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Known for offering shampoos and conditioners for less than $1, Alberto V05 is upping its game, and its price point, with a new salon-inspired range.
This story first appeared in the November 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In February the brand will introduce Salon Series, V05’s first play in the “value-plus” segment. The category generated more than $200 million across food, drug and mass channels last year (excluding Wal-Mart), said Nina Riley, vice president of marketing for High Ridge Brands, which owns VO5.
“In the last 24 weeks, we are looking at triple-digit growth [in value plus], whereas the overall hair category is flat-down in units but slightly up in dollars,” said Riley, who added that, despite the tremendous growth potential of the category, there are surprisingly few brands playing in the space. “We feel this is really fertile territory.” According to Riley, Suave Professionals is currently the only available product line within the category.
“As more women are extending coloring their hair or treatments longer, women are thinking this [expensive shampoo] is now beyond me,” said Riley. “More women are willing to try a value product and if they get a good result they will probably stick with it. I don’t think women are that loyal to hair brands. They switch on and off.”
Industry sources estimate that the range — priced from $2.49 to $5.99 — could generate between $25 million and $30 million in its first year at retail in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
“Value plus is more hair-need oriented,” said Riley. “We did a large concept test last year and [V05 users] were raising their hand saying they would be interested in a salon-quality product.”
Riley said the formulas in Salon Series derived inspiration from the brand’s cult product, V05 Hot Oil Moisturizing Treatment, introduced in the Seventies. The item is also being repackaged coinciding with the launch.
“We created a wonderful formulations using 11 revitalizing oils, which are very specific and good to the hair,” said Riley. “A lot of products that are very expensive, technically can be made for not a lot of money. It was all about trying to figure out what’s really going to give the best results and how far we could push at an affordable price.”
The collection, which will be sold in more than 5,000 doors, is comprised of 15 shampoos, conditioners, stylers and treatments. Each product contains natural oils from botanicals like honey, papaya, kiwi, marigold and sweet almond. “The fragrance is like no other,” said Riley, who said she is also focused on increasing brand awareness after a survey revealed that 98 percent of women could not identify what the name, V05, actually stood for. The answer is five essential vitamins: E, H, C, B3 and B5.
“The brand is so well-known, so trusted and so credible,” said Riley, adding that VO5 sells about 90 million bottles of shampoo and conditioner each year. “It’s an American brand with such a rich history and links back to a lot of family memories.”
In order to generate buzz around Salon Series Riley said the brand plans to utilize the digital space, including a full Facebook campaign, as well as free product giveaways and in-store rebate offers. Print advertisements and freestanding inserts are also planned.
“Now that we’ve established this whole new platform, we can segment from there, we can think about male products, for example,” said Riley. “What’s really growing the category is that this area of value plus is meeting a lot of consumer needs.”