3 steps to greatness

Some brands have done a superb job of training their customers.

Clinique established the famous 3-step skincare system: cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize. Proactiv has a similar 3-step process for battling acne. Bare Escentuals’ famous “swirl, tap, buff” is another 3-step way to achieve a flawless complexion with mineral makeup.

People like things in threes. They also like clear steps because it provides a sense of control and understanding. The customer thinks, “I know what each product does and how they work together. I’m taking these specific steps to achieve better skin.”

The benefit is that once customers subscribe to your regimen, they have to replenish all three “necessary” products. This boosts UPT (units per transaction) and the average dollars spent per transaction. It also breeds loyal customers, especially for categories like skincare. Once a person finds something that works, they are likely to stick with it because the risk of switching (and possibly breaking out) is too risky.

You can then link-sell to other products. If the customer loves your cleanser/exfoliator/moisturizer, they are more likely to stay within your brand for eye cream, for example.

I’m sure there are many examples of 3-steps outside of personal care. Do you have any that come to mind?

Twitter: @winniekao

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