Critical Mass: Lotta Luv Division to Give Sephora Some Lip

Sephora will be getting a whole lot sweeter in February.

Sephora will be getting a whole lot sweeter in February.

This story first appeared in the November 30, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

All stores and the chain’s Web site and catalogues will launch an exclusive-to-Sephora line called on10. The licensed collection will include lip balms inspired by the scents, flavors and vintage artwork of classic candy and beverage icons from The Hershey Co., Dr. Pepper and Schweppes Ginger Ale.

“We are excited to be the exclusive retailer of the on10 Lip Balm Collection,” says Betsy Olum, Sephora’s senior vice president of marketing.

The items will be grown-up, more sophisticated versions of popular youth balms sold in specialty stores, such as Claire’s, and are created by the makers of Lotta Luv. Adds Olum, “The superior formula, including SPF 15, delicious authentic scents and wonderful vintage artwork of the five flavors we are launching are reminiscent of childhood vacations and are sure to be popular with our clients.

Sephora was impressed with the capabilities of on10 (named for a variety of reasons, including the company’s 10th floor location in a New York office building), which blindly sent a basket of its goods to Sephora’s headquarters several months ago. It is every marketer’s dream to get a call back from a retailer such as Sephora and on10’s senior vice president Eileen Rappaport did a double take when she saw a return e-mail from Sephora requesting more information on what the company could do.

In the meantime, on10 had been delving into its licensees’ archives digging up a treasure trove of old artwork for inspiration. The vintage packages were just the ticket for the line that was created for Sephora. Within three months, on10 had concepts ready to show Sephora.

There are few categories underserved at Sephora, perhaps the deepest beauty merchant in America. However, Sephora has seen opportunity in lip balms. Although it sells Rosebud, it was apparent shoppers were hungry for more lip balms, especially formulas with SPF.

The result: vintage round tins, apothecary tubes, sliding tins and purse compacts in consumer traffic-stopping packaging of mouth-watering flavors such as Hershey’s Almonds, Dr. Pepper Berries & Cream and Schweppes Sparking Pink Grapefruit.

A trio of tins features Schweppes Sparkling Pink Grapefruit, Schweppes Lime and Schweppes Tonic Water for those who want fruity tastes, or Hershey’s Vanilla Cream, Hershey’s Sweet Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s Almond. The tubes feature flavors such as Dr. Pepper Berries and Cream, while a sliding tin offers Hershey’s Sweet Milk Chocolate. Sparking Pink Grapefruit or Dr. Pepper are among the flavors in an upscale compact. Prices range from $9 to $16 and Sephora plans to merchandise them in highly visible displays at the checkout. There will be testers to tempt shoppers.

“It will be a great grab-and-go item,” predicted Steph Fogelson, president of Lotta Luv/on10. He said the licenses could be a breeding ground for many more product categories. On10 has a two-year exclusive deal with Sephora.