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.
If behind every professional Redken stylist's success is customer demand, the marketing team knows it needs to be at the source, where trends are created. Initially, the streets inspire fashion, says Kalyani, and then customers bring these ideas into salons. It's through these trendsetters that many of Redken's top selling product ideas are born; therefore, Kalyani makes sure the consumer's voice is heard and discussed among the marketing team. After a campaign decision, she will always ask the group, "Now what questions might consumers ask?"
One of Redken's recent successful DR campaigns is known as The Urban Experiment, and it went directly to the source: the streets. Launched as a "Webisode" about a year ago, the idea was to tap into a new group of consumers, different from the ones that already followed the trends set by Redken and fashion magazines (and already part of the masses by the time they reach New York, London, Miami and Paris' bi-annual Fashion Week events).
"We wanted to go even further back, to consumers experimenting with products, seeing what people were creating at home for personal haircare because nothing in the market was giving them the results they wanted," Kalyani says. Redken partnered with Flavorpill — an online guide to local events in major cities — and gave the campaign its own Web address, urbanexperiment.com.
The Webisodes featured "urbanites" who Flavorpill selected from castings in the top metropolitan cities. The "experiment" filmed the winners experiencing activities outside their urban environment. The stars from each Webisode were given makeovers using Urban Experiment products, which were seamlessly integrated into each Webisode. When it was first launched, the Webisode got 25,000 views. "For a niche brand, that's not bad, that's all about them spreading the news virally," says Kalyani. "On the next launch, we got 90,000 views. And the relaunch a few weeks ago got a half a million views. The Webisode also ended up on the Ellen DeGeneres show, so viral marketing is working." And although the Webisodes were completely separate from urbanexperiment.com — and did not contain a link or call out to the Web site — it still had a spike in traffic during each launch.
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"DR touches every aspect of our communication plans, and it helps the brand marketing reach its goal." In fact, Kalyani adds that 100 percent of Redken's print ads are also DR marketing pieces. So what are some of Redken's current DR campaigns?
In the professional realm, Redken annually hosts about 200,000 educational events with products and lead artists (of which there are 800). At these events, the communications team gets product feedback, requests and future ideas — most of all, they generate interest, which leads to sales. Online, professionals can talk in a community space among each other and with the team at Redken at Redken.com's professional site. The Redken professional site also aims to assist salon owners in their own DR marketing. "We have advanced business tools on our professional site that helps them build their E-mail marketing capabilities," says Kalyani. "They can use our site to build a personal address book, to send out pre-designed E-mails and newsletters with their messages. We even provide them with metrics on each of the E-mails they send so that they can gauge the level of interest."
As far as traditional media channels go, Redken still uses these outlets, but now integrates them into larger DR campaigns. "In print, our haircolor consumer advertising campaign prompts consumers with a clear call to action to come to redkencolor.com and arm them with more information before going to the salon, all so they don't feel intimidated to express what they are looking for," says Kalyani. "We also get them to go to the Web site with the intent that they will look for a Redken colorist that they feel confident with."
Redken's 2008 ad campaign hosts four-page advetorials and supplements featuring the RCC in fashion magazines such as Allure and Vogue. The ad focused on beauty and the latest technological breakthroughs of the products and also provided consumers with the answer to "Why should you go to a salon?" and a "to-do" list to complete before going to a Redken colorist. "When we launched the year long campaign, Web site traffic jumped by 53 percent," says Kalyani. "Not to mention, the response generated more than 1,000 consumers a week to the RCC locator."