nice+sexy Lotion Bars Newsletter 01/2019


The first edition of nice+sexy lotion bars newsletter (01/2019) is available for download right now. Get it here (in pdf version): nice+sexy newsletter 01-2019

In it, we talk about how nice+sexy lotion bars were inspired, how you can use lotion bars and incorporate it into your daily beauty and skincare routine, and how you can order a box to try it out.

The response that we got since we started to produce the lotion bars in September 2018 has exceeded our wildest expectations.  nice+sexy lotion bars are yet to be made commercially available but we are pleased to let you know that we are now working to bring in investors, shortlisting a manufacturing facility that can meet our requirements and getting all the necessary certification and analysis needed for us to get the product into beauty store shelves (or Lazada!) later in the year.

At the moment, the nice+sexy lotion bars will still be 100% handmade. In order to meet demands and ensure we have the ingredients imported and delivered at the right time, we have decided that a new batch will be brewed every two (2) weeks. The production calendar will be posted in our instagram @lotionbarsandstuff soon. Keep a lookout so that you don’t miss the order deadline. We would love to be able to produce the lotion bars in big batches but we do not have proper storage facilities for the raw materials. So, in order to maintain our lotion bars’ quality, safety and hygiene, we decided to remain small-scale til further notice.

Bespoke orders will continue to be 100% handmade til the end of time so that we can give each order the tlc that it needs.

Give us your feedback and let us know if there is anything you would like us to cover in our next issue of the newsletter. Looking forward to hear from you!

~the team from nice+sexy lotion bars

What Would Be Your Strategy to …….?


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During meet-and-greet sessions, I am always asked this question.

“If we hire your company as our consultant, what would be your strategy to help us ……?

The blank part could be any of these:

  1. raise awareness about our brand.
  2. increase sales.
  3. promote positive corporate culture.
  4. ….and so on.

I am sure when you go to job interviews, you get these kind of questions too.

My answer has always been the same: I am unable to answer that adequately  until I understand the company and industry better and been given a briefing on its challenges, KPIs, strategic and business goals and its immediate and mid-term marketing direction.

For example, if the company wants to promote its new e-commerce platform — for the sake of this post, let’s call it ShopNow — I need to know what’s happening in the e-commerce landscape, how is ShopNow better than its competitors, what is it that ShopNow want to achieve first:

(a) Get more vendors to sign up as sellers?
(b) Get more people to come to ShopNow and browse?
(c) Create word-of-mouth for ShopNow so that people start talking about it and recognize it as a brand?
(d) Get more people to buy from ShopNow vendors?

There is no blanket strategy that can cover everything; and there is no on-the-spot answers that can adequately cover these either. I think anyone who tries to answer this off-the-cuff is doing the company a disservice as they would not have enough information to answer it adequately. Or, they will use big words to try to appear clever. Listen carefully and you will realize that these are just words.

On the other hand, you, too, should not be asking this question in order to assess an agency’s suitability for your company. You can ask them for their opinion on where they think the industry is headed (this will tell you if the agency has taken the trouble to at least research the industry you are in) or what the agency think is the biggest challenge in creating brand recognition in a market where new products are born every second (this will tell you if they are aware of market conditions that consumers are facing every day). These will give you a taste of their strategic hat and whether they are genuinely interested in the company (not just in the money that you can pay them!).

When formulating a communications strategy that supports brand growth and marketing KPIs, writing articles and getting the press to publish it or organizing press events are actually a very small component of the whole machinery. I’ve had clients coming to me and saying things like “Agency A came up with a very good idea and proposed that we do a roundtable with the press,” and I always have to pull them back gently and ask “But what is the topic that we want to discuss at the roundtable? Why would this topic be interesting to the intended audience? What do we want to achieve from it? How does this roundtable support the overall business goals?”

Lots of people are interested in the “what can we do” but not enough on the “why do we do?”. As a result, communications team is always seen to be working alone or doing its own thing instead of working together with the marketing and executive teams. More often than not this leads to communications department becoming a service provider or a “vendor” to the marketing team (“Hello Comms Dept, please write a press release for our new product.”) rather than a consultative, strategic partner (“Hello Comms Dept, can we meet up to discuss about the launch and publicity strategy for our new product?”).

Obviously there are many ways to skin a cat. However, asking “What would be your strategy to help us ……?” should not be the magic question upon which you decide if an agency (or potential employee) is right for you.

Focus on the WHY, not on the WHAT. Asking the right questions are just as important as getting the right answers.

Key Opinion Leaders vs Social Influencers


In recent times, I find the confusion between Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and social influencers (SI) increasing. To me, KOLs are certainly social influencers; however, social influencers are not necessarily KOLs. Yet many equate the two as being one and the same (like how in the past people used to confuse Public Relations with Advertising).

KOLs are respected leaders in the field, or industry or the subject matter at hand. In many instances, their opinion cannot be bought — they support a brand, cause, activity or charity because they believe in it, not because they are paid to hawk it. Whenever they use their platform to advocate or debate, the intention is always to educate, raise awareness, clear confusion or shine a light on a matter that they are passionate about or things that they are experts at. For example, a KOL won’t advocate a particular brand of running shoes, but will advocate running and the importance of choosing the right shoes if running is your thing.

SIs on the other hand, are people with a captive audience (be it on social media or in real life). While not all SIs do this, most sell their opinions for a living so, typically, their glowing recommendation for a product or service or their presence at your events can be bought. They don’t necessarily have to be the subject matter expert or the leaders in the industry, but they certainly wield power over their audience’s opinion and purchase decisions. So, they may advocate running, and in addition to that they may also state that they use this brand or that brand (whether they are paid to do it or not) and reasons why these brands resonate with their lifestyles as that’s what social influencers do — they influence people to covet their lifestyle and aspire to be like them.

How do you differentiate the two and choose what’s right for you?

Consider these examples.

Through his ‘Not Our Watch’ campaign about the genocide in Sudan, George Clooney is a KOL and uses his position and infamy to bring attention and advocate and influcence his audience to contribute significant funds towards lifesaving, humanitarian, and emergency programs in the Darfur region.

In his work with Nespresso, George Clooney is an SI, promoting the product and becoming the global brand ambassador for its advertising campaigns. At the same time, he serves as a member of the Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board, collaborating on ideas and solutions towards improving the lives and futures of coffee farmers. But whether he is a KOL in the board and can influence pricing policies and purchase decisions for Nespresso, I don’t know. What is certain is that when (and if) he speaks about sustainability pratices for coffee farmers, he could only speak on behalf of Nespresso, but cannot do so on behalf of fairtrade farmers in general. Well, he can, but will people listen?

There are merits for using both. But don’t confuse them as using the wrong one may not bring results, or worse, it may hurt your brand!