Essano first launched into the NZ skincare industry with originality and promise. However, by 2019 with a drop in sales and a lack of brand recognition, it was time for a complete facelift. 

The Challenge

Founded by two friends AJ and Shane and owned by Mix Limited, essano Rosehip skincare first went to shelves in 2014. With its unique pink packaging and blossoming relationship with retailers, the brand soon became a competitor to renowned skincare brands. Although thriving in a heavily competitive market, by 2019, sales began falling and essano’s success within the $84 million NZ skincare category had gone largely unnoticed. 

It was at this pivotal point that the team decided to alter their focus to better marketing and revitalising sales. To achieve better results, essano was then transformed from a product range to a consumer-focused master brand. 

Nielsen data showed essano received some of the strongest levels of repeat purchase from customers that had trialled it. However, the same data revealed essano also had extremely weak brand awareness, to many it was just known as the ‘pink product.’ Being natural and cruelty-free are essano’s attractive qualities, however it soon became important to sell to those who are non-natural buyers and are part of a broader category. 

In 2019, in the skincare category alone, there were over 220 new products launched. With such a low voice in a highly busy market, essano needed to create a truly distinctive brand identity and foster communications that would amplify awareness and understanding of the brand. 

The Response

The solution came about when essano’s team partnered with agencies BC&F Dentsu, MBM and Nunn Media, who executed a highly effective brand led marketing strategy that began to drive growth in both New Zealand and Australia. 

As part of the transformation to a consumer-led master brand, it was important for essano to have a brand purpose, brand idea, brand identity and brand communications. Essano’s purpose was defined as liberating women and men from self-doubt, empowering them to be fearless when it comes to their skin and self-care. The brand idea was to be effortless and effective. Arming consumers with honest, uncomplicated solutions in a category that often causes confusion. Brand identity involved a new distinctive, simple and consistent pink identity, which was developed to take back attribution. And finally, brand communications. 

Essano used TV advertising with three executions, each focusing on a skincare problem and the relevant essano product solution. Communications also ran across Out of Home and e-commerce. 

The Result

In New Zealand, advertising that ran between August and October 2019, lead to essano being the fourth most searched brand on Beauty Haven, the go-to Australasian online beauty community. 

In New Zealand data showed a 10 percent increase in market penetration from 2.7 percent to 3 percent in the 20 weeks before and after the campaign. In context, 0.3 percent represented 6000 more essano customers. 

Average expenditure per buyer also increased, as did the average frequency of purchase. The brand developed more lighter buyers who were starting to buy slightly more often and were spending a little bit more on essano each time.

Entry details

Category: Healthcare/ Beauty
Company: Mix Limited
Marketing Initiative: How the Essano Effect Revitalised A New Zealand Skincare Brand
Marketing Partners: BC&F Dentsu, MBM and Nunn Media
Judge’s Comments: “Of all the entries in this category this stood out as the most comprehensive and considered across a range of marketing disciplines.”
Finalists: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Ryman Healthcare, Health Promotion Agency / Te Hiringa Hauora, Uren Barsal, Vitaco

This article was originally published in the December/January 2020 issue of NZ Marketing. You can subscribe to the magazine, here. Or read the other winner stories, here.

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