NIVEA PLOTS U.S. GROWTH

Byline: Laura Klepacki

NEW YORK — Nivea wants to make a bigger splash on this side of the pond.
“It is more developed in Europe,” explained Susan Savoie, vice president of marketing at Nivea. “A goal is to become a leader in the U.S.”
Founded in Germany in 1911, Nivea got its start with a single cosmetic cream. Its name was derived from the Latin word meaning snow white.
In the U.S., the brand now offers an array of body care, facial care and since last fall, men’s skin care. It also dabbles in bath products.
The company’s longtime philosophy is to create products using natural ingredients, that perform but do not irritate. “Our philosophy is it does not have to taste bad to be good for you,” said Savoie.
With a host of new products across its key categories, this year’s plan is to secure double-digit increases in each. For the new Nivea men’s line, Savoie has higher expectations. The goal, she said, is to have retail sales hit $50 million by yearend. “We have opened up a new category in men’s,” contended Savoie. “What we have done in men’s is a marketer’s dream.”
According to Information Resources Inc. Nivea has already been growing. Total U.S. sales for the brand [excluding Wal-Mart] were up 14.6 percent to $101.4 million for the year ended March 24.
“We want to move from a strong player to a leadership position,” said Savoie. In the U.S. body care is somewhat larger than its face business, but both divisions are receiving a boost in support and innovation this year.
A major initiative is the introduction of a three-item facial cleansing line, under the Nivea Visage banner. The collection includes Oil Control Cleansing Gel with micro scrubs and mineral sebum control to remove impurities without drying out skin; Refreshing Cleansing Gel, for normal and combination skin and Gentle Cleansing Cream, with micro-encapsulated moisturizers, aloe vera and chamomile for sensitive skin. A 6.8-oz. tube is $5.19.
Nivea has also rolled out a new and improved version of its Q10 anti-age creams. The latest version, Nivea Visage Q10 Plus will replace the existing line. What makes it better is the addition of coenzyme Biotin, which is said to help restructure and strengthen the skin’s surface. There is also a higher amount of coenzyme Q10. The lineup includes Q10 Plus Wrinkle Control Lotion SPF 15, Q10 Plus Wrinkle Control Day Creme SPF 4, Q10 Plus Wrinkle Control Eye Creme SPF 4 and Q10 Plus Wrinkle Control Night Creme. The items are priced at $10.99 each.
For the body there is Silky Shimmer Lotion, which contains light-reflecting pigments. The lotion is designed to enhance skin’s natural radiance and tone. A 6.8-oz. bottle is $6.99. And Nivea for Men is also getting some news with Daily Protective Lotion SPF 15, priced at $5.99.
“In each of our categories we want to bring out something unique to grow our business and to help the retailer too,” said Savoie.
For one, the brand has been doing more targeted retailer programs. It recently conducted a direct mail campaign with CVS, and for Eckerd it is supplying its store cosmeticians with more information on its product line.
Savoie said Nivea has also begun to loosen up its advertising a bit. The ads have always focused on product attributes and avoided the use of flashy models. Men’s commercials have been outright humorous, and for its women’s items the tone will likely be a “little more fun.”

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