In a digital age when shopping and social interaction are as simple as the click of a button, L’Oréal Paris executives believe that the hair-coloring process shouldn’t be any different.
This story first appeared in the April 4, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
After launching in the U.K., France and Germany last year, L’Oréal Paris’ Preference Mousse Absolue is rolling out to the U.S. market beginning this week. The at-home hair-color product, dispensed with the press of a button, boasts a much longer shelf life than traditional dyes. Because the formula is housed in a dual-chamber canister that separates and eventually mixes a gel dye formula and developer, consumers can use the product for up to a year after the first application for touch-ups or to target grays.
“As the market leader, L’Oréal Paris introduces a breakthrough with the launch of Preference Mousse Absolue, the first automatic reusable hair color,” said Karen Fondu, president of L’Oréal Paris.
The 14-shade range was curated by L’Oréal Paris expert colorist Christophe Robin. Fondu added that she hopes Preference Mousse Absolue, which retails for $14.99, will “entice women to color their hair at home, igniting excitement in the category.”
Its packaging, which is inspired by Japan, contains about 26 separate parts, and features materials with a double casing of plastic and aluminum to protect the formula from coming in contact with oxygen. To use it, consumers shake the canister, push the button and massage the mousse into their hair.
“Simplicity is the new luxury and we really wanted to ultimately bring color back to her life in a way she hadn’t thought about it before,” said Malena Higuera, senior vice president of marketing for L’Oréal Paris.
Next month, L’Oréal Paris will begin to roll out advertising initiatives like an online “digital command center,” sampling via influencers, and a “disruptive in-store theater” with a “high-impact” display program.
“Hair color is an aisle she may not have walked through in some time so we need to seduce her in-store,” said Higuera. “We wanted to think about the market in a different way and bring service beyond the product.”
Although the brand would not break out sales figures, industry sources believe it could generate more than $55 million via 23,000 doors in the U.S. The full rollout to the U.S. is expected to be completed by May 1. Two additional shades, a deep black and light natural brunette, will be added in June.