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How many times can a Hair Care Brand be Re-staged?

By Herb Shields | 06/01/2010 | 5:06 PM

Bloomberg News published an interesting article last week about Proctor & Gamble’s latest efforts to reverse the declining sales for many Pantene SKU’s.  The writer, Mark Clothier, cited some information from P&G that the re-staged products will include some newly developed materials not commonly used in shampoo or conditioner.  He mentions that 17 PhD’s were involved in product development


Industry veterans such as your blogger have watched this happen many times with most brands in this category.  Sometimes restages produce great success, others become the last “gasp” of the brand.  There are many iconic hare care brands including Pert Plus (originally owned by P&G), Suave (developed by Helene Curtis, now owned by Unilever), and Herbal Essences (introduced by Bristol Myers, now owned by P&G) that continue to prosper by meeting the needs of a significant number of consumers.  Each of those brands has its own positioning as does Pantene which was a hugely successful restage itself back in the 90’s. Pantene has been the number one brand in the category for several years.


It will be interesting to see how P&G markets the new products.  While the Bloomberg article cites research and development and those unusual ingredients, I would guess that we will see little mention of that as compared to the benefits offered by the new products. Given the success P&G has had in the daily hair care category, my money is on this being the 3rd or 4th successful re-launch of the Pantene brand.    How many times can you re-stage a hair care brand?  I know it’s a big number, and with the number one brand, it should not be difficult.  What do you think?



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About Herb Shields

Herb Shields

Herb Shields has run Chicago-based HCS Consulting since 2000, helping clients across multiple industries and in higher education improve their supply chain strategy and execution. Shields has more than 30 years as an operations executive for capital equipment, automotive, electrical machinery and consumer products companies. As vice president of materials management at consumer goods company Helene Curtis, Shields led the supply chain organization that helped Helene Curtis win "Vendor of the Year" awards from Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corp. Shields has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University and did graduate work in business at Bowling Green State University.


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