Today, Keranique, which is based in Jersey City, NJ and is part of Atlantic Coast Brands, has more than 2 million loyal customers captured by sound products and a solid media effort. According to Thomas Shipley, co-founder and CEO of Atlantic Coast, the firm has invested more than $100 million in broadcast media to educate customers.
And there are many that can be brought into the fold (46 million women or so, by Keranique’s own count)—and the company plans to reach them through rapid channel expansion in retail, professional salon and international markets.
Some of that expansion is underway. For example, last year, Keranique doubled its in-store presence for consumer retail channel including Ulta Beauty, CVS, Sephora, HSN and Nordstrom.com, among others. This year, Keranique is moving into professional salons.
That decision came out of a study that it commissioned, according to Andrew Surwilo, co-founder and CEO of Atlantic Coast Brands.
“In our continued efforts to improve the brand and more fully serve the Keranique customer, we commissioned a study by Research Now in 2017. One of the goals of the study was to gain insight into how customers find their way to Keranique and to our surprise, the number one reason was a recommendation from their stylist. This surprised us and it opened our eyes to an obvious opportunity with salons and stylist on a broad scale,” said Surwilo.
In July, Keranique announced a distribution agreement with direct-to-salon wholesalers, TruBeauty Concepts and Princess Professional.
In addition to offering its full line, Keranique also developed a unique in-salon treatment tailored to the importance of scalp health. The new Hair and Scalp Facial Treatment is available at salons that carry the brand. According to Thomas Shipley, co-founder and CEO of Atlantic Coast Brands, the treatment regimen rejuvenates, stimulates and nourishes the scalp and fortifies the fiber to provide repair and core strength. Step 1 is to shampoo and condition; Step 2 is a micro-exfoliating scalp massage, a sebum-clearing, surface-DHT removing, scalp detoxifying treatment; and Step 3 is an 8-Day Intensive Scalp Infusion & Lift Repair Treatment Spray. The eight-day ampoule is a multi-benefit hair and scalp booster with biomimetic peptides that reduce irritation from excess sebum and DHT on the scalp to promote healthy growth conditions.
Additional support materials for the salons include an online training and certification program.
Keranique officials contend their brand is set up for success in the competitive salon sector.
“We believe three factors give us a decided advantage as we begin to serve the salon industry directly,” Surwilo told Happi. “First, the advertising support for our brand is extremely robust. Customers and stylist know Keranique as the brand dedicated to delivering high quality beauty solutions for women with thinning hair. Second, we believe in education and support for our salon partners. We’ve developed an online certification course for our stylists to get the educational tools they’ll need to evaluate and consult with their clients on the best Keranique solution to get their best hair results. Finally, we’re ready to employ our own direct and social media marketing efforts to actually drive new customers and appointments to our salon partners. We have the ability to geo-target our customers to get them into local salons so they can meet with stylists and experience Keranique with a professional.”
In another first, Keranqiue exhibited at Cosmoprof North America in Las Vegas last month.
And, naturally, the brand has started working with key beauty influencers on a campaign that features celebrity stylist and brand ambassador Franco Della Grazia and a board-certified dermatologist.
Keranqiue also has its sights set on new territories. In early 2019, retail distribution will commence in Canada.
“While we haven’t actively marketed in Canada, we’ve always enjoyed a strong crossover of customers who have heard our ads or found Keranique online,” said Surwilo. “Our plan is to follow the same strategy in terms of direct to consumer media support coupled with retail and salon distribution with key partners that we’ve employed in the US.”
Keranique will deploy radio, TV, and social media campaigns in both French and English in this marketplace.
The neighbors up north aren’t the only customers Keranique wants to cozy up to these days; it has its sights set on the southern border, too, and beyond.
“From an international expansion perspective, Keranique has a strong business in Australia and we plan on entering the Mexican direct and retail markets in early 2019.” Surwilo said.
This strategy is likely to provide a boost to the privately-held company’s bottom line.
Atlantic Coast Media executives have always kept close to the vest on just how big the company has become over the years, but Surwilo remains bullish that it will keep its current pace.
“As a privately-held company, we don’t disclose annual sales but we expect to continue our historic double digit annual growth trend in 2018 and 2019.”