Beauty brands are going to great lengths to speak to the Millennial consumer.
In the case of Strivectin, which will this week introduce Nia, a new brand targeted to Millennials, user-generated content is making its way offline and onto the packaging of the collection. Each product in the range — six to start — comes in a carton printed with photos Nia’s creative director and marketing team pulled from real people’s Instagram feeds (with the approval and signed releases for the owner of each photo).
Social media finding its way onto packaging IRL (in real life), coupled with products called “Fake Awake,” “Sunday Detox” and “Tech Neck,” are among a handful of efforts that Strivectin is putting forth to expand beyond the over-40 demographic with which it’s long been associated. So are the entry prestige price points that range from $22 for a Wash + Glow Hydrating Cleansing Foam to $39 for a Fully Charged Serum x Moisturizer.
The line launches on ulta.com this week and will roll out to 300 Ulta doors throughout the country starting on March 5. Corresponding in-store events will kick off in over a dozen locations in major cities with the tagline “Get Lit From Within All Weekend Long.”
“All of our products can be divided into helping you prep or pregame for the weekend and also recovering from the weekend,” said Joan Malloy, chief executive officer of Strivectin. “It’s an elevated collection of what I say is ‘causemetics’ [because it] delivers instant complexion perfection. It improves skin’s overall health and counteracts the lifestyle and environmental, situational causes of skin stress for Millennials.”
The goal, she continued, is to use Nia to speak to consumers ranging from their teens to early thirtysomethings. The new brand is a sharp departure from the core business — which is said to do over $150 million in revenue, according to industry sources — but also pays homage to its parent company.
For starters, the name Nia is a double entrendre: NIA-114 is Strivectin’s patented, proprietary technology but it’s also an acronym for Not Into Aging. Product-wise, Nia’s Tech Neck Line Smoother, $36, is inspired by Strivectin’s $89 Tightening Neck Serum Roller, one of the best-selling products in the original line, according to Malloy. But instead of approaching it as an antiaging formula, Nia took a technology angle in marketing the lightweight serum.
“Wrinkles aren’t new, but how you get them is,” Malloy said. “Anytime you’re looking down at your phone you’re susceptible to neck lines because of the repeated motion of looking up and down at your phone. The average person looks down at their phone 221 times per day.”
But beyond that, even the most discerning consumer would have no idea the two brands are related. This was deliberate, according to Malloy. Bottles and tubes all fall into a pink, purple and mauve color scheme with silver accents (versus Strivectin’s bright pink and white branding). There are blurbs on packaging about Nia’s science positioning with three icons printed to show the concerns addressed by each product: Skin Sin (a late night out), High Traffic Area (environmental stressors) and Tech Effect (neck lines by way of mobile device).
“It’s not preachy. It’s all just encouraging you to live your life — you do you, we have you covered. It’s not saying you should get eight hours of sleep [a night]; it’s not telling you how to live your life — that’s not very Millennial. It’s letting you live your life how you want and the skin care fits in with it,” said Emily Stoler, Strivectin’s executive director of global marketing.
A multipronged launch strategy, which starts with Ulta’s in-store events, also has a Cosmopolitan partnership that starts with April and May issues in targeted regions (and top Ulta markets) throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas, California and Florida. There will be a Snapchat commercial on the Cosmo Discover channel and a social media takeover with the magazine will follow, with Cosmo publishing a weekend of posts that tie in with the Get Lit From Within theme. Non-traditional influencers — namely 88-year-old Baddie Winkle, who has three million followers on Instagram — will introduce Nia to her fans, and about 10 “traditional” influencers selected by Nia will spread the word on their respective social channels, as will influencers selected by Ulta and Cosmo.