Evolving market and consumer dynamics have changed how CPG companies build brands, opening the door for new brands to emerge, and making it tougher for major brands to maintain their advantage. Data shows that loyalties and dollars have moved from well-established CPG brands to new brands that seem to share the values and priorities of the consumer. These newer brands are using innovative promotional strategies and new technology platforms to connect with their target audiences.
This series leverages Numerator Insights and Ad Intel data to profile three brands that represent the new generation of CPG brand builders. Part 1 focused on the growth of Chilly Cow, which became a top five healthy ice cream brand in less than a year. In Part 2 will highlight the emergence of Love Beauty and Planet, a Unilever hair and skincare brand that jumped into the top 20 shampoo brands in 2018.
Meet Love Beauty and Planet
Launched in December 2017, Love Beauty and Planet is “committed to making you and our planet a little more beautiful.” According to a Forbes article, the mandate to the Unilever research and development team was to “create a product that was formulated and sourced in as sustainable a way as possible.” All products are vegan and cruelty-free, with no parabens or dyes. Packaging is unique, distinctive, and 100% recyclable.
Growth in a Declining Category
3.3% of households purchased Love Beauty and Planet in 2018, with 78% of sales coming in the shampoo/conditioner category. Overall, shampoo/conditioner sales were down 1.2% in 2018. However, Love Beauty and Planet still managed to break into the top 20 shampoo brands during its launch year, making it the second fastest-growing shampoo/conditioner brand behind L’Oreal.
Love Beauty and Planet buyers spend more than twice as much on shampoo/conditioner vs. the average shopper, and they make about three quarters of their purchases in Mass and Drug channels. That means Love Beauty and Planet purchasers are heavy shoppers and extremely valuable. It also means shoppers are looking for niche brands in the same places where major CPG brands are sold.
The takeaway for large CPG brands is that the real opportunity to grow beyond your core customer lies in winning these valuable consumers who shop more and spend more. This opportunity could very well come through new and small brands. The question is, will such a brand be a competitor, or will it be part of your portfolio?
Winning with Purpose-Driven Marketing
Video advertisements for Love Beauty and Planet feature many different Millennial woman who enjoy using their Love Beauty and Planet products, both because of their utility, and because the brand values things like sustainable sourced ingredients.
Not to sound like we’re feeding stereotypes, but Millennials want everything. If they can have their hair look and smell great and help save the world, they’ll do it. Love Beauty and Planet has created the perception that they’re doing more for the consumer, and the world, than traditional shampoo brands.
Love Beauty and Planet’s purpose-driven marketing strategy is winning Millennials and Gen Z, while creating a multicultural customer base. This strategy is also connecting with value-driven shoppers who are concerned about the environment, prefer organic and environmentally friendly products, and are willing to pay a premium for those products.
Growth Without Cannibalization
Through innovation and purpose-driven messaging, Love Beauty and Planet has been able to reach an audience, and not just Millennials, that sister brand TRESemmé misses.
Love Beauty and Planet, like Chilly Cow, has been able to attract a niche audience by focusing on a key behavioral attribute or characteristic to win a slightly different group of shoppers without cannibalizing Unilever’s core shampoo brand, TRESemmé. In other words, large CPG manufacturers can add small brands to their portfolio to win high-value shoppers.
Ultimately, this strategy has translated to steady sales growth that outpaces all other shampoo/conditioner brands.
And we’re not done yet! In Part 3 of our Brand Builders series, we’ll take a look at PepsiCo’s Bubly, the fastest-growing brand in the high-growth sparkling water category.