Online Exclusives

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | June 9, 2011

Philosophy rolls out 'Year Round Gifting' collection.

What once was celebrated with a Hallmark card or bouquet of flowers has gone digital by way of text messages and Facebook wall comments. Personal care marketer Philosophy is looking to change the way we say “Happy Birthday” and “Congrats” with its new Year Round Gifting collection, out now in stores.

“Gifting has always been at the heart of our brand,” explained Anne Silsby, bath and body brand manager, Philosophy, Phoenix, AZ. “The renewed focus was based on the success of our annual holiday gift program as well as growing demand from our consumers for an assortment that covered more special moments—new baby, marriage and even those ‘just because’ occasions.”

The gift sets are named by occasion and feature everything from Birthday Girl ($18), a two-piece set comprised of Philosophy’s Vanilla Birthday Cake Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath and Vanilla Birthday Cake High-Gloss, High-Flavor Lip Shine to Here Comes the Bride ($35), featuring the brand’s bestselling Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser; Hope in a Jar Original Formula Moisturizer; Amazing Grace Perfumed Shampoo, Bath & Shower Gel; Amazing Grace Perfumed Firming Body Emulsion and a single-use sample of a Microdelivery Peel.The Just Because set ($18), for any occasion, consists of a Cinnamon Buns Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath and Cinnamon Buns High-Gloss, High-Flavor Lip Shine.

An easier way to say thank you.
According to Silsby, Philosophy considered several factors in selecting scents for each gift set. The first factor was the occasion.

“For example, what better way to say ‘congrats’ to someone than with a gift of flowers? Philosophy’s Field of Flowers 3-in-1 shower gel is a positively lovely scent that is a perfect fit for this gift,” she said.

The second factor was assortment—“we wanted to go beyond one category to offer skin care, fragrance and bath and body gift assortments that highlight the top performers in each area,” Silsby added.

So, what is going to make Year Round Gifting stand out in the marketplace? According to Silsby, it’s all about formulation, frugality and functionality.

Is there a better way to wish someone well?
“Giving or receiving a gift from our year-round collection is fabulous for so many reasons,” she told Happi. “First, all of our products are formulated with scientifically-proven ingredients that are good for skin and your overall well-being. Second, the gift packaging is beautifully designed with delicate details like ribbon and bows; so, there’s no wrapping required! Finally, our gifts range from $16-$35. For a high-performance product that is wrapped and ready to give, our gift sets offer tremendous value…our consumers asked for expanded gifting, and we are delighted to deliver.”

Philosophy is having a banner year so far. It just introduced Divine Illumination, a new collection of anti-aging cosmetics sold on QVC, as well as a natural baby care line exclusively at Ulta stores this month; Coty also acquired the brand in November 2010 from The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager. A sale price was not disclosed, but Carlyle was said to be seeking $1 billion for Philosophy, which is expected to have 2010 sales of more than $200 million.

Also, online customization marketer CafePress has partnered with the company to offer customized bath and body gifts. According to CafePress, Philosophy joins its roster as the first skin care and cosmetic brand to provide its consumers with unique ways to "co-create" products.

A little gratitude goes a long way.
At launch, the CafePress design tool allows Philosophy customers to customize the packaging on three of philosophy's signature shower gel scents: Amazing Grace, Pure Grace and Falling in Love. They simply select from the design templates and add a one-of-a-kind personal message. Shoppers can also purchase CafePress merchandise ranging from t-shirts and water bottles to iPad cases inscribed with Philosophy's inspirational messages.

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