BIONIQ BUILDS A PRESENCE ON TELEVISION

Byline: Jenny B. Fine

NEW YORK — Hymedix International Inc., a company that develops the bulk of its products for medical use, is looking to make a bigger impact with Bioniq, its retail brand.
The skin and body care range, which has been sold on the Home Shopping Network since October, will soon have a greater presence on the channel, with an expanded format and product offerings. In addition, Bioniq is looking to take the line into retail accounts; sources say the company is negotiating with Sears to test the line. Sears officials declined to comment.
Hymedix originally marketed Bioniq in early 1995 via a direct-selling effort, which didn’t work, according to Jana Kuzma, product manager and HSN spokesperson for Bioniq. When the line appeared on HSN for the first time, it met with more success, she said.
“We didn’t have millions of dollars to use for advertising like the big industry names, so we decided to pursue a television medium, where we can build brand awareness and an image, and then branch out into retail,” said Kuzma.
The strategy seems to be working. Company executives say Bioniq’s wholesale volume in 1995 was about $200,000 — a number that could jump to between $1 million and $2 million this year.
The nine-item line consists of Hydrating Cleanser and Clarifying Cleanser, each $16.25 for 6.5 ounces; Soothing Cucumber Facial Toner and Purifying Tropical Facial Toner, each $12.75 for 6 ounces; two facial moisturizers, Facial Formula for Dry/Normal Skin and Facial Formula for Normal/Oily Skin, each $22.50 for 2 ounces; Body Therapy, a 1.75-oz. size for $8.75 and a 5-oz. version for $15.75, and Replenishing Complex, a 3-oz. container for $15.
On its first two 20-minute HSN appearances in October, Bioniq sold about 2,200 sets of its Hydrating Complex set — a 5-oz. Body Therapy and a 3-oz. Replenishing Complex, for $19.95 apiece — reaching sales of about $43,800. That number increased to 2,900 sets, or about $57,800, in two December appearances.
After adding a kit with travel-size versions of the body care products to its HSN lineup in January and selling out of both kits, HSN and Bionq launched the facial care items on two 60-minute shows that were slated to air on Thursday night. Bionq has embarked on a sampling program with HSN, which is mailing out 15,000 samples of Body Therapy this month and in April.
The products contain hydrophilic — or water-attracting — polymers, which the company says provide a continuous layer of moisture to the skin. “The technology of the formulation appeals to us and to our customers,” said Louise Cleary, spokeswoman for HSN. “We feel that it is a distinctive product, because you really only have to apply it once a day, rather than several times a day, like with a conventional product.”

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