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Beauty & Personal Care

Beauty & Personal Care market - An Industry-Wide Makeover

9 Apr, 2010 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response

Social media and mobile give direct response a new face in the beauty and personal care market.


Beauty and personal care products earned more than $10.5 billion in revenue last year. But while it can be a lucrative business, it can also be tough to capture market share. It’s estimated that women see about 400 beauty advertisements in a day, so the challenge for any product in this space is to stand out and deliver on its promise. As many successful marketers have discovered, direct response is a powerful tool for building brand awareness, demonstrating the effectiveness of a product, and putting the power of conversation into the hands of the consumer.

Today, those working to market beauty and personal care products are at the forefront of the use of digital tools to drive consumer response — and have found great success in two emerging channels: online social media and mobile marketing.

Relationship Building

Perhaps one of the most well-known names in DR beauty products is Murad. Based in El Segundo, Calif., the skincare brand was founded by Howard Murad, M.D. Last year, the company earned industry-wide recognition for its long-form DRTV campaign for its Acne Complex product. Now, it’s touching up the campaign for the second quarter and introducing new ones for its other products.

“Direct-to-consumer is 50 percent of our business, which is big growth from 2003, when it was in the small double digits,” says Carey Grange, executive vice president, direct-to-consumer, Murad. The company’s multi-channel marketing plan includes television — both long and short form — online, print and catalogs. The idea is to utilize an integrated approach to reaching customers for both forming and maintaining a relationship with customers.

“We want to engage our customers and educate them,” says Grange. “We’re monitoring customer behavior and building logic for action point.”

Last year, Murad launched a new campaign for its popular Resurgence products, a line geared toward the issues associated with aging. The infomercials feature former national morning show host Joan Lunden and, more recently, pop star Debbie Gibson signed on as a spokesperson to attract women in their 30s and 40s — younger than the typical Resurgence user. “We want to reach the Generation Xers, whose skin is changing,” says Grange. “And we’re mirroring this touchpoint strategy for the Acne Complex.”

Grange was excited to talk about a long-form commercial — soon to finish testing — for the Environmental Shield line of products, one of the top brands in stores such as Sephora and Ulta. The products target Gen-X women, so Murad is “excited about having a TV presence for each phase of a woman’s skin life,” says Grange.

The Acne Complex is geared toward women in their 20s and Resurgence traditionally has been for women over 45. The new show will be hosted by actress Josie Bissett and feature Olympic volleyball gold medal athletes Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor. “Our goal is for our direct business to drive brand awareness and drive through retail sales also,” says Grange. “The goal is also to have formed a relationship with a woman that will last throughout every stage of her life.”

Branding Through DR

Smart for Life is a diet and weight-loss plan that hit the market about six years ago with physicians in weight management centers. Today, there are 40 centers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Through their experience, Richard Kayne, chief operations officer, and the company’s founder, Sasson Moulavi, M.D., realized that 85 percent of weight loss is do-it-yourself, and people don’t have the time or the money to visit offices to control weight. So, two years ago they changed their focus and launched the Smart for Life Cookie Diet with a television spot. Today, the company makes about $70 million annually — mainly through selling meal replacements — and is growing.

Though now branching out into brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Costco and major food and drug stores, Kayne says that DR sales are still a major part of the product’s success and is what helped build the reputable brand. “I see DR as a launching pad for us. We manipulated and used dollars appropriately and hired the right people in the industry that know how to say it and how to present the message,” he contends. “It opened the doors to brick-and-mortar, and it created great brand and name recognition for Smart for Life.”

The company also recently launched underWAY, a 16-oz. beverage that is an appetite suppressant that contains fiber and maintains glucose and cholesterol levels. Endorsed by actress and model Brooke Burke, underWAY has given Kayne’s business full integration in the personal care vertical. The product launched with a 30-second branding spot, similar to the ones that have been successful for Smart for Life.

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