“Consumers are no longer willing to compromise performance for living sustainably and they expect brands to take meaningful action in solving some of the most complex challenges facing the world,” says Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer, in a press release about the company’s efforts to become a thought leader in the responsible consumption movement.
And he goes on to explain how Herbal Essences will be repositioned to better align with contemporary consumer expectations: “This is why P&G is focused on reinventing marketing to use the reach and voice of our brands as a force for good and a force for growth. We want our brands to be growing and creating value while having a measurable, long-term, positive impact on society and the environment.”
P&G is not only making changes at Herbal Esences but is adjusting its strategy for a few brands in other segments of the business as well. The company is updating what it calls ‘brand ambition’ and ‘brand fundamentals’. To update a brand’s ambition, P&G will move social and environmental causes to “the heart of their consumer experience,” explains the release. And to update brand fundamentals, P&G will innovate environmentally sustainable product and packaging as well as be transparent about ingredients and “safety science.”
“The Herbal Essences Ambition is to enable everyone to experience the positive power of nature and to support biodiversity for the benefit of people and the planet,” according to the press release. “Beyond this, Herbal Essences is leading the way in sharing comprehensive information about its ingredients, transparently explaining their 4-steps afety process and being recognized by PETA as a cruelty free brand.”
To illustrate what this looks like in terms of ingredient selection and packaging, the company points to this example: “Herbal Essences bio:renew is the first global hair care brand to have its botanicals endorsed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a world leading authority on plants. Herbal Essences is also leveraging its voice to promote the launch of packaging designed to help the visually impaired and beach plastic bottles in its largest market, the US.”
Beauty, thanks in part to hair care, did fairly well for P&G this past quarter. The company’s overall net sales were up 1% to $16.5 billion. In beauty, net sales were up 4% and organic sales (sales not including acquisitions, divestures, foreign exchange, etc.) were up 9%.
Offering a bit of insight into the those beauty figures, P&G’s press release about its Q3 2019 financial results says that “Skin and Personal Care organic sales increased mid-teens driven by premium innovation, positive product mix from the disproportionate growth of super-premium SK-II brand and increased pricing. Hair Care organic sales increased mid-single digits with strong growth in developed and developing regions and increased pricing.”
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.