Redken's True DR Colors1 Apr, 2008 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response
Vice President of Integrated Communications Shae Kalyani talks about how a shift from traditional advertising to interactive DR marketing is engaging consumers and has the salon-based business booming.
When Shae Kalyani started with Redken more than 11 years ago, the company's media department was in its infancy. After working 10 years in the industry as a brand marketer, Kalyani decided she'd dabble briefly in some direct response marketing and then shift back to brand marketing. But as the communication landscape in the beauty and personal care industry changed, Kalyani's team and the Redken communication department changed with it. Today, Kalyani is vice president of integrated communications at Redken and Pureology, which includes oversight of seven Web sites (five consumer, two professional) and three groups that include media/event marketing, public relations and interactive. The department has gone from the name "media," to "integrated communications," and now Kalyani thinks it's time for another name change to "customer relationship marketing."
"Consumers have changed everything that we should and need to do. They have more control, they hold a great deal of credibility and the Internet is their most powerful tool," says Kalyani. "Today, I feel like my team has grown and the new members are the consumers. It's an idea and reality that every marketer needs to embrace."
Redken, owned by L'Oreal since 1993, began selling haircare products and services in 1960. The company's goal — beyond beautiful, healthy hair — has always been to educate salon owners, stylists and colorists on the best ways to use its products and grow their business. And while that philosophy still holds true, now, more than ever, Kalyani believes the education process has to continue with the consumer's desire to get professional services. "You can do all the DR marketing in the world geared toward haircare professionals, but at the end of the day, it has to get consumers to walk into a salon and create a demand," she says.
Redken's integrated communications department includes the media/event marketing, public relations and interactive teams. Above: Darienne Howe, director of public relations; Danielle Nagy, senior director of media and event marketing; and Rachel Weiss, senior director of interactive marketing.
Kalyani's team constantly pushes marketing aimed at two targets: professionals and consumers. "If we don't get salon pros and consumers to respond to what we have to offer, if we don't get them to interact with us — which leads to engagement and intent — then we have not optimized our ad spending."
Seven years ago, Kalyani was spending about $1 million to $1.5 million annually on consumer advertising. But less than a year later, Redken's communications team was changing its strategy to focus on pumping up the skills and of its stylists. Today, Redken is known by salon professionals for its educational programs. "Our biggest growth comes from our stylists' growth," she says. "Salons and beauty schools have changed a lot in seven years. It used to be you would just learn to cut and color, but today we're involved in universities, going through their business curriculum to give professionals the tools to run and grow a salon."