MILAN — The night belongs to Estée Lauder.
This is one of the key messages to emerge during a conversation with Estée Lauder global brand president Stephane de La Faverie, who sat down exclusively with WWD to introduce the company’s new brand platform strategy.
Building on its heritage and expertise in offering nighttime skin-care regimens, the beauty label will debut on Thursday a new holistic platform dubbed “The Night Is Yours.” The launch coincides with the 24th World Congress of Dermatology running in Milan this week.
“It’s a very new approach, a new philosophy. It elevates the communication between consumers and the brand in a much more emotional and one-to-one way,” said de La Faverie, adding that the strategy intends to position the brand “as the leader and expert in the understanding of the night.”
In particular, the platform centers on interaction and leverages education as a key asset. Implemented within the brand’s web site, “The Night Is Yours” features a catchy landing page with an “easy and quick” layout that gives access to a range of educational contents, including videos, “Did you know?” clips and beauty tips. Users can create their own customized nighttime regimen and will be able to access two different areas according to their habits. Reflecting the needs of consumers, the sections are for those “Staying In” and those “Going Out,” showcasing dedicated regimens, advice and products.
“‘Going Out’ is much more anchored into makeup, but at the same time we are reminding the consumer that taking care of the skin will enhance the beauty of the makeup,” said de La Faverie, underscoring that the platform showcases all of the brand’s product categories.
“The idea of education is critical for us, we want to educate consumers for their own benefit,” he continued, adding that customers “are more savvy than ever and want to discover new things about the products and communication before they are really engaged with a brand.”
He particularly mentioned that more than 50 percent of prestige skin-care consumption involves products that bear night concepts and referred to the growing concern customers have regarding the impact of the lack of sleep on skin’s early aging process.
Yet according to a global Estée Lauder research study only 19 percent of women actually know skin repairs at night and one out of five women have no nighttime regimen.
“So it’s the right time for us,” said de La Faverie about launching the platform, which took about a year to be developed. “But we started in 1982 when we came out with Night Repair, and even before because the team back then did a lot of research, so it’s always been in our mind, and every year we continue to discover new things. For us there was a beginning but there is no end,” he said. The executive hopes this new communication tool will enhance consumers’ loyalty as “the more you teach them the more they want to learn.”
To further mark its commitment, the company will release a documentary called “Nightbirds.” Directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt and produced by Austin Advisory Group, the short movie sheds light on the benefits and restorative power of the night, narrated through the point of view of the renowned composer Max Richter, circadian biologist Paolo Sassone-Corsi and Chinese medicine expert Lan Li.
Before being shared online and social media, as well as presented at the international film festivals of Venice, Toronto and Telluride, the documentary will be screened at “The Night is Yours” global launch event to be held on Thursday evening in Milan’s central Museo della Permanente palazzo.
Drawing 250 guests among celebrities, influencers and global media, the event will replicate the platform’s interactive experience through screens bearing the Estée Lauder’s manifesto and selfie-friendly corners installed in different parts of the venue. Two rooms will reflect the “Staying In” and “Going Out” sections of the web site with themed settings, inclusive of a bed and a disco ball, respectively. I-Pads will be additionally available to discover the platform and virtually try beauty looks while a planetarium area featuring bean bags and projections of constellations will further enhance the immersive experience.
After the global launch event, the platform will be promoted in all the brand’s off-line and online touch points but communication will be tailored depending on the audience and the different needs of consumers around the world.
“But we don’t want just to step up the conversation on the restorative power of night, we also want to bring solutions,” said de La Faverie introducing Estée Lauder’s newest skin-care product.
Named “New Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate,” the overnight rescue treatment targets life’s high-intensity moments causing skin irritation, redness and dehydration, such as travels and seasonal changes.
The lavender-scented gel emulsion, which can be applied alone or after the Advanced Night Repair serum as part of a multistep regimen, features a patented technology that helps target all three stages of the irritation cycle, favoring the skin’s recovery in just one hour. The formula additionally claims to boost skin’s smoothness and clarity as well as delivering 24-hour moisture.
“We’re really helping skin to boost its own ability to recover, so it gets stronger and the next time [a consumer] travels or gets only two hours of sleep, skin will bounce back quicker,” said Jennifer Palmer, senior vice president, global skin care of Estée Lauder.
Retailing at $80, the product launches globally this month at Estée Lauder counters and e-commerce. According to industry sources, “New Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate” could generate more than $200 million in retail sales in its first year.
To support the launch, a dedicated campaign fronted by model Grace Elizabeth will debut next month.