As the saying goes, word of mouth is the best form of advertising. After experiencing that truth firsthand, one recent startup turned to direct sales to harness the power of personal promotion.
Jasmina Aganovic began developing skincare company Bona Clara with the intention of selling products through retail outlets like Sephora. However, she soon found that the primary drivers of the business were the women who shared the line of anti-aging products via word of mouth.
With that realization, the 26-year-old MIT grad began to explore direct sales. “This was not the direction that I thought the brand was going to go in,” Aganovic said. “But someone suggested I look into it, and as I looked into the history, I started to get excited.”
The women who used the products would largely refer friends to the company’s website. To integrate these unofficial brand ambassadors into the business, Bona Clara offered the opportunity for representatives to earn a 30 percent commission on all orders processed through their individual websites.
“This had everything to do with the women who were selling the product,” Aganovic said. “I wanted to thank them and give back to them because they were helping to grow the brand.”