John Paul Mitchell Systems' Neon hair-care range is aimed at teens.

John Paul Mitchell Systems is making a vibrant splash virtually with teen hair-care collection Neon.

After years of holding off its own e-commerce, the collection marks the debut of the professional hair-care company selling online. To ensure its digital store doesn’t diminish salon businesses, JPMS will dole out commissions to hairstylists and distributors for sales secured on its web site based on the zip codes of customers purchasing items.

“Online is something that I’ve been looking at for 10 years, and we are probably one of the last companies to do it, but we are so committed to the professional salon that we wanted to make sure we are doing it right and to educate salons about how we are doing it,” said Michaeline DeJoria, vice chairman of JPMS. “Commissions are given to distributors and salons in the area [sales are made.] Our top supporters and loyal customers deserve that commission, and it is even a point or two higher than they could be getting if they were selling themselves because they don’t have overhead or have to occupy shelf space.”

At least at the outset, JPMS’s web site isn’t expected to generate enormous revenues. However, DeJoria stressed it could be impactful in helping the company — and the salon and distributors nabbing commissions — capture revenues that have been heading to web sites marketing diverted hair-care products without JPMS’s stamp of approval.

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“We are already online. Our products are sold online through unauthorized sales. The only people who have profited from unauthorized sales is us because the unauthorized sellers have to buy products from somewhere, and that is not fair,” said DeJoria, adding, “I don’t see there being a huge amount of movement as far as sales go just because we are available online, but ones that are going to be made online won’t go to diverters any more. The right stylists and distributors will get the commissions, and that is what matters.”

JPMS kicked off its e-commerce presence with Neon to suit a teen audience enmeshed in the digital environment, and has enlisted social media personality Adelaine Morin, actress Skai Jackson and dancer Dytto to build buzz. The company’s bid for the younger demographic adheres to a strategy to cater to a variety of consumer segments with different lines. Before Neon, JPMS reached out to men with Mitch and luxury beauty shoppers with MarulaOil.

“Under my leadership, it’s really important that we become a lot more mindful of other demographic groups. I think that we have had a very tried-and-true consistent customer base for a long time and the fact is that now there is generation of kids underneath that, and we need to appeal to them as well,” said DeJoria. “We are trying to be a company that has companies within it to appeal to specific needs instead of being one big company trying to appeal to everyone.”

The Neon range consists of six products priced from $9.99 to $11.99: the hold spray Sugar Confection, smoother Sugar Cream, texture booster Sugar Spray, tousle cream Sugar Twist, Sugar Cleanse Shampoo and Sugar Rinse Conditioner. As the names suggest, sugar is a key ingredient in the formulations.

“What’s so great about sugar is that it not only lends itself to the voice of the brand, but it’s kind of an old ingredient that has become new. In hair, it not only provides hydration and shine, but it provides texture for a nice undone, beachy wave,” said Inger Berg, marketing manager at JPMS. “We are making things super easy for the consumer to come out of the shower, throw a bit of product into their hair, scrunch a little and have a frizz-free finish.”

Berg singled out Sugar Cream as one of her favorite products in the assortment, and advised it comes in handy for topknots, twists and braids. “Braids are super on-trend, and they are going to continue to be at the forefront for hairstylists for this demographic, and Sugar Cream is great for braids,” she said, elaborating, “We really wanted to provide a line that gave the consumer a lot of versatility to be able to do any kind of style with their hair, whether they want to wear it straight, curly, up or down.”

Tied into the hairstyle empowerment message of Neon is an antibullying campaign for National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month that JPMS is premiering along with the products. The campaign encourages people to post positive missives on social media using the hashtag #StickItToBullying. JPMS developed digital Post-it notes specifically for the posts. “We are going to be creating a viral love wall and really give girls a forum to empower one another and spread the love,” said Berg, mentioning downloadable Post-it notes can serve a similar function at salons seeking to broadcast that they don’t tolerate bullying.

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