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Dr. Dennis Gross Skin Care Launches C + Collagen Line

The brand is also revamping its packaging and making it easier for consumers to identify product benefits.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skin Care is launching a new product line.

The dermatologist-founded skin-care brand is rolling out C + Collagen, a four-part group, starting in September with its C + Collagen Perfect Skin Set & Refresh Mist, $30. The C + Collagen line is the answer to Gross’ patients talking about their skin looking “tired,” said Dennis Gross. “This category starts with a brand new concept of an energy complex. Vitamin C is, in my opinion, ounce for ounce, the most amazing, effective antiaging ingredient. It does by itself things like help with uneven skin color, stimulates collagen, it firms the skin, it gives the skin a great radiance, I love it.”

After the mist, the C + Collagen line will roll out Brighten and Firm Vitamin C Serum, $78, launching in January, and Deep Cream, $72, and Brighten and Firm Eye Cream, $65, launching at the end of March.

“I have patients come in…and [say] ‘I feel like my skin looks tired.’ And I’m hearing this word…what does that mean on a cellular level? And what it really does mean is that at the end of the day, the skin does have a battery,” Dennis Gross said. When the cells age, the organelles and mitochondria in the cells age as well, and the skin doesn’t have as much energy, according to Gross. “What we set out to do was create a complex of ingredients that works specifically to work on…that battery,” he said. “[That] energy complex has now been added to Vitamin C.”

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Part of the marketing plan for the line includes an orange, glowing-sideways C that resembles a power button. The new collection is expected to do about $10 million in sales in its first year, according to industry sources. In step with its new C + Collagen collection, the brand is also launching a Vitamin C facial for its more than 300 spa partners, which include the Ritz-Carlton, Miraval and Canyon Ranch. The brand is currently available in 17 countries, and has its eyes set on expansion in the U.K., Germany and South Korea in 2017. In July, Dr. Dennis Gross added Net-a-porter, adding to previous distribution outlets Sephora, Nordstrom and QVC.

The mist’s September launch also marks the debut of the brand’s new packaging — part of a rebranding strategy to speak directly and clearly to consumers, as well as organize product lines by category.

The idea for new packaging came during a meeting with Sephora, according to Michele Snyder, senior vice president of global marketing. The Sephora team asked Dennis how he and his patients communicate with one another and he said, “I have two types of patients. I have that patient who says, ‘This is what I want,’ and I have that patient who says, ‘This is what I need,'” Snyder said.

“It was like, OK this is the aha moment for our packaging…to make it more prescriptive, which is what we were looking to do, and to really [speak] her language…that conversation spurred an entire reconstruction of [Sephora’s] web site about how they talk on their product pages,” Snyder said.

“The consumer is confused,” Dennis Gross said. “She really wants to be led, she’s looking for authority and I think that obviously the products have to deliver results…She is really looking for innovation but at the same time, a lot of them don’t even know what to look for. They walk into Sephora and it’s just this huge open space and it’s just overwhelming. So helping them to understand using the words is how this thing really started.”

The brand’s new packaging includes a “you have” section, which describes a consumer’s current skin, with a “you want” section underneath that, describing the benefits the product can provide. The new boxes are also color-coded: the C + Collagen line has an orange top; the Ferulic + Retinol line has a brown top; the Alpha Beta line has a silver top; the Alpha Beta Glow line has a gold top; the Skin Essentials has a green top, and the Hyaluronic Marine Infusion line has a blue top.

“We wanted to modernize and stay true to our core of being a scientific-based brand, but make it more modern and more approachable and relevant,” said chief executive officer Carrie Gross, who is married to Dennis. “We want to use her language. When she walks into a store, she doesn’t walk in saying ‘I need a non-comedogenic moisturizer, I want to find something that’s going to help with my melisma and hyperpigmentation’ — they don’t use those words.”

Some of those words consumers do use are featured on the brand’s newly launched blog, The Daily Dose, which contains content about the Dr. Dennis Gross team and products, as well as general skin-care tips. The goal, part of the brand’s initiative to boost its digital efforts, is to make a community for its customers that makes shopping for skin care less intimidating.

To help with all of its digital plans, the brand hired Paula Scandone, who was previously with Ulta Beauty and Saks Fifth  Avenue, as vice president of digital sales and marketing. “She went on to be one of the original founders of HauteLook and then HauteLook was bought by Nordstrom, and Nordstrom is one of our important, important accounts. And she drove traffic between HauteLook and bricks-and-mortar and was able to differentiate the message and yet create a symbiotic, synergistic bricks-and-mortar strategy,” said Carrie Gross.

In her role, Scandone will oversee running social, the client-care department, the QVC business and the online business. The company also hired a new person to handle social media, and has moved into a new office to accommodate its growing team. “We’ve got a lot at stake with our growth plan with digital,” said Carrie Gross. “It’s the strongest growth driver.”

“We’re taking the opportunity with social and the importance of videos to tell our story in a very creative way that’s sharable and memorable to clients, and we think it’s really relevant to the way women want to shop today,” said Carrie Gross.