Summer's Eve® Takes Heed, Readies for New Direction

Research Reveals Opportunity To Increase Body IQ, Resolve Mixed Emotions

Dec 07, 2010, 08:15 ET from Summer's Eve

LYNCHBURG, Va., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- With decades of category leadership, Summer's Eve® has become the go-to brand of feminine hygiene products for millions of women around the world. And, as the roles of women expand, evolve and shift, so must the roles of the products they use and trust.

On the heels of a proprietary quantitative study of how women think and feel about their bodies — and with the results showing more than 40% of women misidentify the vagina on an anatomical diagram — Summer's Eve has embarked on a multi-market listening tour to gain insight into women's understanding of the role hygiene plays in their lives, both practically and emotionally.

The effort, which involves conducting focus groups and holding conversations with diverse women across the United States, is leading the charge to reset brand communication to better relate to today's woman's needs. Earlier this year, parent company Fleet Laboratories, Inc., engaged integrated branding agency The Richards Group to develop a long-term strategy and parlay learning into resonant brand communication.

"We have a huge opportunity to break free from a long-standing stigma in our category and establish a more current, relevant role for Summer's Eve. With The Richards Group on board, we have the team in place to help revitalize how the brand communicates with women," said Summer's Eve's senior brand manager Angela Bryant.

Alongside Bryant and vice president of U.S. marketing and business development, Steve Ruhf, the senior team includes agency brand management principal Rhonda Zahnen, brand planning director Sarah Hall, creative groups heads Tina Johnson and Terence Reynolds, and cause branding/public relations principal Stacie Barnett.

"Women have been raised with and acculturated to a mixed set of societal messages: be confident and proud of being a woman, but shy away from frank, open talk about your body," said The Richards Group's Sarah Hall. "We found that while many women feel they are more than ready for the word vagina to become culturally acceptable, the majority of women struggle with unresolved feelings that render the term itself difficult to use."

"Our challenge becomes finding a brand voice that women can relate to, respect and want to learn from. If we talk down to her or play on insecurity, she'll stop listening," said Rhonda Zahnen, agency principal. "This is Summer's Eve's opportunity to help cut through the emotional contradictions."

Marketing plans include new print and online advertising to be launched in first quarter of 2011, with integrated television, print and digital creative and a body awareness campaign breaking next summer.

About Summer's Eve

Fleet Laboratories, founded in 1869, launched the Summer's Eve brand in 1972. Now the number one brand in feminine hygiene, Summer's Eve has evolved to offer a complete line of external feminine cleansing and freshening products to fit within the modern woman's lifestyle. Fleet Laboratories, formerly doing business under the name C.B. Fleet, markets the well-known Summer's Eve brand as part of a diverse range of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products in 100 countries around the world.

SOURCE Summer's Eve