Guest Lecture by Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

Marketing Operations | July 11th, 2017

How to Wow Young Women for Styling – Case Study Schwarzkopf got2b | Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

Melanie Hübschen (Head of Marketing Styling Germany)

The second guest lecture within the marketing operations course was held by Melanie Hübschen, Head of Marketing Styling Germany, from Henkel AG & Co. KGaA. Her presentation “How to wow young women for styling – Case study Schwarzkopf got2b” not only covered the necessary decisions and steps a marketing manager has to pass before launching a new product but also provided background information about Henkel and their current business challenges.

Ms Hübschen started with an introduction on recent market developments and changes in Henkel’s target group’s behavior: As people in the last years and today tend to prefer a natural look that does not need a lot of time to achieve, styling products are currently facing a difficult situation. As market research has evaluated the reasons for that change and chances for gaining importance again, Henkel wants to focus on fashion, on young women using and being influenced a lot by social media as well as on emotional motivation to use styling products again.

However, how to convert this market and consumer information into a successful product? Throughout the whole marketing mix, Ms Hübschen presented the respective steps. Starting with the product, she explained, that a new product idea should address a customer issue. The relevant insights Henkel Styling focused on is that most women like perfume, do not have a lot of time but have long hair. At the same time, market monitoring has revealed a new product trend: dry shampoo.

What has become very important in their market position is to develop a relevant competitive advantage compared to the already existing dry shampoos on the market. Therefore, they invented a new formula enabling relevant advantages concerning staying leftovers in the hair after the use of dry shampoo. With this new product attribute and the market research data, Henkel has developed product concepts for their own dry shampoo, consisting of the consumer insight, the product benefit and the motive. After having evaluated these components, the screen lab chose the five to seven most promising ones regarding KPI’s. The final step was to test the concepts and possible packaging quantitatively and qualitatively among consumers in order to analyze the respective buying intentions.

At this stage, Henkel had a product they wanted to launch. However, before doing so, there decisions about price and place had to be made. Commonly, the price positioning is influenced by the general brand price strategy. As the dry shampoo should be launched under “got2b”, the product should be located in the premium price sector. Considering that there are already low-priced and premium priced competitors on the market, Henkel decided to position the product in the mid-price segment. Besides, the product calculation had to be made and the marketing manager had to calculate the selling potential and possible cannibalization effects. With regard to the distribution, Henkel evaluated the suitable positioning within the styling product shelf for their new product to be best perceived by the consumer, which also has been an innovative idea as it was the first dry shampoo placed directly next to the other styling products of its brand.

The last but very important step before launching the dry shampoo was the activation, i.e. the communication. With support of renowned testimonials, they wanted to be where their target group is located. In order to find out about relevant touch points, they analyzed their target group “millennials” with regard to their characteristics and created the slogan “You got 2 party”. Under this theme, Henkel developed a product campaign containing for example the visit of the glow beauty convention to generate awareness.

As a result, Melanie Hübschen presented the satisfying performance of their new dry shampoo “Trockenwäsche”. As the product has complemented their styling product portfolio with a new consumer solution, they were able to attract new customers and increase market share successfully.

Overall, the guest lecture has provided the students in the course with essential marketing insights from a practical example. The presentation of a realistic process of market research and marketing mix implementation to achieve a successful product launch generated a high interest in the audience and led to an interactive Q&A session at the end of her talk.