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  • Posted by: Christine Sech on Tuesday, November 15 2011 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

    AussieBig hair, big stores, big business. According to Euromonitor International, the U.S. hair care market generated revenues of $10 billion in 2010. Of that total, shampoo sales accounted for $2.1 billion and styling agents were $1.5 billion. A large proportion of these sales took place at mass-market retailers such as supermarkets/hypermarkets, drug stores, and club and dollar stores.

    The mass hair care market, an extension of the traditional salon market, often features products that are mid-tier versions of high-end, celebrity-inspired grooming solutions. These mass-market products offer a sea of colors, scents and ingredients to attract consumers with the promise of benefits similar to higher-priced salon staples.

    Growth of the mass hair care market is being fueled by consumers’ desire for value in their personal care products, particularly in the face of continued economic uncertainty. Yet, consumers don’t want to sacrifice performance for price; they expect these products to possess attributes such as sustainability, high performance and accessible functionality.

    ‘Mass’ Arena Allure
    The mass hair care market reaches large numbers of consumers of different ages, genders and needs, from the solution seekers to the personality expressers; the high-hair-involved to the “KISS” adherents; the budget-conscious to those willing to spend a bit more on their hair. It’s a forum for brands to talk to these diverse consumer groups in an accessible, non-intimidating environment.

    Sometimes the brand chatter at shelf can be overwhelming. Mass-market hair care companies produce multitudes of multi-benefit products – think botanicals to “big hair” – for multiple consumer demographics. That’s a lot of shampoo, conditioners, and styling products crowding store shelves and vying for attention.

    Ways In
    How can a hair care brand break through the mass-market clutter and achieve success at the checkout and in the home? By adopting a brand and design strategy that focuses on identifying a target consumer, delivering valued end benefits, and creating a brand experience and expression that connects with that consumer at multiple touch points.

    Three brand strategies that are being successfully leveraged in the mass hair care market are 1) going beyond function; 2) driving connection through personality; and 3) creating a holistic look and feel.

    Going beyond function: Find something you can deliver remarkably well and stick to it. However, know that this means more than function. Determine the essence of what your brand stands for in the hearts and minds of consumers because it will guide the entire consumer experience with your brand. Yes, a reassurance of function is necessary because consumers want to trust their purchase’s worth. But with so many brands in the market today, basing your brand messaging on technology or performance functions without giving consumers a meaningful emotional benefit is not a long-term strategy.

    Also, keep in mind that the purchase decision process is more emotional than rational. In hair care, brands like Rockaholic and got2b speak to consumers’ need to express themselves. These brands’ products aid in achieving not only the look, but the feeling of living (or, at least, aspirationally living) a rock-star lifestyle. Similarly, Yes To’s brand strategy includes a unique positioning of organic elements that are functionally and emotionally beneficial, brought to life in a simple, fresh aesthetic and whimsical personality that makes “natural” hip and desirable.

    Driving connection through personality: What’s your tone of voice? How would others describe your brand’s personality and attitude? A brand’s character allows it to communicate and connect with audiences on a more personal, emotive level. It gives people the chance to get to know the brand and helps to differentiate its messages from competitors’. A unique personality elevates consumers’ understanding of the brand proposition and creates a stronger connection, especially when its functional benefits are at parity with competitors. BedHead and Aussie are examples of brands that leverage their playful personalities to create an ownable voice in the market. Also, Herbal Essences features experiential positioning and a playful personality reinforced through color, graphics, collection naming and label copy.

    Creating a holistic look and feel: To achieve a holistic look and feel, a brand should bring to life its unique essence and personality in a manner that inspires a multi-sensory world. This world, along with distinctive assets, enables a brand to convey itself distinctly, consistently and cohesively. Keeping in mind how people engage, buy and commit to a brand and its products is important when considering how to create a holistic experience. Herbal Essences and Fructis reinforce their positioning and personality by consistently leveraging key elements such as color, graphic style, and tonality to link communication across touchpoints. Aussie leverages consumer insights and its unique brand essence to bring its look-tone-feel to life. Holistic and consistent communication has been key to the success of this brand.

    The Outlook
    Euromonitor notes that the U.S. hair care market growth is projected to increase just 1% from 2010-2015; to sustain and grow share in this challenging environment, hair care brands will need to create a powerful brand experience and expression that connects with mass-market consumers at multiple touchpoints. The process starts with truly understanding their brand strategy and leveraging it via the tools and techniques described in this article: going beyond function, driving connection through personality, and creating a holistic look and feel.

    This article originally appeared in the October/November 2011 Issue of Beauty Packaging.

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  • Posted by: Jaiye Elias on Thursday, June 23 2011 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

    Last month, Beautycard, Superdrug's new loyalty card scheme, finally arrived on the UK high street. Superdrug is the second largest health and beauty retailer, behind Boots, operating 900 stores across the UK and Ireland, 200 of which also house pharmacies.

    As a self-confessed beauty junkie, I'd always wondered why Superdrug had been so slow to launch a loyalty card for its shoppers. After all, its competitor, Boots, whose loyalty card scheme launched in 1997 and now has well over 16 million users, has left it well and truly behind. Boots’ reward scheme enables it to collect customer data to actively target shoppers with promotions and products that they are more interested in. It’s this valuable customer data that the Beautycard (with its mirror on the back) is trying to capture in order to market and sell Superdrug products to consumers.

    I can't help but hope that Superdrug's delay to bring out its own loyalty card was because it wanted to own a scheme that truly differentiated it on something other than price. Perhaps it wanted to take customer loyalty to the next level, harnessing the technology of the digital age to bring its shoppers a rewards scheme that was intelligent, personal, and human. The initial signs are good.

    Superdrug turned up the heat on Boots with the redesign of its in-store magazine in February. The magazine now uses digital watermarking technology to allow shoppers to buy products straight from the magazine using their smartphones; readers can also view video content and access exclusive news, tips, and offers by scanning barcodes embedded in the mag. Beautycard is also trying to drive customers to shop online, offering 10 points for every £1 spent on Superdrug.com versus 1 point per £1 in store. Boots has 2,500 stores across the UK so perhaps it’s online that Superdrug feels able to quickly beef up its size. I’d like to see Superdrug using gamification techniques to get consumers to "join" the brand rather than sending out an email into consumers’ already overloaded inboxes. Innovative ways of getting shoppers to engage with the Superdrug brand is how they can really set themselves apart from rivals.

    However, with the launch of Boots extended Advantage Card offer, Treat Street, last autumn, cardholders can also collect advantage points at a range of other online retailers such as Lastminute.com, ASOS, eBay and notonthehighstreet.com. It seems that the battle for pounds in the UK beauty industry is going to get ugly.

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  • Posted by: Ronny Kastner Beck on Monday, October 18 2010 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

    Interbrand was recognized by the Procter & Gamble Company as a top-performing external business partner during an awards ceremony held October 7, 2010 at the P&G Supplier and Agency Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Interbrand works with Procter & Gamble brands across beauty, healthcare, family care and pet care. You can read more about our work for Procter & Gamble here.

    To learn more about P&G's Corporate Supplier Excellence Award, read more here.

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