Fusion Brands America Inc. has weathered management changes, a misfired fragrance launch and legal skirmishes. Now the company, which has spent the last few years retooling, hopes to restore its two marquee franchises — Clean and Fusion Beauty — to their former cult status.
LipFusion, for example, was one of the industry’s first lip plumpers and helped create an entirely new category with a devout fan base.
With a focus on fragrance, eye and lip, and a management team stewarded in the U.S. by industry veteran Gregory Black, Fusion is expanding its Clean franchise and capitalizing on its results-oriented cosmetics. “We’ve put together a team created for profitable and sustainable growth,” said Black, who joined Fusion four years ago and ascended to the title of executive vice president and general manager in 2013. “We’re rebuilding with brands that are relevant for today’s beauty business.”
Fusion, which was acquired by Canadian entrepreneur Eugene Melnyk in 2007 from founder Randi Shinder, still maintains healthy global sales. Black is confident the right strategies are in motion. “There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit,” he said, adding retailers are receptive to the plan. The rebirth starts with Clean. When introduced in 2003, Clean struck a chord with women looking for the anticelebrity “nonfragrance” fragrance. “In some ways it was ahead of its time,” he explained, noting that trend is now gaining steam in not only the U.S. but in the 30 countries where Clean is sold.
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To build upon that, Fusion is promoting the concept of fragrance layering with an entry called Clean Air, which can be worn alone or in tandem with existing scents. The company is also touting mixing of the other existing scents for custom blends. A new fragrance called Summer Sun will join the family in the next few months. Also new for women are two promotional sets — a five-piece roller-ball trial size grouping with Clean’s Warm Cotton, Cool Cotton, Air, White Woods and Skin priced at $18 — and a layering set with Warm Cotton, Air and Shower Fresh retailing for $65. There are also two men’s fragrances — Clean for Men Shower Fresh, which launched in 2007, and a new Clean for Men Classic, which was introduced in January. “We will expand the footprint in men,” Black added. Clean is currently sold at Sephora, including the units in J.C. Penney, as well as select independent beauty boutiques and specialty home stores.
With an eye on transforming Clean into a lifestyle brand and opening more doors, Fusion introduced home products late in 2014 including candles, diffusers, room spray, soap and lotions based on Clean scents. The prices range from $28 for a room and linen spray to $40 for a candle.
The Fusion beauty collection has undergone more extensive tweaking, editing the broad array of color items to center on eyes and lips. About 75 percent of sales of Fusion Beauty are generated by the LipFusion and LashFusion properties, according to Black. To distinguish its range from similarly priced brands such as Dior and Chanel, Fusion harnesses science to create transformation products such as StimuLashFusion, a night conditioning enhancer treatment with peptides said to thicken, strengthen and accelerate natural lash enhancement within six weeks, as well as the signature LipFusion.
While Fusion might be known for plumping or enhancing, the brand promises to stay on trend, noted Greta Fitz, Fusion’s director of global marketing. Fueled by America’s obsession with brows à la Cara Delevingne, Fusion has a new kit designed to help women understand and sample lash and brow items. The StimuLashFusion Lash+Brow Transformation Set features about a month’s supply of the night conditioning lash enhancer, lengthening mascara, a long-wear liquid eyeliner and a grooming and enhancing brow gel. “There’s step-by-step instructions and it is great for travel,” said Fitz of the kit, which retails for $65. Fitz thinks lips will gain traction this year. “It was Angelina’s [Jolie] lips that people wanted originally with LipFusion,” she said. “Now it is Kylie Jenner’s.” Fusion offers an assortment of lip plumpers ranging in price from $29 to $57.