By  on March 18, 2011

Clarins is repositioning itself in the U.S. by highlighting its natural roots crossed with cutting-edge science claims.




While in the U.S. the brand is perhaps best known for its sun care and body products, Jacques Courtin-Clarins founded the brand in France with a strong emphasis on botanical extracts and their value in skin care as well as prescriptive solutions for facial skin issues — a positioning the brand still uses in Europe.

Clarins is touting its changes with a major advertising campaign, using girl-next-door types and unretouched photos. Jonathan Zrihen, president and chief executive officer of Clarins USA, said they are aiming to be “the number-three share of voice in magazine skin care advertising this year,” a ranking industry sources translate to mean roughly $15 million-plus in ad spend in 2011. This is a major departure for Clarins, which traditionally has run single-page, product-focused shots in the U.S., said Maria Dempsey, executive vice president of marketing for Clarins USA. “We are now going for much more of a brand statement and a consistency in our advertising, as well as a greater presence in books throughout the year,” said Dempsey, who noted that scientific innovation will also be communicated through this campaign — especially for a major skin care launch the brand plans for September. A revamped Web site is expected to be launched in July.

By year-end 2012, added Dempsey, the entire brand will be repackaged. Changes will include using glass rather than plastic for skin care, modernizing type and employing new finishes like pearlized white rather than the matte white currently used. “It’s intended to make the products feel more luxurious and modern,” said Dempsey. The brand is phasing the new packaging in gradually, with about 50 percent of the color cosmetics range already in the new packaging, she said. Clarins has also tightened up distribution — currently at about 1,000 U.S. department and specialty store doors — and hired Pati Dubroff as the company’s celebrity makeup artist.

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