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When Summer Fades, Skin Concerns Remain

By: Abby Penning
Posted: August 31, 2011, from the September 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Once products are established for a market, brands also face the challenge of getting the word out about the new products and break through the clutter. “The best way for the [brand owner] to reach the target customers is through a well-designed package with an easy-to-dispense lid or cap that can be removed and [that includes] appropriate, well-written copy on the label with a message that speaks directly to the target consumer,” Epstein says. “The marketing, less technical approach seems to work best when the story is told with pictures and bullet-point summaries. The appearance of skin before and after treatment, and how long the improvement took, is very impressive. Our most successful technical presentations are loaded with relevant biological pathways and data from well-conducted studies that confirm the marketing story.”

Packaging remains a vital consumer connection point, a fact that isn’t lost in sun care. “Kiehl’s has very direct and clear packaging, and they work hard to present their product message in a straightforward and direct way right on the label,” says Geyer, and Pastorkovich notes, “We consistently hear that it’s very easy to get confused in the retail skin care setting. The women we’ve talked to say, ‘When I get to the shelf, I can’t tell what’s right for me.’ So when we are developing our products and packaging, we work hard to clearly convey the message about the ingredients and what they do, and what kinds of problems they target.”

It is often well-educated retailers and salespeople that aid in the education of consumers, too. “The team of customer representatives and educators in the Kiehl’s stores are highly trained and work carefully with consumers to match appropriate products with the skin care needs and concerns of their patrons,” notes Geyer, and O’Hanlon also speaks to the importance of education. “The key for Darphin is working through educating,” she says. “Finding a solution for the problem is our platform, our key to success.

“There are multiple types of consumers and different types of lifestyles,” O’Hanlon continues on about reaching target markets. “It’s about finding the best way to interact with our consumers, to discover how our products fit into their regimen and continuously work to meet their demands.”

Lavian says Dermelect also tries to develop products that cross designations. “We don’t try to pigeonhole customers into specific categories,” he says. “We want our customers to be satisfied, and that is also about having the right, reasonable expectations. If you have 30 years of sun damage, there’s no 30-day quick fix with a topical treatment, but you do need to start somewhere, and that’s where a good product comes in.”