NEW YORK – Dr. Howard Murad’s lifelong fascination with hydration resulted in the formation of his namesake clinical skin-care brand almost 30 years ago.
Since then, he’s built a global product line with nearly 6,000 points of distribution and penned eight books — but the notion of “connected beauty” is what he’s most passionate about.
During an interview earlier this week, Dr. Murad explained that Connected Beauty goes far beyond one’s skin on the external level.
“It sounds simple,” he said. “[But] if you help your skin, you’re truly helping your body.”
His belief is that being mindful about food (inclusive of hydration), physical activity and stress management results in beautiful skin. He’s conducted numerous studies on what he called “cultural stress,” which defines how the stress of modern living affects one’s life, and in turn, their skin. He identified social isolation, sedentary lifestyle and dependency on mobile devices as stressors.
And it’s this idea that everything is connected — with one’s skin serving as a window to everything that’s happening in their body — that became the premise for Murad’s first Connected Beauty Summit.
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The event, which will be held today at Glasshouses in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, is to feature a speaker series that includes Arianna Huffington, Mallika Chopra and Jason Harcup, Unilever’s global vice president of discovery. Dr. Murad, who likened the day’s events to wellness focused, “TED-type talks,” will also speak about his holistic approach to beauty.
This is just the first in what will soon become a series of Murad-hosted symposiums that address Connected Beauty and cultural stress.
It’s part of a strategy that was devised soon after the brand was acquired by Unilever in June 2015. Daniel Bruzzone, who became Murad’s chief marketing officer three weeks ago, said that the next phase of the company will focus on brand messaging and changing consumer perception of the brand.
Going forward, creating a story around Connected Beauty will define Murad, which is said to be on track to do about $130 million in sales this year.
“We’re not planning to change formulations, it’s bringing the positioning to life,” Bruzzone explained. “We have a wide range of topical products and supplements that work really well, and our opportunity now is to bring to life this great product — but within the context and point of view of Connected Beauty.”
He spent the past year helping to integrate Murad into Unilever’s portfolio of prestige brands, and said that hosting in-store events with key retail partners such as Sephora and Ulta Beauty will begin in early 2017. Additionally, multipronged programs will be executed to support every new launch or innovation product-wise online, in-store and through social media.
The first of these launches will take place in January, and include two new products: Murad’s City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer, priced at $70, and MattEffect Blotting Perfector, priced at $38, which is billed by the brand as the first skin-care cushion compact.