By  on July 10, 2009

Bumble and bumble is breathing new life into its top-selling Thickening line this fall with the launch of Bb. Thickening Serum, a lock-lifting treatment designed to plump individual hair strands.

Due out in August, the fourth and newest addition to Bumble and bumble’s thickening collection is designed to build hair mass with caffeine and cholesterol, as well as a cuticle-penetrating blend of white birch, algae and mushroom extracts.

The introduction could eventually account for 10 percent of the brand’s thickening business, according to company president Peter Lichtenthal, who said the Thickening line is “a powerhouse” for the Estée Lauder-owned company.

“It’s a very clearly positioned and highly effective franchise that is successful because it works and its name implies what it does,” said Lichtenthal, who noted the success of the brand’s Thickening Hairspray — its top-performing stockkeeping unit, and only styling product currently in the collection. “Our focus is always to maintain a strong balance between hair care and hairstyling product. We want to make sure we maintain and enhance our strength in styling.”

Industry sources estimate the new serum, priced at $26, will generate upward of $4 million in retail sales in its first year on counter. Bumble and bumble’s Thickening business is estimated at about $40 million, according to industry sources.

Bb. Thickening Serum is scheduled to launch Aug. 1 in Bumble and bumble’s 2,800 network salons, which includes international retailers like Colette and Space NK. The serum will also be available on the company’s Web site.

The introduction signals a broader refocus on the Thickening line by the upscale hair care brand. As part of that effort, the serum will be featured alongside the complete Thickening collection in a campaign created to highlight the care and styling benefits of the entire range with the tag line “Full Days Ahead.”

The revamp is just one of many marketing efforts the company is using in an economy that continues to batter the beauty industry.

“We’re looking at different ways to express value to the customer that enhance brand equity,” explained Lichtenthal, who noted that they recently launched a promotion program called “Save at the Pump” to push the value of the brand’s liter-sized products, which he said have continued to sell well. “We’re promoting liters with high-visibility merchandising, throwing consumers’ attention to the value of the product, without taking dollars and cents off.”

Other recession-proof initiatives include the promotion of travel packs, which include smaller and less expensive versions of top-selling products, and trial-size promotions that pair certain products. “We just launched our gel program and one of our products, Bb. Prep, works really well with gel, so we offered a trial size of prep with the gel to encourage maximum benefits,” said Lichtenthal. “It’s a very strategic and targeted way to combine products for maximum styling effect.”

Lichtenthal said the focus going forward will be twofold: supporting the needs of the consumers while also supporting the salon owners, managers and hairdressers who represent a core part of Bumble and bumble’s business.

Said Lichtenthal: “Right now, the essential nature of refocusing on customer service and experience is more important than ever. Also important is generating new clients, client referral and client retention.”

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