What’s Best and Next in Exclusive Beauty Brands 5/29/2015
Strategy #1: Utilizing an International Proven Performer
Walgreens began the year by launching the Boots No 7 brand in all their flagship stores and extended the Boots brands throughout the year into additional formats. Taking Best Practices from the Alliance Boots playbook, the Boots No 7 brand was launched with full merchandising and beauty advisor support. While the Boots’ brands are not exclusive to Walgreens, the brands will be executed with exclusive marketing support.
Strategy #2: Line Extension or Restage of a Beauty Brand into Current Categories
CVS continues to support their proprietary brand, Nuance, with 23 innovative line extensions in their current categories of hair care and skin care. These new products provide an opportunity for new beauty consumers to discover the brand or for current users to try new formulations. Each new item has a natural ingredient that drives the reason to believe. In addition, there is additional marketing communication focus on the overall natural ingredient story. Permanent displays have been seen in store, in addition to placement on shelf by category.
Essence of Beauty, another CVS proprietary beauty brand, was restaged in late 2013 with new packaging, on trend complex fragrances, and a new marketing campaign. This beauty brand has been a successful and affordable bath and body brand that originally offered consumers an alternative to the more expensive Bath and Body Works type products. In the fall, the brand was further extended to a full aromatherapy line. Like the aromatherapy line in Bath and Body Works, the Essence of Beauty line extension comes in 3 scent collections, 7 skus each, in Lemon Verbena, Lavender and Eucalyptus.
Strategy #3: Extending a Beauty Brand into New Categories
Target is an innovator in the beauty space - willing to try new beauty brands and concepts. Target’s first and longest-standing designer collaborator, Sonia Kashuk arrived at Target in 1999 as a successful makeup artist brand. The line was expanded in November 2013, with full launch support in 2014. The 24-sku bath and body collection features body butter, hand crème, shower gel, perfume and comes in four scents: Red Promisia, Purple Seductia, Pink Innocencia and Yellow Alluriana. The line ranges in price from $4.99 to $19.99 for an eau de toilette.
Drew Barrymore’s Walmart exclusive brand, FLOWER, continued to expand in 2014 with line extensions in fragrance and cosmetic bags. In October 2014, the FLOWER collection expanded in-stores and online with three fragrances. The selected scents, “Cherished,” “Radiant” and “Sultry” are described as a combination of “scents that capture the joy of life and love, in all of its meanings” which coincides with Barrymore’s positive approach to beauty. Beautiful fragrance gift sets were curated for the Holiday season. Additionally, matching cosmetic bags were also on sale in time for holiday gift giving.
Strategy # 4: Building an Exclusive Beauty Brand on an Ingredient Trend
Argan Oil is one of the hottest ingredient trends in beauty. A global trend that started in the prestige beauty class of trade with the Moroccan Oil salon brand has exploded into brands, line extensions and new products. Launched exclusively at Rite Aid in June, the Oil Essentials brand from Emilia Personal Care, is a total solution product line of 6 luxurious multi-purpose beauty oils for hair, face and body. Made with natural and sustainable blends of eco-cert essential oils and fortified with an advanced anti-aging Luxmeadow E™ Complex. The line is also free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates and synthetic colors. This line appeals to women of all ages. www.oilessentialsbeauty.com
Strategy # 5: Mainstreaming Prestige Beauty Brands as a Portfolio to Reach Diversified Beauty Consumers
In March 2014, Target once again broke traditional barriers by executing a new beauty strategy in hopes of appealing to their diversified guest population. Target did this by bringing in prestige beauty brands that already have built in awareness and made those products available at an affordable price. One brand that has a cult-like following is Carol’s Daughter. This brand is a 20+ year old natural beauty brand, and launched in stores and online with 21 hair care skus ranging in price from $9 to $15. Target will be the exclusive retailer to carry the Carol’s Daughter Sacred Tiare Collection, which is designed to stop breakage and smooth frizz at the same time. The collection features sulfate-free shampoo, fortifying conditioner, hair mask, leave-in conditioner, styling cream and smoothing serum. Products range from $12 - $15.
Strategy #6: Support with Influencer Marketing
Originally launched in 2012, the b-leve beauty brand is found in fine grocery retailers like Giant Eagle, Spartan, Stater Bros, Big Y, Hy-Vee, Coborn and more. Ongoing marketing is pivotal for exclusive beauty brands to drive awareness and trial to new and current users. In 2014, the beauty advisors at Giant Eagle, who are true brand advocates for the b-leve brand, executed a successful sampling and gift promotion with purchase. With a range of hair care, face care, bath, body and beauty tools along with bath accessories, there is a lot to talk about. As a multi-benefit beauty brand, beauty mavens believe in this beauty brand and continue to try new products in the 100 sku brand. www.b-leve.com
What is next for the Beauty Category in 2015 and Beyond?
Creating a convincing and differentiated consumer choice in beauty that goes beyond the national brand equivalent and into more premium offerings is the future. Exclusive brands that can lead with the latest technology at an affordable price. Exclusive brands that emotionally connect with different consumer groups – whether it is the millennials, baby boomers or even the 70+ beauty consumer.
Many retailers in the U.S. have started brand development with different strategies. The white space for beauty is very individual and expands beyond a basic essential or one brand. The key to future category success for U.S. drug retailers is to create a destination or a collection of exclusive beauty brands that meet the needs of a broad range of women. The selection must be meaningful and true to the retailer’s distinctive position in the marketplace and then, for sustainable long term success, the brand must be maintained with continuous innovation and marketing support.