Secret tackles the gender pay gap in new campaign
Secret is tackling the gender pay gap conversation head-on with its new “I’d Rather Get Paid” campaign.
Focusing on the reality that despite the progress that has been made by women, they still aren’t paid equally to men, and the campaign takes a music video approach to get the message across.
The Cincinnati-based company called on such well-known activists for the movement as actress Sophia Bush, actress Samira Wiley, journalist Catt Sadler, athlete Abby Wambach and Olympic gold medalist Swin Cash, among others who star in the campaign.
“While Secret’s products are expertly designed to protect women against odor and sweat, we believe there are some things women shouldn’t have to sweat like getting paid what they’re worth,” said Sara Saunders, associate brand director at Secret. “As a brand for women by women, we want to build on the conversation around closing the wage gap, and give women the strength, tools and inspiration to stop sweating the issue.”
“I’d Rather Get Paid” informs viewers that women in the United States still are paid 20% less than men, and the disparity is even greater for women of color, with African American and Latina women earning 38% and 46% less than white men, according to the American Association of University Women and Institute for Women’s Policy research reports.
In addition, Secret has partnered with Ladies Get Paid and The Wing to give women the tools they can use to work towards pay equality. Throughout December, Ladies Get Paid will host a series of workshops at The Wing locations across the country with tips designed on helping women navigate a world where equal pay isn’t the norm, and to become better advocates for progress.
The co-founders of Ladies Get Paid, Claire Wasserman and Ashley Louise, also make an appearance in the campaign video, the company said.
“If the gender wage gap in the U.S. were to be eliminated, the impact would be tremendous — for women, children and the U.S. economy as a whole,” Saunders said, citing recent studies. “We believe brands have a responsibility to use their platform to enable change, and we’re proud to partner with Ladies Get Paid and The Wing to help make a real difference for women.”
Retailers, suppliers look to untangle hair care category
Just as hairstyles change, so do demographics and consumer trends — and they all are playing a big role in the future of the overall hair care category.
These simple facts have long forced manufacturers in this complicated, yet profitable, segment to develop merchandising strategies that demand a constant flow of innovation for a wide range of consumers, from selfie-taking millennials and health-conscious shoppers to multicultural consumers of all ages. The bottom line is that the shampoos, conditioners and styling products seeing sales growth are the ones that not only keep up with styles but also with the changing needs of today’s shoppers.
While suppliers have to stay ahead of the curve on new products, retailers are under pressure to make sure their shelves are full of the products these consumers demand, and at price points that will make these shoppers visit another store. Hair care always has been a difficult segment to merchandise in-store, and it may be more complex than ever now.
So how can retailers stay ahead of this category? The answer, many said, is to understand what the trends are and to make sure that store shelves are stocked with the hottest products. Xenia Barth, Henkel Beauty Care’s vice president of marketing for hair brands, for example, said she sees two important trends impacting the category. The first is the longtime trend of consumers seeking natural and organic products. “Beauty products that take inspiration from nature are booming across lifestyle areas,” she said.
This is particularly true of the millennial generation. “We see these consumers as confident and conscious life enthusiasts, interested in health, nature and overall well-being,” she said. “This group is willing to try out new things and they have a strong interest in meaningful products with relevant natural features.”
Barth said that millennials and younger Generation Z shoppers also are driving the second trend, which is the rise in sales of products that promote self-expression. These young consumers have a personal interest in an inclusive culture, she said, so they do not chase after one beauty ideal, but instead express diversity and individuality. They enjoy posting photos on social media, so they look to color and styling products that enable them to experiment and show off their creativity on such social media sites as Instagram and Pinterest.
Barth said these trends are reflected in sales figures. “Although there isn’t much movement in the traditional categories of color and styling, they are being re-dynamized
by trend color and creative products,” she said. Henkel, with U.S. consumer goods headquarters in Stamford, Conn., launched Schwarzkopf’s göt2b Color, which Barth said allows for self-expression with 15 shades of creative and exciting colors, including on-trend metallics and pastels.
Another continuously strong trend is that consumers want natural and organic ingredients, and also beneficial ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals. That is true not just in foods but also beauty products, such as hair care. “Products get absorbed through the scalp, and so do artificial ingredients and chemicals,” said Osman Mithavayani, vice president of OKAY Pure Naturals, based in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Mithavayani said OKAY provides hair care collections that are rich, nourishing and gentle for the hair and scalp. Retailers can benefit by including these natural products in their hair care assortments. “Carrying the OKAY brand lets consumers know that these stores take their consumers’ hair health seriously,” he said.
In addition to millennials seeking self-expression and consumers in general seeking natural and organic products, an audience to keep in mind is multicultural shoppers. “The hair care category sees growth every year,” Mithavayani said. “The growth is coming from multicultural consumers [who] are exponentially growing every year.”
He said OKAY is the No. 1 and fastest-growing brand for multicultural consumers. The company recently expanded its men’s care line with natural items that include OKAY Men’s All- Natural Hair and Beard shampoo, All-Natural Hair and Beard conditioner, All-Natural Hair Oil, Men’s Hair and Beard Pomade, and hair and beard gel made with natural ingredients. It also debuted the OKAY Baby line, including OKAY All Natural Baby Shampoo made with natural papaya extract, aloe, grapefruit extract, chamomile and jojoba.
More new products from OKAY include Black Jamaican Castor Oil with Lavender Hair Care and Black Jamaican Castor Oil Coconut Curls collection. The moisture and curling sorbets for curly, coil-shaped and textured hair work to moisturize, hydrate and style multicultural and curly hair. The brand also launched Coconut and Shea hair care, Coconut and Hibiscus hair care, and Coconut Curls Gardenia and Grapefruit hair care. These hair care collections consist of a shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioners.
Multicultural consumers are especially interested in natural hair products. According to Mintel’s recent report, “Black Haircare – US – 2018: Consumer market research report,” 40% of black women surveyed said they wear their hair natural — no chemicals — with no-heat styling, and 38% said they wear their hair natural with heat styling. Also, 70% of black women said they prefer to read ingredient labels in hair care products to avoid certain chemicals, and 43% of black women said they use five or more hair care products at home.
Manufacturers said reading labels and looking for healthful ingredients also is a growing trend. “Many people are taking a more customized approach to hair care and are more ingredient-conscious,” said Ebony Bomani, master cosmetologist and product educator at Huntsville, Ala.-based The Mane Choice Hair Solution. “Consumers are interested, more than ever, in using healthier ingredients on their hair. Our products are filled with quality vitamins and nutrients that help to support a healthier hair and scalp care regimen.”
The Mane Choice recently launched the Do It FRO The Culture collection for Afro-textured hair in Sally Beauty. The company also expanded the Tropical Moringa collection, which is for curly and wavy hair and is available in mass retailers.
As with any consumer goods category, innovation is the key to sales growth. “As a brand, we not only aim to fill a need, but also cultivate the desire for excellence,” Bomani said. “By going above and beyond to customize our products for the consumer to improve their experience, they always want to know what’s next.”
Small but Mighty
According to IRI, the Chicago-based market research firm, for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 9, total U.S. multi-outlet sales of shampoo totaled more than $3.16 billion, an increase of nearly 3% compared with the same period the previous year. Sales of conditioner totaled more than $2.19 billion, an increase of 3.2%. While some longtime brands were flat or saw small increases in sales, some newer, smaller brands had double-digit sales gains.
“Today, many niche, indie hair care brands are capturing shelf space, gaining momentum and market share,” said Jaime Kontz, associate director of product innovation at Vogue International, a Johnson & Johnson company. “This shift towards indie brands is impacting hair care sales in a significant way, and is triggering brands to think differently about what type of products they’re creating, who they’re speaking to, how they go to market, and how nimble and agile they can be.”
Kontz said the products that are getting the most attention are ingredient-led with clean formulas, are free from harmful ingredients, and have premium performance and packaging. Premium-izing also is driving sales in the category. “We are seeing salon-inspired products grow double digits, while mid-tier and lower-priced product segments decline,” Kontz said. “Consumers are shopping for and willing to spend more on products formulated thoughtfully, and perform as well as the professional salon products, but at an affordable price.”
Practicality and Nostalgia
One product gaining much attention is dry shampoo. “It’s a favorite among millennials,” said Barbara Goldstein, director of corporate communications at Denver-based Neoteric Cosmetics. “They tend to do their hair once a week, and in between they use dry shampoo.”
Neoteric represents Batiste, a dry shampoo brand from the United Kingdom. While other dry shampoos use cornstarch, Goldstein said Batiste uses a lighter rice starch. “Dry shampoo reduces the time you spend getting ready,” she said. “Primping has gone by the wayside.”
What have not gone by the wayside are such legacy brands as Prell, which Neoteric purchased in 2016. The shampoo now is being embraced by baby boomers, who remember a TV commercial that involved a pearl sinking slowly into the shampoo. “I hear people saying, I’ve been using it for 30 years, 40 years,” Goldstein said. “They like it because it’s tried and true, it’s nostalgia and it creates a warm fuzzy for people.”
Prell’s scent is a big component of the nostalgia, Goldstein said, noting that the scent is gender neutral and appeals to men and women. The company plans to launch Prell conditioner soon.
The hair care category changes so much that manufacturers have to be nimble, said Vogue International’s Kontz. “We have a finely tuned radar for unique trends that are swirling around us continuously. We have honed our skills at identifying which of those trends are meaningful, and how we can deliver on those trends in a meaningful and quick way.”
CoverGirl to open Times Square flagship store
Beauty brand CoverGirl is looking to make a splash on Black Friday this year with the opening of its first permanent retail store in Times Square. The store will open its doors Nov. 23, with the goals of embodying the brand’s “I Am What I Make Up” philosophy and providing an experiential beauty shopping destination, CoverGirl said.
The store, located at 7th Ave. and 49th St., will feature two levels of offerings focused on virtual and real-life opportunities to try on and experiment with CoverGirl products. It will feature a virtual greeter named Olivia, powered by Google’s Dialogflow platform, as well as augmented reality “glam stations” powered by Holition. The glam stations will offer the ability to virtually try on lipstick and eyeshadow, as well as blushes, mascara and foundation, to create a look that can be digitally shared.
Besides its digital offerings, the store will feature a customization station for lipstick and makeup personalization and makeup application from CoverGirl BFFs, who will dispense tips and product recommendations.
“We can’t wait to open our doors to the public and let our fellow CoverGirls in to play and to ‘make up’ what CoverGirl means to them,” said Coty consumer beauty chief marketing officer Ukonwa Ojo. “The CoverGirl flagship represents this incredible moment in beauty, where rich experiences matter most and where true self-expression and experimentation are the only beauty standards.”
The store opening comes on the heels of CoverGirl becoming the largest makeup brand to be Leaping Bunny-certified by Cruelty Free International, as well as its move to be the first mass makeup brand to launch 40 foundation shades at once with the introduction of its TruBlend Matte Made.