With a new management team on board, Go Smile is reinvigorating the brand with a slew of new launches, along with partnerships to raise brand awareness.
This story first appeared in the December 12, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Retail veteran Leslie Faust came on board as Go Smile’s chief executive officer in April, once JH Partners had acquired the six-year-old company from its original founders, Dr. Jonathan Levine and Stacey Levine. Jonathan Levine currently acts as a consultant to the company.
Faust is focused on growing the business’ existing domestic sales by expanding its product portfolio, in addition to reformulating and repackaging existing items. The company repackaged its lineup to make it more directional and targeted at the beauty category and not just aimed at the oral segment. She also has plans to expand the brand internationally and establish new retail partners as there are growth opportunities.
“We’re already fielding interest internationally, since I feel that the oral care trend is picking up — it’s been later than in the U.S., but it seems to be catching on, and these types of products are in high demand,” said Faust, who has spent the majority of her career with various positions including, most recently, executive vice president of merchandising at Bath & Body Works, and vice president and general merchandising manager at Neiman Marcus. “When I was first introduced to Go Smile, I immediately added it to our assortment, since I recognized it bridged together the beauty aspects of a smile with performance,” said Faust, recalling her retailing days. “As a merchant, the brand had total incremental growth, since it didn’t compete with makeup or skin care but still fit in with looking and feeling better while improving your overall appearance.”
On the product front, Go Smile is introducing a new two-step Smile Whitening to whiten teeth and help maintain results. Designed to provide maximum whitening power with a proprietary ingredient blend, the advanced serum contains a higher level of whitening ingredient than existing formulations, and a new polymer that has better adhesion with the tooth surface.
“We knew we could improve on our number-one formula and clarify our message, which is to whiten teeth and maintain the results with toothpaste and touch-ups,” said Faust. “We built on the same ampoule technology, using a higher active hydrogen peroxide as the base of the serum but optimizing the flavor by making it more minty.”
The company also upgraded its FlashLites Smile Touch Ups packaging. Retailing for $89 for the two-step kit and $10 for a seven-pack for FlashLites, the items will be available starting in January at Sephora, Ulta, saks.com, Space NK, Blue Mercury, Nordstrom and gosmile.com. Currently, the brand is available in over 1,000 doors, including independent stores, spas and specialty boutiques.
Faust also hired an expert in oral care, Dr. Jason Feng, as the brand’s manager of product formulation. In the newly created position, Feng will be responsible for new product formulations, as well as all reformulation efforts.