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Beauty supplements need their own brands, says analyst

By Katie Bird , 25-Aug-2009
Last updated on 25-Aug-2009 at 17:48 GMT

Cosmetic companies looking to conquer the nutricosmetics market should create new, separate brands for their beauty supplements, argues a market analyst.

The beauty from within trend has been tipped for impressive growth but the category is in its infancy and it is not clear how beauty companies should proceed to get the most out of it.

Creating a new brand from which to market the beauty from within offerings could help build a successful product range, said Nancy Mills from market research company Kline.

Separate brand

“They should establish a separate brand, as L’Oréal did with Inneov,” she said.

Inneov is the joint venture between L’Oréal and Nestlé. Offering only supplements, its ranges target cellulite, wrinkles, and hair loss, as well as a product that claims to help protect the skin against UV rays.

The products are available in many pharmacy chains and don’t aim to create a link in the minds of consumers with any of L’Oreal’s well known skin care or hair care brands.

In contrast P&G’s Olay brand released a vitamins range back in 2003 which was not as successful as the company had hoped, and was removed from the market four years later.

For Mills, the lack of a separate brand identity may have hindered the success of the products.

“It [Olay’s vitamin line] didn’t perform as well as hoped. We speculate it was because people couldn’t get used to the idea of taking a supplement named Olay, which is a name with strong brand association with face creams,” she told CosmeticsDesign.

When asked about the discontinuation of the line, a P&G spokesperson said that the company had very high sales expectations for the product but they were not met, and suggested that the product did not distinguish itself from a crowded marketplace.

“Today’s consumer has many choices with respect to vitamins and nutrition,” the spokesperson said.

Scientific backing is important

Olay’s vitamins were released in partnership with Pharmavite, a big player in the nutritional supplements world, and the company said it was aware that collaboration with a nutritional expert to explore the link between nutrition and skin health was a necessity.

This sentiment was echoed by the analyst who said scientifically validated products are much more likely to be a hit with consumers, as are convenient and easy to use products.

Kline maintains that simplicity is one of the key’s to success in the category and argues for innovative products that don’t require consumers to make an extra effort. “Changing consumer habits is too much of a hurdle … [Products must] fit in with existing behavior”.

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