Despite the lackluster mood of the U.S. prestige treatment market this year, the Estée Lauder brand is moving ahead on a global basis to update its Re-Nutriv franchise and deepen its worldwide reach in skin care.
This story first appeared in the October 24, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The effort is being spearheaded by the launch of Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Sculpting/Refinishing Dual Infusion, due in November.
“Luxury skin care has been a cornerstone of our business since Estée Lauder created the market with [the original] Re-Nutriv in 1956,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global president of the Estée Lauder brand, noting that Re-Nutriv cost $115 a jar in 1956. “Luxury skin care is one of the fastest-growing categories globally. We have a five-year plan with Re-Nutriv to drive it forward globally, because it is such an important category.”
Hudis said the brand is creating a new tier within the Re-Nutriv franchise with this launch. “This will be the first in a series of Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond products. We started with a serum, as traditionally they are a core strength for us.”
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Hudis doesn’t feel that age targets are applicable in this category. “I don’t think luxury skin care is driven by age,” she said. “It might be a 40- to 60-year-old in North America and Europe, or a 30-year-old in China. It’s about wanting the most technologically advanced formula. We’re treating it almost as a totally different brand.”
Hudis contended that the brand’s price and positioning with the Ultimate Diamond franchise “is likely to pull in new users globally and convince current customers to trade up to a more premium product.”
Hudis declined to comment on what percentage of Lauder’s overall sales are done in skin care, although she did say that luxury skin care is one of the brand’s fastest-growing categories and that the overall skin-care category is a growth driver for Lauder.
The last updates to the Re-Nutriv line were in 2012, when the brand launched Re-Creation Face Crème and Night Serum, and Eye Balm and Night Serum for Eyes in its top 100 doors.
Ultimate Diamond Sculpting/Refinishing Dual Infusion is intended to give skin an energy and collagen boost combined with antiaging benefits, noted Nadine Pernodet, vice president, Basic Science Research and research and development for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
Two cylinders packaged together comprise the Sculpting/Refinishing Dual Infusion. The Golden Vial contains the product’s key ingredient, the black diamond truffle, sourced from southwest France. The Platinum Vial contains a proprietary blend of actives designed to resurface and smooth skin, as well as South Sea pearls for a luminous effect, said Pernodet.
The brand also created a signature scent for the product, a mixture of citrus notes, jasmine, rose and cedarwood, among other notes.
The product will retail for $360 for a 25-ml. bottle, putting it at the higher end of the Lauder brand price spectrum.
Advertising and promotion will include a robust print and digital campaign, said Richard Ferretti, senior vice president and global creative director for the Estée Lauder brand, adding that print ads in the U.S. will break in November fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines.
The product will be sold in about 250 doors in the U.S., as well as globally, particularly in travel retail and Asia.
While executives declined comment on projected sales, industry sources estimated that Ultimate Diamond could do upward of $60 million at retail globally in its first year on counter.