It’s that time of year again when Brand Finance releases its Cosmetics 50, and we, of course, have it covered. First up, let’s look at the top five. And, despite it’s well documented troubles, consumer lawsuits and brand value dropping 20% over the past year to US$10.1 billion, Johnson & Johnson still held strong at the top. According to Brand Finance, despite the baby powder being only a small share of Johnson & Johnson’s revenues, it’s link to the company image is 100%, therein projecting a shaky outlook. However, the ‘burgeoning’ group of brand’s under its umbrella are said to give hope for J&J going forwards.
Coming in at the number two spot, Chanel knocked L’Oréal down to third place and was lauded as a star performer, with many attributing much of the brand’s success to the late Karl Lagerfeld and his idea of bringing in affordable cosmetics to allow consumers that wouldn’t be able to afford fashion items access to the brand. Will Virginie Viard be able to keep a grip on this growing value for the Chanel?
L’Oréal, Neutrogena and Nivea – all stalwarts of the industry in their own right – made up the rest of the top five, with the report paying particular credit to Neutrogena, which has been heralded as the world’s ‘strongest brand’. Why? Well, Brand Finance states, “Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.” And, apparently, Neutrogena ticks all these boxes, receiving a Brand rating of AAA, having retained a loyal customer base over the years and being known as a trusted skin care brand.
So what else is worth noting on the list? Well, Christian Dior saw a stellar rise from 16th to 7th, growth attributed to the success of its new perfume launches and high profile brand ambassadors such as Johnny Depp and Jennifer Lawrence. Shiseido also rose up the rankings from 14th in 2017 to 9th this year – could this be due to the increased focus on the growth of its Chinese division, including a joint business plan with Alibaba? With China being slated as the place to be right now, we’d say it would definitely have something to do with it. Guerlain also climbed the ladder, rising six places since 2017, while Estee Lauder remained stagnant at number 12. SK-II was also highlighted as a stand-out brand, having risen 10 places from 38th to 28th over the past three years, a rise attributed to premium innovation and consistent double-digit growth in fiscal year 2017.
So that’s the movers, but who is losing ground? Garnier dropped from 11th to 14th place last year, despite it being L’Oréal’s second largest brand, while Palmolive fell 16 places since 2017 to 37th this year. Avon also saw a huge fall from grace, going from 23rd on the list in 2017 to 43rd this year. Of course, the direct sales giant’s troubles have been well documented, but will the recent Natura buy-out help bring back value to the brand, in turn giving it a lift back up the list? Who knows, but it what is clear is that some brands could do with a helping hand.
So what exactly is the golden ticket to bolstering brand value? I’ll leave you with the words of David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance, “Growth in the cosmetics market is dependent on a brand fully grasping and meeting the demands of its discerning customer, something which, with the rise of social media and the explosion of vloggers and influencers, is constantly evolving. Whilst pricing, variety, packaging and brand loyalty remain central to repeat business, cosmetics brands which capitalise on their marketing and digital presence, are the ones most likely to prosper.”
Go forth and digitalize folks. Check out the movers and shakers here.