VISIBLE DIFFERENCE GETS A REGIONAL SPIN
Byline: Alev Aktar
NEW YORK — Visible Difference, one of Elizabeth Arden’s mainstays, has proven so lucrative over the years that the company is launching separate regional versions to grab share in key overseas markets.
Arden has revamped the original treatment line and will launch it worldwide next year. In addition, two new ranges tailored to the skin care needs of Asian and Latin American consumers will debut in those markets.
All three lines are marketed under the Visible Difference banner, and all are packaged in spiffy new containers and cartons: wide-angled glass jars banded in silver and pale blue boxes. The collection is aimed at consumers with periodic or permanent skin care problems.
“We want to have products that are relevant to every region’s needs; that’s why we developed product clusters as opposed to one launch lineup,” noted Susan Zuckerman, global marketing manager for skin care at Arden. “In the U.S., we’re leading with moisturizers because dry skin is the dominant need; in South and Central America we’re leading with oily skin products because there’s a high incidence of oily skin, and in Asia it’s skin whiteners because that’s the need there.”
While Arden execs declined to talk numbers, they made it clear that expectations are high. Beauty industry sources estimated that the line could rack up a global wholesale volume of $80 million next year — or double current sales. Meanwhile, in the U.S. alone, sources say, Visible Difference could bring in $20 million at wholesale in 1998.
The eight-product dry skin range, which kicks off in the U.S. in January before rolling out to Europe and Asia in April, has been organized into three categories — moisturizers, healers and fixers.
The key segment is moisturization. The three products are Refining Moisture Cream Complex, Eyecare Concentrate, and a new cream, Perpetual Moisture.
According to Zuckerman, instead of just treating the symptoms of dry skin, the new cream actually “reprograms the skin to produce its own moisture.” The lightweight emollient is formulated with moisturizing agents such as hydra-filagrinol complex, retinyl linoleate, a derivative of Vitamin A, ceramide 6, sodium PCA and glycerin.
The company claims that in subjects with mild to severe dry skin, hydration was increased by more than 500 percent after just one application.
There are two healing products: Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant and Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick SPF 15. Neither of the formulas has been changed, but the products have been moved under the Visible Difference umbrella.
Among the three fixers — Lip-Fix Cream, Eye-Fix Primer and Good Morning Eye Treatment — just the last item has been reformulated with botanical extracts and retinyl linoleate to fade under-eye circles. The Lip-Fix and Eye-Fix have both been rebranded under Visible Difference.
Prices range from $12 for the Eight Hour Lip Stick to $47.50 for a 2.5-oz. jar of Refining Moisture Creme Complex. A 1.7-oz. jar of Perpetual Moisture retails for $38.
As for Asia, the company developed two lines targeted to the two main skin care concerns in the region: skin whitening and oily skin. Both are also being launched in Latin American markets.
Whitening products represent up to 30 percent of the treatment market in Asia, according to industry estimates. To grab a share of the market, Arden is replacing its two existing whitening products with a new six-product line called Visible Whitening. It consists of cleanser, toner, SPF 15 lotion, night cream, essence and SPF 15 powder foundation.
The products are formulated with bovine placental extracts, said to inhibit the formation of melanin, as well as three types of alpha hydroxy acids and botanicals.
The line kicks off in Asia, certain Latin American markets and duty-free in February.
As for the three-product oily skin range, there will be foaming cleanser, clarifying toner and matifying moisture lotion. It will be introduced in South and Central America, Asia and Asia Pacific countries in June, before rolling out to the U.S. and Europe in 1999.
In the U.S., the launch will be backed by a print and regional co-op TV campaign as well as an aggressive sampling effort. The ads, featuring Arden spokesmodel Amber Valletta, bear the tagline “Seeing is believing.” The print campaign will break in February editions of national magazines. The company has budgeted more than $5 million on media.
In addition, there will be more than 1.5 million carded samples and half a million deluxe miniature replicas disseminated in the U.S.