By 2012, the Female Hair Removal category had become increasingly competitive as alternate methods of hair removal became more accessible to women. Deal sites like Groupon made laser hair removal affordable, waxing salons popped up everywhere and infomercials touted new at-home products – all causing the Blades & Razors category to flatten.
For the Venus brand, the expanding competitive landscape was especially distressing as research showed that of the 60 million US women who claimed to shave, only 1 in 4 had purchased a Venus razor during the 2011/2012 fiscal year. Venus identified POMEs (Point of Market Entry, aka first time shavers) as a key growth opportunity for two specific reasons. First, teenage girls (age 13-17) shave more frequently than their adult counterparts and secondly, research showed that teens tend to be very loyal to their “first” razor brand.
If it could convince POMEs to choose Venus as their first razor, many would continue to use the brand into adulthood, representing long-term value for Venus. POMEs are first-time shavers and consequently most are not educated on how to choose the razor that’s best for them or how to properly use it.
Research shows that 62% of teens use disposable razors, but a growing percentage use alternate forms of hair removal (waxes, lasers, creams). This meant that Carat not only had to convince POMEs to choose Venus, but had to persuade them to ditch disposables and trade-up to higher quality (and more expensive) systems in order to drive profitability.
The consumer strategy was based on an exploitable dichotomy that is well documented by research (and universally known by any parent who has lived with a teenage daughter)—the desire to simultaneously fit in while standing out. The POMEs place high value on individuality and actively look for creative ways to help them stand out from the crowd, customising everything from lockers to cell phone cases, but when it comes to shaving habits and grooming products, they just want to fit in. Understanding the attitudinal relationship between POMEs grooming and lifestyle motivations was the foundation for the strategy.
This genuine understanding of the target’s impetus allowed Venus to be positioned as a helping hand in POMEs shaving journey (driving purchase and HHP) as well as connect with her on a deeper level ultimately building brand loyalty through her passion for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. The communication strategy tapped into POME’s desire to define her individuality and share her unique design aesthetic with friends.
By creating a cross-platform design contest the brand enabled teenage girls to create, share and showcase their individuality with each other, all while distributing helpful information about Venus razors and shaving tips. Venus became the “cool girl” helping POMEs in her shaving journey.
Venus’s design contest, “Embrace DIY: Reveal the Designer in You,” was creative, age-appropriate twist to Venus’s brand equity proposition “Reveal the Goddess in You” and the perfect approach to introduce teens to Venus in a relevant way. The programme enabled POMEs to do what she does best and wants to do most – show off her creativity. It consisted of three critical elements:
1) Content: To spark mass interest and teen engagement, Carat enlisted the aid of YouTube’s DIY powerhouse Bethany Mota (aka MacBarbie07) and teen pop idol Jasmine V to star in a series of leg-focused, video-based design challenges. The challenges gave teens the know-how they needed to put their unique spin on projects like design-it-yourself sneakers, razor handles and toenail art design. A social destination that lived across YouTube and Facebook allowed teens to upload their designs, share them with friends and vote for their favorites. These conduits also connected teens to valuable information about shaving and Venus razors.
2) Multi-Media, Multi-Format: The cross-platform DIY contest was strategically designed to address POMEs fragmented media habits with content being made available in multiple formats across multiple channels. The agency identified highly trusted and favorite Digital and Print destinations (Alloy’s teen digital network, YouTube, Teen Vogue, PopStar!, Seventeen, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and saturated each with custom videos, rich media banners, video interstitials, editorial placements housing content and advertorials.
3) Connectivity: Content was designed with mobile-enabled, built-in share functionality in order to maximise earned media as teens executed social sharing media platforms.
The campaign drove significant business results for Venus as well as high engagement among the teen target.
Campaign: The campaign was successful in increasing brand and product awareness among POME, driving significant engagement rates vs. historic campaigns and Consumer Package Goods (CPG) averages
- 9% increase in product awareness among teens
- Design challenge videos garnered 11 million views
- Media performed significantly above average CTRs (0.39% vs. average of 0.07%)
- The campaign achieved 284 million impressions across all outlets
Social: Content increased engagement significantly within core social platforms
- Venus Twitter handle increased POME followers by 82%
- Venus Facebook page increased POME fans by 22%
- 21 million #EmbraceDIY impressions
- 2.53% engagement rate (vs. CPG avg. 1-1.5%)
Business: Successfully grew POME HHP and converted her from disposables to more expensive razor systems
- Grew POME HHP 6% to its highest level since September 2011, with disproportionate growth behind carts (proving they are trading up to systems).
As a point of comparison, Schick POME dropped to its lowest levels in the past two ears (-12%) and BIC POME was also down (-2%) - POME Venus Embrace razor increased US dollar share at increase of 44% vs. previous year.