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Hair Care Lacks Luster
By: Briony Davies, Euromonitor International
Posted: October 7, 2008, from the August 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 2 of 4Mainstream brands will, however, be working hard to tap into the trend. Although none of the big name brands currently have organic ranges, this is expected to be the next step for the naturals trend in hair care, and L’Oréal is expected to be a leader in this respect, given that it began pushing into the ethical/natural arena with the purchase of The Body Shop and French organic cosmetics maker Sanoflore, in 2006.
Just as ingredients that are perceived as healthier will prove popular, more environmentally friendly formulations will also sell well. This could be achieved through packaging—by the use of refillable, recyclable or biodegradable containers and PVC-free plastics—and via formulations, such as sustainably-sourced ingredients, for example.
In 2006, manufacturers continued to drive growth through a process of consumer segmentation, with an emphasis on products tailored to meet increasingly specific needs. This trend, which represented a key focus in the slow moving mature markets, is driven by the three leading hair care manufacturers—Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal and Unilever. These players are extending their brands to address a widening range of hair care issues. For example, Unilever’s Dove was able to increase its global value share by adding a higher priced Advanced shampoo, conditioner and styling line that offered treatment for two types of hair damage and level of color.
In the competitive U.S. hair care sector, communicating the brand’s function is no longer enough, and marketers have turned to promoting the lifestyle values of certain hair care brands to differentiate their product. The recent Sunsilk launch is supported by a series of two-minute television commercials that run during Sex in the City, a now-syndicated program popular with the brand’s target consumer. The commercials focus on the day-to-day experiences of a young single woman, with hopes of creating an association between the female audience, the main character and Sunsilk.
The trend toward segmentation is likely to continue in the short-term, driving both volume and value sales. In highly mature markets such as the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K., hair care sales are suffering stagnation, and manufacturers will need to offer value-added attributes in order to gain share.