In a first for direct-response giant Guthy-Renker, Beverly Hills dermatologist and television regular Susan Evans will launch her namesake skin care brand Wednesday on HSN before Guthy-Renker begins airing infomercials for Dr. Evans Cosmeceuticals products in about six months.
This story first appeared in the August 24, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The two-tiered launch underscores HSN’s and Guthy-Renker’s big bets on Evans, a telegenic mother of four who starred on the E network’s “Dr. 90210” and has appeared on the “Today” show and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
HSN has in place a three-year strategic plan to build the brand, which is slated to appear on the shopping channel at 6 a.m., 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, and 8 p.m. on Thursday. Guthy-Renker is confident Evans’ brand will join its lucrative beauty roster that includes Proactiv Solution, Meaningful Beauty, Sheer Cover and Wen by Chaz Dean.
“This will be our number-one skin care launch for the fall season,” said Michael Henry, senior vice president of beauty merchandising at HSN.
Guthy-Renker’s co-chairman Greg Renker said, “We will not commit to any product that we do not necessarily believe will do $20 million in the first 12 months, $50 million by the end of year two and scale to $100 million-plus. Chaz Dean is almost identical to that model. [Dr. Evans Cosmeceuticals] is right in the sweet spot of what we do and have done before.”
Evans and her business partner, Hateesh Syal, approached HSN before they formalized their relationship with Guthy-Renker, which typically strikes royalty deals giving brand originators 2 to 5 percent of gross sales. But Guthy-Renker has had plenty of practice on shopping channels with its brands — Proactiv and Meaningful Beauty are currently on QVC, for example — and Renker contended that stints on shopping channels boost brand exposure, foment broader demand and lift overall sales.
The infomercials didn’t factor into HSN’s decision to run with Dr. Evans Cosmeceuticals, according to Henry. He wouldn’t discuss sales projections for the brand on the channel, but industry sources have told WWD that beauty brands can generate between $1,000 to $1,500 per minute on shopping channels. Some products outsell that, as Mary J. Blige showed July 31 when, in six hours, she sold an estimated $3 million — or almost $8,400 per minute — worth of her fragrance My Life on HSN.
“We are always going for the home run, and more and more that is what we are looking for,” said Henry. “Having the infomercial is the icing on the cake, but isn’t our prime motivator. We have to make sure that the brand makes sense and it fits within HSN.”
Dr. Evans Cosmeceuticals’ products premiering on HSN center around antioxidant-rich papaya extracts. Out of the 11 products ($19.90 to $39.98) including a kit and a product duo, Henry conjectured the Enzymatic Lift Serum, Eye Lift Cream and Skin Refining Scrub would be the top sellers.
“I’m passionate about the papain enzyme. I have been using it in my practice for years,” said Evans. She added HSN “loves the story about farm workers in Hawaii having younger-looking hands from the papayas.”