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Starting Point: All in the Family

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: October 2, 2007

We cover a lot of ground here in the pages of GCI magazine, from skin care and fine fragrance to hair care and home fragrance, sometimes all in the same issue. Last month, we honored P&G as Fragranced Product Marketer of the Year at the HBA Expo for its Dawn Simple Pleasures, a dish soap that is also a home fragrance. Dish soap, you say? But it works, and why it does is probably no surprise.

Whether you’re talking about fine or home fragrance or even fragranced personal care, one thing all those products have in common is, of course, fragrance. But dig just a little deeper and you’ll find a common desire to build strong brands that acquire and keep as much of a consumer’s loyalty and disposable income as possible.

Brand and line extensions certainly are nothing new, but it has gone well beyond the cream and lotion added to the fine fragrance line. Bath and body products may soon follow the fragrance launch but it doesn’t always stop there. Candle companies add body care to enhance the experience created by burning a candle. Consider the household products companies selling soaps and cleaners that add a home fragrance line and then a line of personal care products. Is fragrance the common thread or is it building loyal customers by serving multiple needs through a family of products? Clearly it is both.

Take another look and you’ll find even deeper benefits to line extensions that spell growth for an entire industry. The company that makes foundation makeup decides to add a little sun protection to the mix, and new markets open up for the cosmetics company and the supplier of sunscreen ingredients. The brand with the flavored, nutrient-rich bottled water adds topical skin care products to its line to create even better results and keep customers; the color cosmetics brand adds nutritional ingredients to its lip care products. All those line extensions create new opportunities for suppliers to the beauty industry, and a lot of those opportunities come from companies already in the marketplace.

Keeping customers close by expanding your line demands creative thinking and smart partnering that can lead to growth in all areas of an industry. The results are a big part of what makes this business so exciting.