What’s in a name?

- February 12, 2018 3 MIN READ

When a legal stoush forced Kayla Houlihan to rebrand her skin care business, the online retailer turned to personalised packaging to save the day!

When customers at her Geelong beauty salon began complaining about the dearth of vegan Australian-made, natural, cruelty free products, Kayla Houlihan listened. The inspiring young entrepreneur decided to deliver the goods herself and after months of development launched her own line of beauty products, aimed at those with problem skin.

“It was often because they were using really harsh chemicals on their skin,” Houlihan explains. “We looked around for Australian-made alternatives but couldn’t find anything that met all our criteria.  So, we decided to create our own brand from scratch in response to what the clients said they were needing.”

we decided to create our own brand from scratch

After around six months of testing, Houlihan was satisfied with the results and started to bring her all natural Australian-made cruelty free product to the market.

Initial success was met with a hiccup, when Houlihan’s brand name (then, Lifesaver Skincare) was challenged for trademark infringement and ordered to cease and desist. Several months into manufacture and operation, the fledgling brand was forced into a name change.

Tribe Skin Care rose phoenix like out of the fire and Houlihan began the process of rebranding and relaunching her product. Six months on and Tribe Skin Care is going gangbusters. Houlihan describes the legal kerfuffle as challenging but explains that in some ways it was the best thing to happen to her business.

“It initially gave us quite a lot of exposure as everyone was wondering what we would do with the brand next,” she says. “But it certainly was a challenging time.”


Houlihan tells Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) the rebrand really forced her to up the ante on her marketing. With no bricks and mortar store to drive awareness, she began a push to increase her brand’s presence online and invested in personalised branding for her packaging to take the brand name offline and into her customers’ homes.

“It has really had a huge impact on sales and customer satisfaction with the brand,” she tells KBB.

“We show the customer unboxing experience through our social media. So people know they aren’t just going get a bottle wrapped in bubble wrap. We show off the custom boxes. We now have custom bags as well and it really helps with purchases. Especially if someone is purchasing our products as a gift. They know that it is going to arrive at the other end really well presented.”

According to Houlihan, the unboxing phenomenon plays a large stake in her repeat business.

“There are a lot of studies that show that when you deliver your product in a memorable way to your customer, they are a lot more likely to repurchase from your store.”

In fact, Houlihan tells KBB the exposure she gets from people unboxing her product and posting to Instagram is marketing gold.

“That’s another thing you find with really good packaging. People are a lot more likely to re-post. We find a lot of customers put their unboxing experience on Instagram. We get a lot of Instagram stories. It works very well.”
Houlihan is continually looking for ways to expand her brand’s presence offline and suggests any online retailer wanting to make an impact should definitely consider personalised packaging as a marketing tool.

“It’s a 100 per cent must for an online business. You don’t have a storefront… You don’t get to meet the customer in person. It’s a way to make a connection with them and show a customer that they are special and the brand is special. It adds such value for your brand and at a relatively low cost.”

Houlihan is continuing to expand Tribal Skin Care’s range and has her eyes set on developing a travel set of products.

“We are just in the process of working out what the unboxing experience for that might be,” she says. “Perhaps something along the theme of a passport or airline ticket…We want it to be memorable… And people really do love packaging!” she laughs.

Discover how Australia Post can assist you with your branding and personalised packaging solutions and uncover more ways we can help you fulfil your small business needs.