Slick Hair Moves by Robanda

November 9, 2005

With the acquisition of Jingles Academy, a skin care manufacturer enters the hair care business.

Long-time skin care product manufacturer Robanda In-ternational has found a perfect launching pad into the hair care industry. Following the March acquisition of hair care manufacturer and educator Jingles, the company has plans to make it one of the top salon hair care brands in the world. Jingles, a 26-year-old UK-based hair academy and product line, touts its tutelage of successful hair executives such as the founders of Rusk and John Paul Mitchell. But while Jingles may be proud of its didactic heritage, the company's former owners didn't exactly hit the books when it came to product expansion.

"The past owners did not promote the Jingles products at the education sites; they focused more on education," explained David Leib, president, Robanda International, San Diego. "But we plan to promote the products."

Sixteen years ago, Jingles Academy began training U.S. hair stylists in New York. The products followed four years later. Currently, Jingles operates several satellite academies in the U.S. in addition to holding in-salon seminars to teach new hair techniques and styles. Classes can also be taken in many countries throughout the world. In addition, Robanda is increasing U.S. distribution of Jingles products, but company executives insist they are committed to maintaining their salon-only status.

Jingles' packaging features bright colors to catch consumers' attention.
"Much of the hair care industry's growth has been through diverted products, but Jingles is for salon use only," noted Mr. Leib. "We are very conscious of being purely a professional brand." (For more on diversion, see p. 50 in this issue.)

The 45 SKU Jingles line received a makeover to help expand its wings in the salon hair care market. Robanda plans to reformulate the four original Jingles shampoos this fall for enhanced performance and is designing an in-salon display case on wheels. The company also plans to make its wild colors even brighter. Jingles features loud primary colors that stand apart from the black and white products that proliferate on most salon shelves. The most popular Jingles product, Mr. Leib insists, is the company's large yellow Mega Hold hair spray.

"In fact, Jingles' Mega Hold hair spray accounts for 22% of the company's annual sales of $6.5 million. It was created for the salon professional who is more demanding of products and performance," said Mr. Leib.
Eclectics is a new line for damaged hair.

To help consumers find the right product, Jingles' packaging is color-coordinated. There's blue for shampoos to emulate water on the hair, green for conditioners to spotlight botanical ingredients, red for styling products and yellow for finishing products.

The largest size is 32-oz. to assist stylists in holding and dispensing the products. Jingles also offers the Mega Gun, an accessory for the Mega Hold hair spray that allows stylists with either long nails or slippery hands to dispense the spray easily. In August, Jingles launched Mousse Forte in a Ferrari red can to meet the need for a crisp and wet look. Also new is the Scalp Reju-venating line, featuring shampoo, conditioner and a tea tree oil-based product to treat dandruff.

The company also introduced the Eclectic hair care line in white and gold packaging for severely dry and abused hair. Mr. Leib explained the line purposely does not mention the Jingles name so it will be set apart from the brand as a reparative hair line. Eclectics features seven SKUs and spotlights botanicals as the leading ingredients instead of water or alcohol. The company recently added Emulance shampoo to the Eclectics line.

"The company is 90% inherited, but our new SKUs prove what can be done. They say the cream rises to the top and Jingles products, with their performance and education, will rise to the top," Mr. Leib insisted.

Jingles will be exhibited at five hair shows a year where sales reps will promote the brand as a premier line. Mr. Leib said that with Robanda Inter-national's international footing, Jingles has the ability to be introduced worldwide quickly as well. But for the first year, distribution will be focused on the U.S. Currently about 7,500 salons in the U.S. sell Jingles products and amass sales of $6.5 million. Challenges remain, however, in the booth-rental style found in much of the Midwest U.S. Executives predict distribution will increase to an additional 5000 salons and sales should top $10 million next year. The products already feature Spanish, French and English on the packaging, which will facilitate international expansion. If their predictions are correct, the folks at Jingles will be singing a happy tune.

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