By  on October 22, 2007

PARIS — L'Oréal hopes its 50-year-old Biotherm brand will become the top-selling treatment brand globally following a repositioning set to begin later this year.

The Biotherm skin care line will be rebranded "dermobiotic," a term L'Oréal patented that refers to the properties of thermal plankton, Biotherm's key ingredient. The aim of the repositioning, according to Guillaume De Lesquen, Biotherm's managing director, is to take the top spot across all treatment segments in the 70 markets where the brand is present.

"We want to accelerate strongly," he said, stressing the belief that natural, effective products are a long-term trend. "Biotherm has to be more effective and more natural than what is already on the market."

Starting at yearend, all of Biotherm's packaging will carry a stamp that reads "The 1st dermobiotic. Pure. Active. 100 percent natural," underneath the Biotherm name.

In 2008, Biotherm will introduce two products, one for women and another for men, but details about them are under wraps.

Biotherm's dermobiotic positioning results from studies by L'Oréal researchers and a Stanford University team, which says it recently discovered that pure thermal plankton, already used in Biotherm skin care products, stimulates skin cells' capacity to defend themselves against environmental aggressions, such as UV rays.

L'Oréal hopes the term "dermobiotics" will tap into the consciousness of consumers already familiar with probiotic supplements, which contain living microorganisms that have health benefits when ingested. The word "dermo" is used because the products act on skin and "biotic" because the plankton originates in living matter.

"Pure thermal plankton works on the cell's defense system to help the skin to be healthier, which is exactly the process of probiotics," explained De Lesquen.

While Biotherm's formulas remain unchanged, De Lesquen is confident the brand's new identity will help it gain market share.

"Dermobiotic is for us a trampoline to conquer the antiaging market in Europe," he said. "It also gives a fantastic [unique positioning] to go further into the Asian market, where [baby-like] skin is so highly praised.

"We want to take a step ahead, taking the lead [among] brands that are selling efficacy and naturalness," continued De Lesquen, who named Clarins and Clinique as key competitors.

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