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Superbrands case studies: Nivea

Originally published in 'Consumer Superbrands Volume VI', July 2004. The book reviews the UK's strongest consumer brands as judged by an independent judging panel.

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Market
It's easy to see why skin care is a huge business with more and more people - men and women alike - wanting to stay looking and feeling healthy and young for as long as possible. Skincare products now offer something for everyone: from moisturising, deodorising, cleansing and revitalising to combating visible signs of ageing and offering protection from the sun. The rise of male grooming is simultaneously also a massive consumer trend, opening up a multitude of new product opportunities and brand extensions.

 

As the leading and one of the most trusted skincare brands in Europe, Nivea has a 13% share of the enormous £880 million UK market. The largest and fastest growing segment in the market is facial skincare, where product sales total £310 million, increasing by 6% year-on-year. The next largest is deodorants at £291 million (Source: IRI).
 
The value and importance of 'skin caring' brands is clear to see. For example, the growing number of men taking better care of their skin has translated into a huge growth in Nivea FOR MEN sales of shaving, after shave conditioning and male facial products in recent years, giving Nivea a 23% share of a £92 million category. And, in the deodorant category sales of effective products such as Nivea are seeing strong growth.
 
The health and beauty market is being driven by technology. Consumers are eager to try new, advanced formulas while demand for the next great innovation places enormous pressure on those companies active in this sector. Manufacturers at every level must maintain a frenetic programme of new product development in order to keep up with their competitors. The self-select skincare market is dominated by a small number of large brands, as only those manufacturers with significant research budgets can hope to compete in such a technology-focused arena. Foremost among these is Beiersdorf, manufacturer of Nivea, the largest skincare brand in the world.

Achievements
Present in over 160 countries, Nivea is the world's largest skincare brand. It has built an enviable reputation being ranked the most trusted skincare brand in sixteen European countries. This unprecedented level of trust is built on its long history.
 
When Nivea was launched in 1911 it was the world's first stable oil in water emulsion moisturising cream, and, as such, is considered to be the beginning of modern skincare.

Nowadays, Nivea's name is synonymous with quality skin care on a global level. Its strong heritage as a brand that soothes, nurtures and protects allows it to command a strong position across the worlds' skincare market. On this solid foundation the brand's owner, Beiersdorf, has successfully extended Nivea to meet all skin needs, such as anti-ageing moisturisers, lip balms, deodorants, hand creams, sun lotions, shaving and shower products.
 
Nivea has always been strong on innovation, and, with the launch of Nivea for Men in the UK in 1998, the mass market for male-specific skincare products was founded.

History
Nivea traces its roots back to 1911, when Dr Oscar Troplowitz, a medical researcher and owner of the Beiersdorf Company in Hamburg, turned his experience of making medical ointments to developing a new kind of cosmetic cream.
 
The key to his plan was a 'secret ingredient' called Eucerit, used to form a new oil in water emulsion, which encouraged the skin to repair itself, making it an ideal base for skin emollients. This formula was also remarkable for its stability, meaning that it could be stored for a long time without separating. This made it ideal for commercial use, as it could be packaged, shipped and marketed on a global scale without losing product quality.
 
Dr Troplowitz joined forces with Eucerit's creator, Dr Isaac Lifchtz, and dermatologist Professor Paul Gerson Unna to conceive, develop and market a new cream blending this formula with glycerine, citric acid, rose oil and lily of the valley. The team were so impressed by the cream's brilliant pure whiteness, they named it Nivea, a name derived from the Latin expression 'Nix Nivis', meaning 'snow white'.
 
The brand quickly took off on a global scale, reaching the UK and the US in 1922 and South America in 1926. Over the next 50 years, Nivea Creme's reputation as a soothing and effective skin moisturiser was cemented. Then, in the 1970s, Nivea began to spread its wings, driven by advances in technology and changes in consumer demand. This expansion of the portfolio set the brand on the road to where it is today: a trusted brand with a comprehensive range of skin care products.

Product
While Nivea Creme remains the brand's signature product, the range now encompasses a wide portfolio of products addressing specific skincare needs. Nivea Creme minimises moisture loss, replenishes lipids and supports the skin's natural protective barrier. It has been found to be suitable for soothing irritated skin conditions like eczema, as well as minor sunburn and nappy rash. It is also available in a variant designed for younger people, Nivea Soft.
 
Nivea Visage is a complete range of products specifically developed to care for the face, offering cleansing, moisturising and anti-ageing formulas for women of all ages. The Nivea Visage Q10+ collection has a specially developed anti-ageing formula, using the natural coenzyme Q10 to stimulate the skin's natural regeneration.
 
Nivea Sun offers a complete range of caring products for the whole family, from sun sprays to children's protection and sunless tanning products. The brand is also committed to broadening people's knowledge of how to help protect from the sun's harmful rays and keep skin healthy.
 
The Nivea Body range provides body moisturisers to meet the needs of all skin types below the neckline. The wide product choice includes a moisturising Body Spray, an exfoliating Body Scrub, Q10 Skin Firming Complex and Satin Sheen Moisturiser for, what Nivea describes as, a 'wonderfully warm glow'.
 
The Nivea Hand range comprises caring nourishing formulas to help hands remain soft, supple and young looking.

Nivea for Men has proved to be a particularly successful part of the range. Men's skin, which tends to be thicker and oilier than women's, is treated most effectively with specific products. Nivea for Men's comprehensive range of reliable, quality face care products contains cleansing, shaving; after-shave and face care products to suit every skin type.
 
In the UK in 2003, four million people used a Nivea skincare product every day.

Recent developments
A long-term commitment to Research and Development (R&D) at the Paul Gerson Unna Research Centre has provided a stream of product innovation, which has supported the development of the Nivea brand. This commitment to R&D, supported by an uncompromising belief in product quality provides the foundation for consumers' trust in the brand, which is built through effective and relevant communication. One of the many significant developments was the launch of Nivea Deodorant in the UK in 2002 with a range of products offering 24 hour protection whilst caring for the skin.
 
The range includes a conventional roll-on and aerosol in male and female variants, and a real innovation in the form of a convenient pocket size Compact, which lasts as long as a standard 150ml aerosol.
 
Whether the category be Face Care, Sun Protection or Deodorant and whether the product be the latest Anti-Age formula, a Shimmering Face or Body product or Stimulating Massage Shower, all are born out of a commitment to innovation and quality in the satisfaction of genuine, relevant consumer needs.

Promotion
Nivea has a strong marketing heritage, with campaigns as far back as the 1920s focusing on many of the benefits and values that the brand still stands for today.

Nowadays, each section of the brand portfolio is supported by a fully integrated multi-media strategy, encompassing above and below-the-line advertising, sampling, direct marketing and ambient media.
 
Education goes hand in hand with many campaigns, as Nivea sees it as its responsibility to promote skin protection and the association between healthy skin, general fitness and well-being. This strategy of educating the consumer through promotion has helped Nivea build new markets, such as the male skincare segment. Whilst this may prove costly in the short term, long-term investment in the skincare sector serves to consolidate Nivea's position as a leading skincare manufacturer and a source of valuable advice that inspires consumer trust and loyalty.

Sampling is an extremely important aspect of Nivea's strategy for introducing new products. For example, the launch of Nivea Visage Anti-Shadow Eye Creme involved a press sampling campaign to over two million women - part of a £9 million integrated marketing campaign behind the Nivea Visage brand. TV and press advertising, advertorials and public relations are also extensively used in the Nivea marketing arsenal.

Brand values
The emotional values associated with the Nivea brand have changed little in the last 90 years. 'Nivea Cares for Your Skin' encapsulates Nivea's brand values. These values are communicated via clean, fresh, healthy and positive imagery in all Nivea's promotional material and advertisements.
 
Nivea is dedicated to protecting the skin of the entire family; therefore family values form an important aspect of its brand character. Nivea, however, is also stylish, contemporary and fashion conscious, creating products that fit in with the latest cosmetic trends, such as the 'Pearl and Shine' Nivea Lip Care balm. It is a tribute to the strength and years of experience of the Nivea brand that it can appeal to consumers on so many levels.

2004 Superbrands Ltd

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