Walgreens Boots Alliance is about to unleash Your Good Skin, its most ambitious global launch since Botanics 20 years ago.
The U.S. and U.K. rollouts are happening in tandem — the new proprietary skin-care brand is entering 1,300 Boots doors in the U.K. this week along with the Boots e-commerce channel. The line will be launched on walgreens.com in the U.S. on Sunday and will roll out Oct. 14 to all Walgreens doors in the retailer’s “beauty differentiation program” — aka the some 3,000 stores Walgreens is upgrading as part of its new elevated beauty concept. Following the U.S. and U.K., Your Good Skin will enter Boots doors in Asia, the Middle East and in smaller European markets such as Norway.
Targeted at older Millennials — think women in their 30s who are just starting to get serious about a skin-care routine — the line was codeveloped over a five-year period by a team of Boots scientists and dermatologists with a focus group of 2,000 women in the U.K.
A specific e-commerce site devoted solely to the brand — yourgoodskin.com — will also sell product. Furthermore, it is home to the GoodSkinIn28 challenge — the line promises results of “visibly healthier skin” in 28 days with the use of a full Your Good Skin product routine, and women can join the web site community to document their results and swap tips and tricks. The 2,000 women who comprised the research group will kick the community off as “coaches” — women who purchase a Your Good Skin product either online or in-store will be prompted via e-mail to join the challenge and will then be paired with a coach who will be available to answer questions, share before-and-after photos and give advice throughout the 28-day period. Once participants complete the 28 days themselves, they’ll be prompted to become coaches as well. “This is the first time we’ve codeveloped a brand with a community and are leveraging a community as part of marketing a brand,” said Kristof Neirynck, vice president and global brand director of skin care for Walgreens Boots Alliance.
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Frédéric Arbel, category director, skincare, Americas, Boots Retail USA, noted that the strategy is an innovative one for Walgreens Boots — “It’s flirting with direct selling and building that customer base.”
Your Good Skin consists of 23 skin-care products, including cleansers, day and night moisturizers, masks, toners, makeup removers and issue-specific treatments. It is designed to address and ultimately prevent a slew of the most common skin issues, including acne, fine lines, redness, oiliness, sun damage and dryness. Key ingredients like green tea and vitamins C and E are heavy on antioxidants. Prices range from $4.49 for a lip balm to $19.99 for the hero product, Balancing Skin Concentrate.
Neirynck said the company saw a white space in mass skin care for a preventive line focused on the general tone and texture of the skin, not necessarily heavy-duty antiaging.
“When we started talking to women about what they wanted in the space, the key thing they told us that their skin doesn’t come with an instruction manual — one day it’s dry, the next it’s oily and has blemishes,” said Neirynck. “What came out of it is this mindset of problem-solution. A lot of this proposition is around preventing skin issues in the first place.”
A hero product, the Balancing Skin Concentrate, a lightweight serum-like product created with all skin types in mind, anchors the line and is said to address what Boots considers the “five key signs of visibly healthy skin” — skin texture, skin tone evenness, moisture levels, radiance and oiliness. The rest of the products are meant to be swapped in and out as needed depending on what issues the skin is experiencing.
“They were telling us they have a different product to treat all of these different issues,” said Neirynck of the focus group. “Our big mission was to create one product that could tackle all of these issues.”
A key component of the line is the range of cleansers, which come in a half-dozen formats — Refreshing Face Wash, Soothing Micellar Cleanser, Comforting Gel, Nourishing Hot Cloth, Blackhead Clearing Scrub and Brightening Exfoliating Wash — and are designed for use on any skin type. Neirynck said one of the major focus-group findings is that women want to be able to use the kind of cleanser they prefer without having to worry, for example, that a foam cleanser will dry out their sensitive skin.
Your Good Skin is heavy on acne-focused products as well. Arbel noted that many women in the study indicated they experienced both breakouts and dry skin, and needed acne products that wouldn’t dry them out. Products for adult acne are generally underrepresented in the mass market. “[Our target customer] is really a woman who is in her early 30s, probably a young mom — she’s not looking to go back to Clean & Clear, or a typical teenage acne line not made for her skin type.”
Lauren Brindley, group vice president and general merchandise manager for beauty and personal care at Walgreens in the U.S., called Your Good Skin “a truly unique brand with effective and innovative skin-care products which we are confident consumers will love.”
“The fact that Your Good Skin is [exclusive] to Walgreens and Boots doesn’t hurt either.”
However, Neirynck said the company is open to eventually doing distribution deals with other retailers — similar to No. 7 and Botanics — but for now, the line is only sold by Walgreens Boots Alliance.
“It’s the only way we can grow the pie,” said Arbel. “It’s obviously leveraging the Walgreens [customer base], but also driving new types of customers in Walgreens stores.”