Physicians Formula, known for its problem-solution approach to beauty, plans to enter 2014 with a more glamorous and youthful spirit.
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The brand, which was purchased by Markwins International Corp. for roughly $75 million a year ago, will roll out a new tag line, Rx for Glamour, along with a robust product offering.
Ingrid Jackel, Physicians Formula’s chief executive officer, said the positioning does not signal a change in direction, but more loudly touts its point of difference in the mass market. “We are just putting the brand on steroids,” she said. Advertising is getting juice too. Jackel said the company will support the new tag line and products by increasing its advertising budget by a whopping 400 percent across print and digital. Based on its 2011 advertising spending of $11.8 million, Physicians Formula’s amped up budget translates to an estimated $59 million.
Taking a page from apparel retailer H&M, Physicians Formula’s upcoming ad visuals feature slick photography of a model and a product and include the item’s price point.
“The creative execution, in terms of photography, is an upgrade from what we’ve had before,” said Jackel. “The visuals look extremely upscale, so we included the price points so that the consumer knows where to find the brand. [The ads] beautifully convey health and glamour.”
On the new product front, Physicians Formula is adding to its assortment with a bevy products across the multifunctional and cosmeceuticals segments.
New lines for 2014, include Super CC+ Color-Correction face items and Nude Wear powder, blush and bronzer. These follow Sexy Booster eye products and Youthful Wear face items, which were first introduced this year and will be expanded in 2014.
Some of the standout products slated for March include Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting BB Cream SPF 20, billed as the first mass market glow-and-bronzer boosting BB Cream, Powder Palette Multi-Colored Custom Blush in shades tailored for blondes and brunettes, and Sexy Booster “Va Va Voom” Volume Mascara.
Jackel continues to remain close to the product development. “I’m very protective of that process,” she said.
“The growth that we’ve been able to demonstrate has helped us to find space for all these new innovations,” said Jackel. “We are outpacing the category,” she declared, noting that the brand’s sales gained about 3 percent over the last week period, citing Nielsen data, while cosmetics category sales ticked up 1 percent.
Jackel said, “We are a significant force to be reckoned with.”