NEW YORK — Coty Inc. revealed its first launch since the acquisition of 41 Procter & Gamble Co. properties and promised more to come.
First up, a much awaited nail polish line under the Sally Hansen logo that retailers hope will add luster to the languishing nail business.
At an event in Manhattan to introduce beauty editors and social media influencers, Coty not only threw a coming-out party for the line called Color Therapy, but also gave the first official appearance by Shannon Curtin.
Curtin, formerly a top beauty executive at Walgreens, is now senior vice president for North America for the Coty Consumer Beauty division.
“It is interesting being on the other side of the business,” Curtin said during the event. “But my experience has really helped me.”
Also at the event were Jeremy Lowenstein, vice president of global marketing for Sally Hansen; Chandra Coleman, vice president of U.S. marketing for Sally Hansen; and editorial manicurist and designer Madeline Poole, who is global color ambassador for Sally Hansen.
In remarks at the press party, Curtin paid homage to Sally Hansen’s 60-year heritage. The collection of 38 colors (along with a top coat and cuticle oil) plays to the brand’s strength in color and nail care.
“Color Therapy line represents both of these,” she said, pointing to the addition of argan oil to the formula along with other “good for you” ingredients. Argan oil has been flowing into mass market products following great success in prestige products. This is thought to be the first in nail for mass.
Curtin believes Sally Hansen Color Therapy is just what the nail care business needs to get back on track. For the 52-week period ended October 2 in multiunit doors tracked by IRI, overall nail category sales were down 3.2%. More disconcerting is that color was off 9.8%.
“We need a healthy Sally Hansen,” said one buyer. “Miracle Gel gave us a much needed lift, but then other lines copied that.” Admittedly, retailers said it will be hard to top the $118 million Miracle Gel racked up, which made it the biggest beauty launch in years. But even if it does 75% of that, it could take nail out of the red.
Coty research and development caught on to the idea that women are frustrated with damage from salon-applied gels. Many are taking a “break” from gels. While they do, the company believes they’ll like the conditioning properties of Color Therapy along with the on-target shades selected by Poole, who has an immense following with social media influencers who cheered enthusiastically for her at the press event.
Curtin agreed the category is down but feels Color Therapy addressed the reasons it is sluggish. “Color Therapy offers the unique benefits of instant moisture and nourishment while providing a noticeable improvement to natural nails. We provide all of these benefits with a gorgeous shade palette so she doesn’t have to sacrifice wearing the color she loves while she simultaneously cares for nails.”
In tests conducted at Sally Hansen’s on-site salon at its research and development site in Morris Plains, N.J., nine out of 10 women experienced a noticeable improvement in their natural nails after wearing Color Therapy polish.
Coty executives noted the line doesn’t erode sales of existing products, because it brings entirely new options to nail color. The package is distinguished with a rose gold cap so shoppers can find it on the shelves. With a suggested retail of $8.99, it is priced $1 below two-step Miracle Gel and in line with Complete Salon Manicure.
Coty plans to expand beyond traditional support platforms for the line with a major 360-degree plan in place. Curtin said she wants to make education top of mind by using social media and online support to show consumers how to use the product and how to create interesting nail looks. The social media campaign is called #dropeverything, with a theme that women need some micromoments for themselves.