Clinique Breaks New Ground

NEW YORK — Clinique is aiming to conquer the night with its latest skin care launch.<br><br>And with its first night repair product range, Repairwear, Clinique is also aiming to take the brand’s skin care to a new price level....

NEW YORK — Clinique is aiming to conquer the night with its latest skin care launch.

This story first appeared in the October 11, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

And with its first night repair product range, Repairwear, Clinique is also aiming to take the brand’s skin care to a new price level.

Designed primarily for normal to dry skin, the Repairwear range consists of three products: Intensive Night Cream, Intensive Night Lotion and Extra Boost Serum, all retailing for $45 apiece. The cream and lotion are each 1.7-oz. products, while the serum is 1 ounce. By contrast, two of Clinique’s other key repair products — Advanced Stop Signs and Total Turnaround — retail for $35 and $30, respectively. Clinique entered the antiaging category in 1999 with Stop Signs, the forerunner of the updated Advanced Stop Signs.

“We believe we’ve got a premium offering with Repairwear,” said Susan Akkad, vice president of global treatment marketing for Clinique, of the increased pricing structure. “The patented technology gave us the opportunity to create an aspirational product line.”

The products are intended to restore energy to the skin, repair existing damage, provide antioxidant and anti-irritant protection and help enhance natural collagen synthesis, said Kenneth Marenus, vice president of biological research for Clinique, who developed the technology for Repairwear. “Not only does this line address environmental stressors, it also acknowledges that a great deal of damage to skin comes from internal stressors — and addresses all types of damage with proprietary ingredients that are incredibly effective,” he said, noting that the line is intended to both repair existing damage and prevent additional damage from happening.

Among Repairwear’s key ingredients is the proprietary Vital Fuel, a biofermenting complex said to restore skin’s energy-producing capabilities. “If you don’t have enough energy in the skin, it will become damaged more easily,” Marenus noted. “In our studies, we have found that skin is metabolically active at night, and we’re using these ingredients to provide energy to skin —?and protect it over the next day.”

Other key ingredients include a vitamin C and E duo in a free radical-triggered liposome delivery system; the patented Skin Signalling Repair technology, a combination of RNA fragments and bioconverted white birch extract that is intended to reduce environmental damage and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and a soybean protein-centella asiatica extract combination that is intended to help boost collagen and elastin in the skin, said Debbie D’Aquino, vice president of global product development, treatment for Clinique. “One key difference with these ingredients is that they are biofermented, which basically means that we have distilled the most active parts of the ingredient and made it available to the skin,” said D’Aquino.

In addition, Repairwear includes a resveratrol — red wine — extract teamed with vitamin E, intended to protect against environmental stresses; a three-tea complex, also intended to boost antioxidant protection, and Clinique’s proprietary Quadruple Blend — a combination of squalene, barley extract, wheat germ extract and cholesterol sulfate — intended to work with skin’s upper layers to protect and repair the moisture barrier, D’Aquino added.

Packaging —?a silvery green with background printing that is a departure from the signature solid Clinique light green packaging —?is intended to convey “a high-tech, premium approach,” said Akkad.

The launch will roll the product out to Clinique’s full department and specialty store distribution, currently about 2,200 doors in the U.S. Products begin shipping in December and will be completely rolled out by January, noted Akkad.

While none of the executives would comment on projected sales, industry sources estimated that Repairwear would do about $40 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter, and that about $2.5 million would be spent to promote it.

While print advertising will appear in “one or two” January magazines, the majority of placements will begin appearing in February fashion, beauty and lifestyle books, said Akkad. Sampling will also be a major part of the campaign, with more than 1.3 million samples spread across the cream, lotion and serum range planned. About 300,000 will be 7-ml. deluxe samples, while an additional 1 million cream packets will be affixed to direct mailers. To further promote awareness of the category, Clinique is also beginning work this week on a consumer study, the results of which will be released at the product’s launch in December.