Gummy Bears for hair… is Instagram the perfect market for new products to flourish?

Hi Smile, Waist Trainer, Sugar Bear Hair and many other new to market products have enjoyed unbelievably fast success and they all have one thing in common … Instagram. The products are also all beauty based and it is their Marketing Offer of Product, Price and Place from Booms & Bitner marketing mix of 7 ps, that has them kicking goals in this virtual world. Instagram has over 1 billion daily users, 71% of US businesses, 83% of Instagrammers discover new products on Instagram and 80% of Instagrammers decide to buy a product on Instagram. Male vs female users are quite even and Instagram is now stretching into older age groups with 7.4% of users aged 45-54 according to Statista. The numbers look good and the market is big, so is Instagram the perfect market for new products to launch into success?


We are living in the world of start-ups, disruptors and new to market products, product development has become more than just what does the product do.  Sugar Bear Hair is a new to market product, vitamins for your hair in the form of gummy bears. Interestingly it is not FDA approved, in fact it has been found that the vitamins contained in Sugar Bear Hair are either far too low or far too high. They are safe to consume, but are likely to be ineffective unless you have a vitamin deficiency and a simple substitute could be your daily food intake.  The product sells in spite of the above, as it fulfils the needs and wants of the consumer, because the consumer is buying into the entire product offer as depicted in the ‘Experience’ tier of the Garrison Group Brand Pyramid. Sugar Bear Hair is providing the crucial ‘Experience’ of the consumer from the packaging, flavour, perceived health benefits and most importantly being part of the Sugar Bear Hair community. It is all very ‘Emotionally’ rewarding to the consumer. It is so much more than vitamins, it is a lifestyle choice of glamour, beauty and health they are buying.


Sugar Bear Hair is priced at a $1 per day, but the vitamin content could be replicated for less than half that. So, the price point is very high for this product. Why is this price point critical? Because it goes hand in hand with Sugar Bear Hair’s product strategy of perceived high quality, high end experience and the convenience of having everything you need wrapped up in a delicious gummy bear. The Pricing Strategy Matrix has them positioned in the ‘Premium’ space, high price high quality. Although their ingredient concerns could put them in the ‘Skimming’ space with high price low quality, but this does not fit the total offer. The price supports the premium aesthetics, concept and experience the product is giving the consumer. It is expensive compared to just buying vitamins, but it may be considered value when it comes with the Sugar Bear Hair experience.

Fast Tracking

New Product Development needs to understand the product life cycle and potential success of the how quickly a new product will penetrate the market. As mentioned before users of Instagram are sourcing new product and deciding on buy it on Instagram. So, Instagram has the powerful proposition to fast track consumers into the Early Majority Phase according to Trendjackers by a brand paying influencers to act as the innovators and early adopter consumers in Rogers ‘The Diffusion of Innovations Theory. Essentially, the influencers can push the brand on Instagram to their followers, fast tracking the product life cycle forward into Early Majority phase. Hence, the substantial growth that can be achieved when a new product uses the Instagram platform with a marketing offer of a seemingly functional product, glamour lifestyle and experience.


Instagram has limitations with some consumers thinking it is unethical, it is narcissistic and there are more than 6 billion consumers that are not on Instagram. However, users are increasing daily and getting broader in age and interests. Also, I have not touched on manufacturing or logistics, but these will need to perform well for any large-scale business to succeed in selling in the virtual world. Is Instagram perfect? Well it may not be completely perfect. With so many elements of what is crucial to the success of a new product in today’s market, especially a lifestyle product, it comes pretty close. So, there may be some limitations on which goods and services are best suited to Instagram today, but all businesses should be aware of the possible benefits of Instagram and the followers that may be waiting to be fast tracked into buying your product now or in the very near future.

Peter Oates

24th August, 2019


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