Leveraging the Expertise of Niche Brands

Paul Thompson

Director of Education, Make-up Designory

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Leveraging the Expertise of Niche Brands

Paul Thompson:
Hi, Chris. Thank you for having me. I really, really am honored to do the summit and I really enjoyed Parker’s presentation just now, so that was really, really great.

Chris Linford:
Yeah, take it away.

Paul Thompson:
I am going to share my screen. All right, so right off the bat, my name’s Paul Thompson and yes, Chris, thank you so much for having me.

My presentation today and part of the presentation today was really trying to figure out how to help schools in this endeavor to be better and what can we offer that might help you with that. So what I really wanted to talk about was leveraging a niche brand for your school, taking advantage of the different opportunities and things that a brand can bring to your school and some of the cool things that you might take advantage of.


Who is MUD?

So there we go. So first I thought I’d talk about makeup designory. And makeup designory, we’ve been a makeup school, makeup company, cosmetic manufacturer for the past 25 years. Our focus on education and product development has really made us kind of a leader in makeup education in the last 25 years.

We have schools and we work with cosmetology schools all over the world from in Africa and Europe and Asia. We’re very well diversified in the number of schools that we’re working with. And we do work with a lot of schools here in the United States on their makeup applications or their makeup offerings or even offering makeup programs and such.

A big part of what we’ve done and what makes us the most proud is our student achievements, of course. And on the screen right now, you’re seeing just a handful of the types of shows our students have been working on. Our focus from the very beginning really was in the entertainment industry and it’s grown into bridal and fashion and retail environments and through our partner schools and through our help with partner schools, we have had lots and lots of students nominated for awards, for an Academy award. We’ve had students nominated for Emmy Awards and Guild Awards. Guild Awards are Union awards. And just recently we had a partner school student for the first time nominated for a Guild Award and they ended up winning that award. So that was truly exciting.

Why Work With a Niche Brand?

All right, so why work with the niche brand? What’s the whole purpose of this? And just on a side note, to touch on what Parker was saying, none of my images are AI-generated. These are all real people with real hands and real hair, so that makes your life a lot easier.

But why would you work with another brand or work with a small niche brand with your school? Well, there’s really four real reasons why you would do this. First of all, marketing. Typically, brands that are developing a cosmetic line or developing really anything that you might be using or teaching in your class typically are going to generate content.

And typically all of this content is going to be available to you to use. And I’m going to talk specifically about us because I know what we do for schools and we have a really robust marketing department that develops content for our schools that they can use in social media, that they can use on their websites, they can use in pictures and advertising around the school, flyers.

“There’s just a tremendous amount of content that you can use from a company and typically because you’re in a partner relationship with that company, you’re not having to pay for that content separately. It’s just part of the package.”

The other thing that is good for your school would be for the product expertise, knowing what that product is going to be. In our case, it’s going to be makeup being able to support your teachers as your students and so on. It should come with curriculum and education and things that you can use in the classroom, content that you can use for your presentations to help teachers deliver better lessons to elevate what the student is actually learning about in that particular niche market. And then, of course, training for your teachers, training for your students.


And let’s start with actual marketing. So all of this stuff that you’re seeing right here are promotional materials that we typically provide to our studios and our partner schools that help them to sell classes or and get people in to do services. And this is something that you should really look for and expect from a partner when you’re dealing with a niche brand. Really with any brand that you’re really working with.

The other aspect of this, and I’ll go past that, is that there should also be some product type advertising that you can do. Stuff again, you could have up in the front of your school, there can be product specific things that you can do for your clients, such as eyebrow touch ups, or I’m throwing out a lot of things that we do just because I know our company. But anytime you’re working with a brand, there should be ways to promote that product and then ultimately ways for that product to bring people into your school.

Product Expertise

Beyond the marketing, it’s again, like I was talking about, product expertise. As a brand that’s focused on one area, in our case, makeup, you really want that brand to be the expert and you want that brand to provide this knowledge about the product and bring that knowledge into your school through information, through documentation, through working with your teachers directly, working with your students directly, perhaps maybe through some sort of online resource.

So there should always be some way that we can bring in the expertise of the products, the expertise on how to use those things and how to create that. And then additionally, you should be able to source it. So oftentimes what happens in a school is that when we’re looking to do a class or we’re looking to do something that is just a one off.

So for example, we’re talking about a makeup course. You wanted to do just a makeup class in your school. You’d have to hire a teacher, you’d have to have them develop the curriculum, you’d have to have them figure out which products to buy and then go and source all those products and then bring all that in and so on.

Oftentimes when working with a single company, you can bring all of that in for just the purchase of the products. Curriculum would be included. It makes it very easy for you to actually order the products. You’re not having to search all over the internet or search all over for the various things that somebody would like to buy. You can just bring in a single kit.

And again, there should be marketing with that material. There should be product knowledge with that material and a line. A product line should be able to, and the vast majority of product lines are going to be able to do this, give you information that is going to help your teachers and your students to be experts in those areas.

One of the things that you can also do is a product line can also assemble everything into a single kit, which makes your ordering process a lot easier. It makes the gathering of the materials much easier. You don’t have the problem of the students saying, “Oh, I got this product but no one ever taught me how to use it.” It’s all included. The kit, the product knowledge, all of that stuff would be part of the leveraging of that brand and that brand should be able to deliver on that.

Cirriculum & Education

So let’s get into an area. Not all brands do this. They offer some things is something we really do specialize in being an education company. Curriculum and education is something that as a school can be very, very beneficial. So if you wanted, for example, to offer a makeup program with us, you could very easily bring in a full curriculum, bring in a full program if you wanted. You could offer classes that were embedded into existing programs. You could offer standalone classes that were available to students or to clients.

There’s just a multitude of ways that you could offer the curriculum and education. It typically, a niche brand like ours, it’s going to develop that curriculum. It’s going to answer all of those questions like, what are the objectives of the curriculum? What is the student will know at the end? It will define what those products are that you need in the class.

And in the case of us, it’s making a product purchase and all of this is just included. So this is a real value add to a school because you’re not having to do anything with just the product purchase, which you’re already having to buy for students anyway.

“You’re getting a professional product, you’re getting curriculum and education that really helps them learn whatever it is that you’re wanting to teach them. And then ultimately you’re getting all this marketing support that helps you sell all those things and sell your regular classes. And again, just is a big value add to the school overall.”

And these are just images of the work that are being done at partner schools and our studios as well as our main campuses. As I was teasing before, none of these are AI and typically when you are working with a brand like ours, you really, really should expect high quality images and stuff that goes along with the making of really things that are going to help you sell that course and really help you make that course much more meaningful.


And then additionally, you’re going to have training. Training should be a big part of what you should expect from a small brand or from a niche brand that is going to support you. The training, faculty training, student demos, online support, faculty support, materials, things of this nature are things that really should come with most partnerships. And in our case, we do have faculty training for some of our bigger programs.

So if you’re interested in doing a bigger program with MUD, you get this big faculty training aspect. But we also have online training that is really, really specific to small kits and so you can very easily add a small kit and comes with a little bit of teacher training, comes with an online component for students.
It allows students to get on their phone and or iPad and interact, take quizzes and see demos and see lectures that are outside of the classroom. So it just really expands on the makeup education that you might offer. It also, or in the case of any niche brand expands on the education that you’re already doing in class and then it just adds to it.

Looking Into Niche Brands

Really, when you’re looking at niche brands, when you’re really trying to take your school to the next level and when you’re looking at the types of brands that you want to work with, they really should encompass all four training, marketing, curriculum and education for your faculty and curriculum for your school. And then of course, product expertise and all the support that comes with that product support and so on. So it really takes that application or that thing to the next level if you will.

Contact MUD For More Info!

All right. If you’re at all interested in MUD or anything that you had questions for me, you’re welcome to scan the QR code and you can figure out, you get your questions answered there. I thought now I would open it up to questions and see what questions you guys might have and let us know. Maybe I can just answer some of your questions here.

Chris Linford:
Looks like we got some questions in the chat, Paul. Can you see the chat?

Paul Thompson:
I’m trying to operate the screen here. Yes, I can see the chat. Yes.

Chris Linford:
Looks like Sammy says, “Could you take someone with no experience as a makeup artist and get them to a trainer level and how long would that take?”

Paul Thompson:
So yes, depending on the training that you would take from us, we have a 50-hour teacher training program that takes a teacher, someone that’s an experienced teacher, typically an esthetician, but can be a cosmetologist and converts them also into a makeup artist and makes them enough of an expert to be able to teach very well the makeup techniques and skills that we would be showing your students. That training is 50 hours typically. We can do that online. We have done it live in person at our schools with teachers if you were close enough by, but we also do it online.

Chris Linford:
Got it. People are interested. They want to know if you still partner with schools.

Paul Thompson:
Yes, we do have schools that we’re working with. I see. Mr. Gross is asking which student won the Guild Award? That Guild Award, that student was from Salon Success Academy. Jeff, you should be very, very proud of your grad.

Let’s see. So one of the things that we would like to do is we would like to give away our health and safety class to all of the attendees. We can also include all of their students in that health and safety giveaway as well. Pre-pandemic we, or mid-pandemic we created a health and safety class for makeup artists. It’s a three hour, two and a half hour online course that walks them through a lot of the things that you guys probably already teach, but it’s really specific to the makeup artist and we would love to give that away for free for anybody who wants it.

Chris Linford:
That’s awesome. Look in the chat. There’s a link with the coupon code, so generous and awesome. Thanks for doing that, Paul.

Paul Thompson:
Yeah, no problem. Other questions?

Chris Linford:
“Do you offer MUD to all schools or only limited to territories?”

Paul Thompson:
No, we offer MUD to all schools and we have different tiers of classes and levels for schools to be a part of MUD. There is our full partner school level, which incorporates a very robust 50-hour training. It has that marketing support and so on. But we also have the fundamentals program that I know Chris, you guys are very aware of.

The fundamentals program is a small 21-hour curriculum that comes with an online training for teachers as well as a online component for students to use and use in class. And all that required for that is just the kit purchase for the student. So there’s a $650 value on that class. So students get to see that $650 value and then they get to take it for free because they’re affiliated with your school and stuff. So there’s a couple different ways that you can be a partner with us.

Chris Linford:
Awesome. All right. I think everybody gave some love to Paul in the chat. Paul, thank you so much. We appreciate you.

Paul Thompson:
Chris. Thank you so much. I’m sorry if I was off on my timing at all here. I meant to start a timer, but I didn’t.

Chris Linford:
You’re right on time. We’re good.

Paul Thompson:
Perfect. Okay, great. Thank you, Chris. I appreciate you having me.