LITTLE FALLS, N.J., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Beauty industry analysts at
worldwide consulting and research firm Kline & Company are calling
Thursday's announcement by Estee Lauder to marry its powerhouse Clinique
brand with specialty pharmaceutical company Allergan a shrewd
diversification strategy by the cosmetics maker. The strategy will allow
Estee Lauder to gain a foothold in the booming medical distribution
channel. It will also position the Clinique brand for growth through
cross-channel marketing and help balance the overall lackluster performance
in the prestige beauty market, according to Kline.
"Estee Lauder has always been innovative and aware of the value in
diversifying their channel mix," says Carrie Mellage, director of the
Consumer Products practice for Kline's market research group. "With low,
single-digit growth in the prestige skin care market, the Clinique brand
has suffered somewhat, along with the rest of the market. Meanwhile, the
medical channel is growing fast, posting a 16.5% jump in 2007. It's no
surprise that Estee Lauder would see the opportunities here and tap into
Estee Lauder is set to begin manufacturing and distribution of its new
Clinique-branded line of skin care products, to be marketed by Allergan and
sold only through doctors' offices, in the fall. The new line will be
designed to complement in-office procedures, a product strategy that has
surged in popularity over the last year, according to Kline's research. The
deal will also bolster Allergan's position in the medical channel, where it
already has a solid presence with its Botox, M.D. Forte, and Prevage
brands. There will likely be other cross-channel benefits for the Clinique
brand as well.
"The medical channel is actually a drop in the bucket compared to the
overall Clinique reach, so this move is not likely a purely sales-driven
strategy," says Karen Doskow, project manager for Kline's Consumer Products
practice. "It's also about brand extension -- a marketing play to extend
the Clinique brand, similar to the way Dove, Aveeno, and Neutrogena have
used doctors as a marketing channel by asking them to recommend their
products to patients. It builds credibility, and it's an opportunity to
grow outreach efforts across all channels."
Doskow also points out that one reason for the unprecedented growth in
the medical channel is the surge in the number of physicians dispensing
skin care products to their patients. According to data from Kline's
in-depth report Professional Skin Care 2007, due to be published later this
month, dermatologists and plastic surgeons are now being joined by a new
category of "other" physicians, which includes general practitioners,
gynecologists and obstetricians, and even dentists.
"We've seen a 36% jump in the number of 'other' medical specialties now
dispensing skin care products to their patients," Doskow says.
"Dermatologists and plastic surgeons are losing their market share to other
specialists who are now treating patients for conditions like adult acne
and age spots."
"This all adds up to a potentially greater market share for the
Clinique brand and underscores the value of diversification across multiple
channels in order to achieve optimum market reach."
For more information about Professional Skin Care 2007, go to
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providing the kind of insight and knowledge that helps companies find a
clear path to success. The firm has served the management consulting and
market research needs of organizations in the chemicals, materials, energy,
life sciences, and consumer products industries for nearly 50 years. For
more information, visit www.KlineGroup.com.
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Director, Consumer Products Industry Practice