‘Product marketing’ and ‘nail polish’ go in the same sentence?


You heard me.

A nail polish brand just out-PMM’d all of we PMM’s.

Here we are, all standing on our ‘customer research’ soap boxes, and totally missing the ball on connecting the dots between KYC (know your customer) and naming/messaging our products…well, at least as good as Trust Fund Beauty, that is.

A nail polish company to bring out the ‘rich bitch’ in everyone

As a lover of the finest things life has to offer, Samara Granofsky created Trust Fund Beauty out of a desire to bring out the rich bitch in everyone. Launching in February 2014, Trust Fund Beauty is a line of carefully curated colours from tongue-in-cheek collections like “Heiress”, “Prenup” and “Celebutant”, to name a few. Shades range from pearlescent nude to petal pink, from screaming reds to radiant orchids, and everything in between.

But what else makes the line stand out? Well, for one, the polishes are not only gorgeous and long-lasting, they also have witty, unique names like ‘Epic Tantrum’, ‘Stole your Man’, ‘Sex Tape’, and ‘Do you know who my Father is?’. This was especially important for Sam and her friends, who will “put a nail polish down if they don’t like the name of it.” Trust Fund Beauty is marketed to fabulous, smart women, so it’s only logical that the names of the polish be whip-smart and funny, instead of hippy-dippy or boring and flowery.

Who knew nail polish could be so much fun? Perhaps I should get out of software…

Customer data…from Instagram?

Who doesn’t love/envy/hate (all at the same time) the #richkidsofinstagram? I’m sitting on a plane right now (in coach, because my upgrade didn’t clear), and I’ve got to admit…this #richkidofinstagram’s ride definitely beats mine.

We all (hopefully) know our target market since “everyone” is not a valid answer. At Infusionsoft, we sliced and diced our data better than Benihana and came up with a good/better/best bullseye. Thanks to this tool, I can tell you with 94% accuracy whether a customer will churn out based on:

  • Their annual revenues
  • Their marketing budget
  • How many people are in their contact list
  • How many employees they have
  • How long they’ve been in business

Granted, those things are very specific to our business (and small business as a whole). Target market ‘bumper lanes’ will be different for every industry, company and product. But the point is, we KNOW our target market.

Trust Fund Beauty knows their target market because of effective research.

Here’s the kicker. TFB’s real target market isn’t the #richkidsofinstagram…it’s those who WANT to be the #richkidsofinstagram. Would (and do) the #richkidsofinstagram want to buy TFB polish? Sure. But there’s a lot more of we poors than those spoiled kids. Good news though, is that the same type of messaging resonates with both sides of the market. Talk about hitting the jackpot.

When it comes to naming, messaging and marketing, it’s really easy for TFB to whip that up. Why? They just look at whatever the #richkidsofinstagram are doing. They can clone, tweak, make fun of and market it to the aspirational side of the market. Done. That kind of alignment results in hilarious and resonant shades like:



Messaging that’s finger lickin’ good…oh wait, they’re still drying.

Alignment to customer personas is king when it comes to messaging. And Trust Fund Beauty…Kale’d It.

Paint on some pricing science

But it doesn’t stop there. Turns out TFB knows how to price. Who would have thought there are parallels for we product marketers in polish? Check out these tactics.


Bundling is a tried and true product marketing tactic for software. Buy the core offering, then tack on some follow-up services or products at a small discount. TFB bundled 3 of their popular neutral colors and discounted it by $2.

Decision pricing

For those customers who are on the fence and like what they see, but don’t know what to go with or are afraid of a large commitment (initially or when purchasing additional product), meet them where they are and help them help themselves. TFB put together a pack of 6 popular colors in smaller bottles for only $28. By comparison, 2 regular sized bottles would run you $24, and 6 regular sized bottles would cost over $72.

In this case, the tactic has two benefits.

  1. It removes the fear associated with risk- choosing incorrectly, buying one color and resenting the purchase later
  2. For the value seeker, who can argue with such variety at a low price? This makes it easy to capture value buyers AND let existing customers try something new, opening the chance that you will be able to capture a deeper share of wallet from those customers

Aspirational pricing

Want to boost your margins? Segment with premium products and then price skim as you slide down the demand curve. Also, create artificial shortages to boost that demand curve even higher.

Here, TFB releases two limited edition collections AND prices them $3 higher than their normal $12 bottles. Often times, a little bit of dissonance in the buyer’s mind is all they need to opt for the higher-priced item out of fear of missing out. …or as the #richkidsofinstagram would say, #FOMO


What’s better than revenue? Recurring revenue. TFB thought of that, too.

With their “Get Spoiled Monthly” club, you can stay rich and ready for Instagram no matter if you’re on the yacht, the jet or the Maybach.


The bottom line

  • As a product marketer, look for learnings, parallels and ideas outside of software
  • If you want messaging that makes people pull out their wallet for a “Credit Card Workout,” know your market
  • Don’t overlook your pricing- it’s easy to leave revenue on the table by not having something for everyone or chasing a deeper share of wallet
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