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Finding the Hot Spot

By: Briony Davies
Posted: August 28, 2008, from the February 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Similarly, educating consumers to use self-tanners as a safer alternative to sun bathing or sun beds will only work if self-tanning products are quick and easy to use in addition to achieving even, natural-looking results.

According to Euromonitor International, Boots saw its global share increase in 2005 due, in part, to the success of its Soltan Back Applicator, launched in the U.K., which made it easier to apply self-tanner to hard-to-reach parts of the body. Other new convenience formats in self-tanning include air-brush sprays for streak-free, fast-drying color; sponge petals that provide an even tan for the face; and moisturizing self-tans that can be incorporated into the daily beauty regimen and build-up of a slow, gradual tan. These developments are more prominent in the mature markets, where the role of sun protection is better understood and where consumers can afford to trade up—although it is spreading into emerging countries too. Convenience formats encourage both initial usage and continued application, something that will spur repeat purchases and volume sales. These formats also will give products a unique selling point in a crowded market and help justify higher unit prices.

Refine Consumer Targeting

Players who need a boost in volume sales should consider ways to hit the hardest to reach consumers—men, older age groups and, in some markets, children, tweens and teens. Encouraging men to use sun protection could be achieved by linking its usage to sports. That men and women require different UV protection also is an important fact that manufacturers could bring out and use in the development of formulations created especially for male skin. A focus on the aging effects of the sun should make older consumers understand the importance of sun care, especially given that antiaging is the biggest driving force behind skin care sales. Dual-action sunscreens, after-sun products and self-tans that offer antiaging benefits could appeal to this group.

For children, the issue is about ensuring usage when parents are not around. The key here is to offer fun packaging and easy-to-use formats, such as sprays and wipes. Long-lasting formulations, such as Piz Buin’s 1 Day Long, could also work—enabling parents to apply block on their children in the morning for all-day protection.

Another consumer group that is already beginning to gain attention from sun awareness advocates is the ethnic category. Those with darker skin tones do not always realize that they are as much at risk from skin cancer and premature aging as Caucasians. Ethnic sun care provides opportunities for growth in multicultural societies and in markets where darker skin tones dominate.

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