With this new launch, John Frieda’s competitors are certainly in for a rude awakening!
The first and most important stroke of genius is to name the category. John Frieda has done it with Root Awakening, kudos! Individual product names (too small to see in the photo at right) establish the health credentials, Health-Infusing Shampoo and Conditioner and Health-Boosting Detangling Spray, and that’s it for the ad. They didn’t show the entire line, as most companies are wont to do!
Frieda Remains Focused
Frieda focused on the key products—those for normal hair. Another bravo. On the website (noted in the ad in bold face) you’ll find two other pairs of shampoo and conditioner, Nourishing Moisture and Strength Restoring. If all the products were shown in the ad, the consumer take-away would be, “they want to sell me all that stuff!” and then, “no way.”
The key segment for theBrandAudit is Positioning. Additionally, the challenging segments are generally Competition, (of course), and Marketing Potential, the latter because of the 11 difficult points of evaluation faced by the marketer. Nevertheless, Root Awakening scored significantly higher (in the five individual segments) than the three new positioning category stars discussed in prior columns: Root Awakening 89.32 (Neutrogena Fight & Fade 93.19; Clairol Root Touch-Up 83.91; Secret Clinical Strength 83.38). The individual scores of Product, Positioning, Consumer Appeal were all in the 90s, as noted in the chart on the previous page. The competition segment was brought down a bit, by degree of exclusivity, as there is no patent protection. However the very strong trademark, and being first, will go a long way to protect the brand. By the way, the product is priced at $6.47 for 8.5oz.—not bad for a perceived, upscale brand.
Root Awakening’s basic claim: “Awaken 3X Healthier Hair,”* is the powerhouse positioning, supported by “Natural eucalyptus to feed the roots and hydrate the scalp, while nourishing from root to tip, for hair that’s noticeably more resilient, radiant and 3X healthier,” (*than ordinary shampoo for healthy strength).
One picky point: No doubt competitors will wonder what proof there is for the “feeding of roots” and “hydrating the scalp” as the basis for the 3X claim, since the testing in support of the claim was against ordinary shampoos. We’ll all see that played out, won’t we?
A virtual tie with the highest ever score for beauty headline—even without the word, “new”—with just a few points off in theAdAudit’s scores in Visual Impact, for the choppy copy at the bottom; but the overwhelming impact and aura of natural made up for that. Note that the strong natural impression is only supported with “natural eucalyptus” in the copy, yet the consumer will perceive that it’s a “natural product” because of the visual and the package design. The other missing point in the copy was a lack of emotional appeal, but hey, you can’t have everything. All in all, it is a wonderful example of creativity and competitive advantage without heavy-duty technology—just very good marketing talent!