an organization. Are you all about living an active lifestyle and healthy eating? Create boards dedicated to sharing healthy recipes and workout tips. Passionate about animal adoption? Create a board with Pins that feature pets in need of a home.

4. Use Hashtags

hashtags for brands

There is a right time, and a wrong time, and here is the perfect opportunity to get it right. Use hashtags to highlight your key phrases (#skincare #naturalbeauty #organicmoisturizer), while avoiding the temptation to go overboard. There are plenty of Pinners (myself included) who use Pinterest as a search engine. Make sure you get yourself found!

5. Keep Pinning

pinterest for beauty brands

And re-Pinning! As with any social platform, it is crucial to keep your content fresh and relevant. Yes, you can binge Pin for a month, and still do well, but consistent pinning and interaction with other Pinners will keep you relevant and ensure that your content continues to be shared.

Finally, follow Trajectory on Pinterest, and we will follow you back! We would love to see your brand in action.



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