Future Product Survey Results
The survey is still open (and the discount code for taking it still active through March 31st!) , but there’s enough large trends that I feel pretty confident talking about what I’m seeing. I enjoy a pretty close relationship with my customers and sent the future product survey thinking that I’d guess the top products. Stars above, was I ever WRONG.
Assumptions, and the truth, dine at separate tables.
Had I continued developing the products I thought you wanted most, I wouldn’t have even been working in the top 5 most desired products. So, thank you, all 120+ of you who took your time to provide me with what you wanted, so I can focus on bringing those things to NightBlooming first! I’m really stoked to share both these results, and my future plans with you.
Keep in mind when looking through the questions that not everyone responded to each question, so the numbers don’t always add up.
This question took me awhile to pull apart. It mostly tells us two things: that there’s a lot of broad-based interest across all of the products, and that there was no clear, singular agreement when all the potential products were in one large pool.
When you had to pick ONE product from a smaller group things started to crystallize (har) a bit. More than half the survey respondents picked Clarifying Crystals (I have a much cooler name for them, no worries), followed by 1 dram bottles of Essential Oil Blends. Fermented Rice Water Kits probably suffered from people not knowing how, or why, you’d use one, and International Signature Oil Subscriptions came in farther behind, likely because of shipping costs.
If Question 2 surprised me, Question 3 was where I realized just exactly how far off my assumptions were about the interest in various products. My assumption was that Brown & Black Herbal Dyes would not just top this question, but that they’d top this entire survey. I was so confident in that assumption that I nearly made the decision to go through the lengthy development process (blend testing, packaging, mixing the blends, developing listings, etc.) and then issued the survey for the remaining products. The second-most-surprising thing about this question was how close the interest was across so many products when asked to pick one.
This was also very encouraging from a product development standpoint. When people already see a potential place in their lives for a new product, it makes it easier for me to justify sinking a bunch of time and effort and money into development and launch.
Similar to Question 4, this helped me discern that there was actual interest to purchase a product vs. “Eh, that might kinda be nice to try.”
This word cloud was created from the free response answers. I sat reading through them all with a smile on my face. Many detailed exactly why they wanted a NightBlooming product to replace their current one, but others were unprompted praise that left me elated and blushing. Here’s some of my favorites:
It is difficult to find person created products, rather than factory made products. Animal friendly and vegan products are difficult to find at a fair price. Beauty products that are also in line with nature are nearly impossible to locate. Night blooming answers that gap in the industry here in the west. I can maintain my beauty guilt free knowing I am paying a person not a corporation that outsources most parts of the labor involved.
Because your creations are always high quality and I know I can count on them to be effective and environmentally friendly.
If my total hair care regime was made up of Nightblooming products, I would be ecstatic!
So, what’s the plan?
After getting over my initial shell-shock at the results, it was time to make some adjustments to The Plan. The two big leaders were from the list of products that I could launch the fastest.
Upcoming New Products
Signature Essential Oils
The easiest of all products to launch, I already have the 1 dram bottles, labels, and essential oils. The biggest process here is pricing out each blend. Unlike the Signature Oil Blends I have, the cost varies pretty wildly depending on which essential oils are in the blend. There’s no carrier oils to universally reduce the price, either. These will allow you to use your favorite NightBlooming Signature blend in a diffuser, your own bath and beauty creations, or however else you choose to use your essential oils. Because these are pure essential oils, absolutes, and C02 extracts, they are NOT designed to be used directly on skin or hair without dilution. You’ll likely see these in the shop within the next week.
I’ve actually been using these personally for over two years. The water here is immensely hard (imagine that when you live tucked into limestone bluffs with the largest river in the US cutting through them) and this works like a dream to remove the mineral buildup from my hair. There will be an unscented option as well as additional options to add essential oils to the crystals. I anticipate three sizes: a sample baggie (the size of the herbal hair color samples), a glass jar with a spoon (pictured above), and a refill bag. That way you only have to buy the pretty jar once and can keep refilling it afterwards. To use, you’ll scoop some of the crystals into a bowl of water and use it as a rinse. The main hurdles here are label creation and printing, determining pricing, and creating the listing. I hope to launch this in a month or so.
Brown & Black Herbal Hair Colors
This free response made my day:
I have been looking for the perfect henna and indigo mix to color my hair and you’re one of the only sources I trust to get it right. Plus, everything you make is magic (you must be part elf).
These are (in the most technical of senses) already a thing as I do them as custom requests. The steps to bring these to full-market (having specific, named colors with their own packaging and instructions) aren’t in high enough demand to put them to the forefront of the queue. What I think I’ll do in the mid-term however, is make a specific listing through which to request a custom brown blend, and a custom black blend. The main hurdle here is creating either a second brochure/instructions set/insert to go with the current instruction brochure for henna-based blends. I expect to have this sorted in the next couple months.
We’re getting pretty far out in development at this point, but of the remaining products with the most interest I think solid perfumes are the most promising. There were a lot of free-responses pertaining to these, but here were some that best expressed the overall sentiment.
I’m super pumped about the idea of having a solid perfume because I LOVE the scents of the signature oils & would love to be able to carry them with me to touch up throughout the day with more ease than the sprays. (I’d also really love just concentrated perfume oils of the signature blends! Doesn’t need to be solids!)
I really LOVE your hair oils. They’ve become part of my daily routine because I love the smell of them. They are like aromatherapy and put a smile on my face. Unfortunately I use the hair oil so much because of the amazing smell that my hair gets a little too oily sometimes. I really would enjoy some of the same scents in solid perfume form. I really enjoy the earthy forest scents. <3
Ideally, I could create the base in little tins and then just warm one up enough to blend in the essential oils and make them per order that way. This also lets me double-up on already created work (the existing essential oil blends).
The good news is that nothing is off the table so if you haven’t seen your favorite product listed so far, don’t fret. All of these are still products I’d like to come out with at some point. The main thing to remember is that any totally new product line takes an immense amount of work to develop. A great example of this is my Selkie Herbal Hair Detangler: it took almost two years to develop and launch. By contrast, Enyo took about three weeks because I was already very familiar with henna blends.
- Shampoos: I love the idea of soapnuts, but know they’re not very strong. I love the idea of a whipped shampoo, but it’s mostly soap and I don’t want to offer a shampoo that isn’t pH balanced. I think something in the middle would be ideal as that’d be a totally unique product. I’ve already done some experimentation for both of these, but it’s going to be a long road until I have something to test with customers.
- Lip Balms: This market is super-saturated and while I adore the idea of using beeswax and honey from my own bees, I’m skeptical of being able to develop something unique that also has a good return on investment and development.
- Hair Spray: There was a lot of free response feedback on this one, and I included it in the survey based on a customer suggestion. I have literally zero experience with this sort of product, and I think it’d be an uphill battle to come up with a natural spray that didn’t have all the drying agents that make people hate traditional ones. This one I’ll probably let roll around in the back of my mind for awhile.
- Fermented Rice Water Kit: This one is actually fairly low-effort to bring to market, but I’m not sure people knew what it was or why you’d want to use it. It’s also a pretty easy DIY project (the instructions are in Rehabilitating Damaged Hair Naturally). I might make a few for give-aways and see how they’re received and then go from there 🙂
- International Signature Oil Subscription: This one isn’t hard to bring to market, but suffers from low demand and high shipping costs. The most effective way to do this would be to offer the next 3-4 oils in advance, but that ‘ruins’ the surprise for the US-based customers that have them come out once a month. It’d also require me to conceptualize, mix, and package oils months before I need them for US-based customers. I also already get a lot of criticism about international shipping rates (e.g. “The shipping cost for this is more than the item itself!” as if the two are somehow correlated, or, even if they were, as if I had any control over it). This was part of the reason I didn’t offer an international subscription option right away, because while international customers obviously pay more for shipping, I thought seeing a 3-month seasonal pack for $15 more than the US version would just make people salty. All that said, there IS interest in it so I’d love to work with my international customers to come up with something that makes everyone as happy as possible.
- Natural Dye Remover: Some interest in this one, but not a ton, so while it might arrive eventually, it’s very back-burnered.
Whew! That’s everything! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. If you have any questions or suggestions you’re always also welcome to drop me a line either here or on Etsy!