Salon hair care brand Matrix might be reestablishing itself, but it’s hoping to capture new consumers at the same time.
The salon brand, owned by L’Oréal, has undergone a re-brand, set to launch this month. Matrix will debut a new logo and marketing communications, aimed at appealing to a more diverse customer base.
Along with the new logo, the brand will roll out a new tool for internal use, the Hair Diversity Matrix, a scorecard which ensures that all marketing and educational materials will represent the wider multicultural consumer base it hopes to access.
When asked why now was the best time to reach out to a more diverse group of customers, as opposed to sooner, Shane Wolf, global president of U.S. brands, professional products division at L’Oréal, said he first started thinking of how to make Matrix more inclusive when he began helming the brand in 2019.
Part of Matrix expanding its reach, Wolf said, will include marketing to both Black consumers and other people of color, too. “What’s fascinating about the professional salon industry is while it’s one of the most welcoming industries I can think of, it has also been for historic reasons, largely segregated by hair types and textures,” he said.
Matrix will be relaunching some of its products to accommodate different hair types and textures, including its SoColor and ColorSync lines, both of which are getting 120 and 90 new shades, respectively.
The product relaunches will include bonder in the formulas to prevent damage when lifting color from darker hair. “Now, we think of this idea of diversity and inclusion as being a goalpost that forces us to be particularly precise in our innovations, and to bring exactly the tailored solution that every individual needs,” Wolf said.
Matrix says it will be reflecting a broad consumer base in more ways than one. “We’re not responding to the need for diversity by superficially throwing up a couple of images of a Black woman or a Latina woman,” said Carrington Cole, the U.S. general manager and senior vice president of Matrix. “Diversity for us means that everything we do has to be seen through that lens, so the products, our marketing, and our education.”
Last month, L’Oréal USA, Matrix’s parent company, did not provide WWD with figures regarding the diversity of its workforce. Wolf did not quantify how diverse the brand’s team was, but said that “we have already a fantastic group of diverse individuals working on our teams. We’re certainly always interested in how we can continue to even diversify more.”
He added that a diverse, consulting task force comprised of employees has helped him reposition the brand in an inclusive way.
When researching how to most effectively re-brand, especially with the surge in calls for racial equity and social justice in 2020, Matrix found that many salon professionals wanted to cater to as wide a clientele as possible.
“Through our education, we’re going to be the resource for [professionals] to learn what they’ve never learned to have a business that more closely models values of inclusivity,” Wolf continued.
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