BEAUTY CARE

HellaWella.com start-up serious about health … well, sort of

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — It may have a goofy name, but start-up website HellaWella, HellaWella.com, 
is serious about promoting healthy living and all the good stuff that goes with it. Well, “serious” might be a little misleading, as the free website and weekly newsletter definitely is taking a fun, youthful approach to helping consumers discover the latest in health and wellness — and how to do so on the cheap.


In categories like Health, Sweat, Primp and Eats, the site covers everything from free local health screenings at national pharmacies to new health products and deals for the body, home and environment. In addition to the deals uncovered by the editorial staff, the site also offers a sponsored, Groupon-like “Deal of the Week” feature that allows health brands to market their products and special offers to a highly motivated and targeted audience.


Wayne Bennett, of the Lebhar-Friedman Retail Group, which publishes HellaWella, said, “There is a huge consumer segment that actively seeks out health-and-wellness information on a daily basis. And in today’s challenging economic environment, everyone is looking for a deal. With HellaWella, we have created a unique platform where we can provide great information for living better and saving money while doing it.”


Editor’s Note: Sounds like a hell of a good deal to us.

Click here to check out HellaWella.

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Innovation, added benefits color lipstick sales growth

BY Antoinette Alexander

Judging by many makeup looks on the runways of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2011 in New York, it was evident that lipstick was going to be in the shopping basket of many beauty mavens. That has proven to be the case.


According to SymphonyIRI Group, lipstick sales have experienced strong double-digit growth in the 12 weeks ended April 17. Topping the list, according to SymphonyIRI, were lip products that offer such innovation as long-wearing color like CoverGirl Outlast, Maybelline SuperStay and L’Oréal Paris 
Infallible Le Rouge.


According to research by Mintel, women have reported using lipstick and lip gloss six times a week, suggesting that these products are a daily staple.

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Social influence trumps TV ads in HBA buys

BY Antoinette Alexander

MT. KISCO, N.Y. — Retailers and small- to mid-sized brand marketers shouldn’t be quick to dismiss social media as an effective avenue to communicate with consumers versus traditional media outreach like TV and radio. That was a key takeaway of a recent survey conducted on behalf of marketing/public relations firm Robin Leedy & Associates.


In fact, the research suggested that the balance of power already may be tipping in favor of social marketing, particularly in certain categories and definitely among certain consumers.


According to a survey of more than 1,500 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older — conducted in May by VeraQuest on behalf of Robin Leedy & Associates — consumers said that friends and TV were equal in terms of their ability to influence an over-the-counter or a health and beauty product purchase (49%).


Factor in such social networking sites as Facebook (7%) — really just another way to measure “friends” — and the impact of social influence is even more significant.


“There’s a tremendous amount of interest in the industry now in social media. One hundred percent of our clients now are doing social media, and only maybe half or a little more are doing traditional PR,” explained Robin Russo, president of RL&A. “Not that they don’t want to do traditional PR, but it is more a function of budget … and part of it is the immediacy. So we did this survey because we wanted to gut-check ourselves to see what’s really helping the purchase influence, because obviously that’s the bottom line with our clients.”


A deeper dive into the research revealed that the influence of friends is even more pronounced among women (52%) — particularly among women ages 30 to 49 years (55%), and even higher among women ages 18 to 29 years (58%).


The third-largest influence of OTC and HBA purchases overall was spouses/partners (36%); however, this differed sharply among men (45%) versus women (27%). A look at other key influencers suggested that, in general, digital media trumped traditional media, including online product reviews (27%) versus consumer magazine ads (24%); online articles (16%) versus newspaper articles (13%); and online video (7%) versus radio messaging (3%).


Blog reviews were another area that ranked as a source of greater influence among younger women (14% of women ages 30 to 39 years versus 6% overall).


“I think [social media] is the logical place, and I think that retailers need to look at that because, from my perspective, eventually you will have two or four brands, and one will be a store brand. The choices are going to be gone unless the retailers start accepting that social media will move the needle,” Russo said.

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