Innovations can deliver impact and growth, and are therefore the focus of a great deal of brand development attention. But walk down the aisle of any supermarket and you'll see that innovations can also complicate and clutter a brand if not executed carefully. The secret is paying more attention to the fit with the current brand equity and line-up.
Dove has always enjoyed a reputation for superior moisturizing, and it's products have always delivered a demonstrable benefit. David Ogilvy himself developed Dove's first messaging, 'contains one-quarter cleansing cream.' However, when shower gels became the news in the category, Dove found itself in an unusual position. Number 2 to Olay.
As the innovation manager for the Unilever personal wash category, I was charged with developing an innovation that would return Dove to #1. True to Dove equity, we developed something noticeably different. A 'striped' formula that segregated two benefit delivery systems. The product was named Dove Nutrium, and the idea was that it didn't just moisturize skin's surface. It mositurized deep down to nourish skin. Year I sales exceeded $50MM, and Dove regained the #1 position in shower gels. The Nutrium name endures to this day, acting now as a platform for superior moisturization across the entire Dove line.
Caress experienced healthy growth when it launched, because it fit the times. It leveraged Dove skin technology in a more spirited way. Dove spoke of skin care. Caress spoke of pampering. 'Before You Dress, Caress' was very relevant to the younger target. But when body washes emerged, a more pampering experience became more generic, and Caress share began to decline.
As the Brand Director on Caress, I developed a strategy to return to brand to it's feminine roots by focusing on an emerging trend. A trend that was exploding in mall-based stores like Bath & Body Works, but which had not yet been exploited in mass channels. Fragrance. It was a great fit with our equity, and distinctive from competitive brands. We re-staged the entire line, significantly expanding the number of variants, and our shelf presence. Body wash share more than doubled in just three months, and profits increased by +25%. Today, the Caress fragrance reinvention continues to be the brand's product platform.