WWD’s Beauty Inc award winners represent the best and brightest of the beauty industry, and 2011 was a very bright year, indeed.
This story first appeared in the December 9, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
SALLY HANSEN COMPLETE SALON MANICURE
In a year when multiple beauty categories posted double-digit increases, none was hotter than nail color. In the mass market alone, sales shot up 32 percent to $446 million, excluding Wal-Mart, according to SyphonyIRI Group. And the hottest product in the hottest category was Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. Promising to deliver a five-step manicure — base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, color and topcoat — in one bottle, the $6.99 item was perfectly in sync with the times, a value-added proposition that gave women professional results at a time when many were cutting back on salon visits.
“Mass market beauty is being driven by innovation,” IRI’s Susan Viamari said earlier this year. “Consumers will spend up if you bring to market products that give more professional results.” And phenomenal results were just what Sally Hansen delivered.
PHYSICIANS FORMULA SKIN CARE
Talk about speed to market. In late 2009, Wal-Mart’s Carmen Bauza approached Physician Formula’s Ingrid Jackel about creating a skin care line. One month later, Physicians presented its concept to Wal-Mart. One year later, the 14-stockkeeping unit line launched and is expected to be in 2,500 doors by yearend.
“As we looked at the white space, we noticed the dermatological brands in the prestige channel and we looked at how to bring that business to mass,” said Bauza at the launch.
Consisting of three regimens — Aging, Moisture Balance and Sensitivity & Redness — Jackel kept the line deliberately simple, noting that she was confused by “too many products, too many claims and too many ingredients” in stores. Physicians, which has built its color cosmetics business on a corrective approach, thinks it has found the magic formula with skin care, too.
Said Jackel, “We bring a problem-solution approach to everything we do.”
CLAIROL NICE ’N EASY COLOR BLEND FOAM
Clairol’s Nice ’n Easy Color Blend Foam has taken a new category, foam hair color, by the horns. In less than one year on the market, Color Blend Foam has garnered a 3.3 percent dollar market share, emerging as the leader of the three-brand race that included L’Oréal Paris and John Frieda. What sets Nice ’n Easy apart from its competitors is a special polymer that allows the foam to collapse on hair faster than surfactant foam formulas, thus locking color onto hair and allowing for easy, drip-free application and full color coverage. When it came to hair color this year, Clairol had the market covered.
The lights may have failed at this year’s FiFi awards, but no matter. Fergie, winner of new fragrance celebrity of the year for her 2010 launch Outspoken, more than made up for it with her electrifying appearance to pick up her award. Sporting a sunshine yellow gown and an ear-to-ear grin, she exultantly pumped her fist and thanked the Avon representatives who sell her scents. Fergie’s impact on Avon’s fragrance business has been equally as powerful. Last year’s launch shattered all previous sales records at the company, and its follow-up, Outspoken Intense, helped drive double-digit sales for Avon in the fragrance category this year. One thing is for sure: Numbers like that are music to chief executive Andrea Jung’s ears.
DIOR ADDICT LIPSTICK
From New York to Hong Kong, consumers clamored for Dior Addict Lipstick. With a shade range numbering 44 strong and a special “mirror jelly” comprised of a proprietary blend of polymers and oils, the product resonated worldwide. Dior execs used a presell program to whip up interest before the launch, while Kate Moss also added her inimitable allure. Not only did she front the ad campaign lensed by Swedish director Jonas Akerlund, the supermodel’s rock ’n roll lifestyle also inspired the line’s three signature shades. The payoff: In a year when lipstick performed well overall, Dior Addict was the second-biggest lip launch for the year, according to The NPD Group, and garnered kudos globally. With results like those, Dior execs definitely had something to smile about.
LANCÔME VISIONNAIRE ADVANCED SKIN CORRECTOR
“This is the future of beauty,” declared Youcef Nabi, president of Lancôme International at the launch of Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector.
An audacious statement to be sure, but one that consumers around the world agreed with, as they helped propel the multiuse serum to best-seller status. Visionnaire’s formula contains a new molecule, LR 2412, said to stimulate the production of six markers of the epidermal structure and regeneration linked to aging. Claiming that it was safe for all skin types, even sensitive, Lancôme created a universal antiager that works on wrinkles, pores, pigmentation, scars and vascular evenness and promoted it with its first-ever multiethnic ad campaign. At its launch, industry sources said it could generate $100 million in first-year sales — a compelling vision, indeed.
BUMBLE AND BUMBLE THE STRAIGHT LINE
In October, Bumble and bumble became the first professional hair care brand to formulate an in-salon straightening treatment, ConcenStraight, to address the $1 billion hair-straightening movement currently under fire for formulas of questionable origin. ConcenStraight is formaldehyde free and is designed to allow a stylist to customize a client’s desired straightness. Along with ConcenStraight, Bumble introduced a retail line, Straight, consisting of a shampoo, conditioner and leave-in styler, as well as at-home straightening kits. The launch redefined a category and targeted a large segment of the market craving easy, smooth styles. Response, the company said, has been overwhelming. Since the debut in September, Bumble is trending 25 percent over plan and Bb.Straight Blowdry has met particular success, becoming a top-five seller in salons, Sephora, Bloomingdale’s and on Bb.com.
JUSTIN BIEBER SOMEDAY
“You tell a 12-year-old girl that she can’t have her Justin Bieber fragrance, and good luck with that. She’s going to convince you otherwise.” So said Terry Lundgren, chairman, chief executive and president of Macy’s Inc., and his words proved prophetic.
Justin Bieber’s debut fragrance, Someday, shattered sales records, posting numbers that the celebrity scent category hasn’t seen since the days of J.Lo’s Glow, according to The NPD Group. (Industry sources reported Someday racked up $3 million in sales in as many weeks at Macy’s.) Of course, the idea of a pop idol launching a fragrance is nothing new. But Bieber and his licensee, Give Back Brands, came up with a business plan that proved irresistible to buyers: The proceeds of Someday were earmarked for a variety of charities, making the fragrance a guilt-free indulgence during a period when consumers were still wary about spending on luxuries. Talk about an idea whose day has come.