MEET JACK BLACK: MEN’S SKIN CARE’S NEWEST GUY

Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — Some women seem to know men better than they know themselves — at least when it comes to beauty products.
“There’s a good reason for that. How many men do you know who spend their days browsing the stores for the latest moisturizer?” laughed Curran Dandurand, who with partner Emily Dalton has created the new men’s skin care line Jack Black.
As the guys in their lives continued to “borrow” their moisturizers and body cremes — including Dandurand’s husband Jeff, now a partner in the company — Dandurand, who spent 17 years as Mary Kay’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, and Dalton, who served in marketing and product development positions for Johnson & Johnson and L’Oreal, saw an untapped opportunity. “The men’s skin care market is a $6 billion dollar market in the U.S., and it is continuing to grow fast,” said Dalton. “We decided to leave our respective companies and address it.” Curran Dandurand serves as president, Dalton as executive vice president of marketing and manufacturing and Jeff Dandurand as head of sales.
“We wanted to create something that would appeal to guy’s guys,” said Dalton. Case in point: the packaging — cobalt bottles and tubes — and the diamond-shaped labels are reminiscent of the black diamonds found on ski-slope signs.
There are currently 10 botanically based products in the lineup, and a fragrance initiative is in the pipeline. “We chose to make botanicals a cornerstone of the collection,” said Dandurand, who noted that the formulations include eucalyptus, sage, rosemary, menthol and peppermint.
The products — which include Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25, Ultra Light Spray Sunscreen SPF 25, Beard Lube Conditioning Shave, Industrial Strength Hand Healer and Eye Balm Age Minimizing Gel — range from $5 to $20. “We wanted things that offer dual and triple benefits,” said Dalton. “Most men aren’t into a 12-step skin care routine. We had to keep it simple.”
The Jack Black collection heads into Saks Fifth Avenue in February, and is also available in about 200 additional doors, including select Nordstrom and Stanley Korshak doors, the Art of Shaving, Fred Segal Apothia and http://www.getJackBlack.com. To tap into the sports-lover market — “We think our target guy plays a lot of golf,” said Dalton, who has recently taken up the sport — the duo is also selling the products in the pro shops of top golf clubs and resorts.
To grow sales, Dandurand and Dalton are planning a heavy sampling campaign designed to get more than 100,000 samples into the hands of their target consumers. Noting that a recent Internet sampling offer got more than 30,000 requests in its first 24 hours, they’re confident they’ll be able to do it. “We give away half an ounce in our samplers,” said Dandurand. “It allows the customer to try it three or four times, which establishes the loyalty. We’ve found that while men are loyal to products, they’re not all that experimental — and that’s why sampling is our number one investment in terms of raising awareness.” While neither Dandurand nor Dalton would comment on the line’s projected 2001 sales, industry sources estimated that it would reach $1 million wholesale by yearend.
“Who knows,” said Dandurand, “maybe next, women will be stealing skin care from the guys.”

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