I was reading WWD when I came across a article on the promotion of Clarins Double Serum Generation in the United States. Per the article, Clarins is betting on Double Serum Generation to become their “hero product” that will jumpstart skincare sales for Clarins in the U.S. Apparently, Clarins market in the U.S. market outside of their body and suncare lines is pretty anemic compared to other luxury skincare giants. I do not find this hard to believe. As a skincare nut, I have not really tried their products. I think there are several reasons for this (solely my perspective on the matter).
The biggest reason has to do with their advertising. I don’t really see their stuff advertised that often compared to other comparable european heritage skincare brands. While brands like Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel (the BIG 3) have skincare and cosmetic lines that draw from the incredible promotion their fashion empire receives; Clarins doesn’t have the same marketing muscle.
Another is the fact that I associate this brand with older women. Many of the models this brand uses appear to be significantly older than the advertised images of the BIG 3. So, I wonder is this a beauty brand primarily focused on the older woman? But if the brand is age-universal, then this is a problem. No teenager to recently out of college grad is going to get with the image of an older woman selling them skincare products. There is no relating in that experience.
This shouldn’t be a big deal, if you are age diverse with your images but building skincare loyalty shouldn’t rely with images of models who appear to have a very dated – circa 1980’s – beauty aesthetic. Compare the beauty models from any major designer beauty brand to that of Clarins. One group is fresh and relevant. The other harkens back to the 80’s patrician look. I always think I am looking at a time capsule when I see a Clarins ad with a model.
Another reason, and this maybe the largest personal reason for me, is that the heritage behind this brand screams exclusion – as in my “only in the new world latina” self is not welcome. Some may like the air of exclusion in a brand (blue-blood, european, old money) and I think it is fair to say that every brand has the right to choose the message, or branding, that works for them to cater to their ideal customer. However, if your goal is to GROW market share in the U.S., then you may want to rethink the advertising, branding, marketing in toto because there aren’t that many old money blue bloods, or new money, nouve riche, to grow the Clarins market the way they want it to. There are just so many “society” girls who can buy this stuff.
If I have gone against these presumptions, which I have – to purchase a Clarins Instant Light Complexion Perfector and their UV Plus HP SPF 40 Day Screen, it is only because I AM A SKINCARE JUNKIE. Frankly, my intent was not to go to the Clarins counter but to explore new beauty products. I ONLY went to the Clarins counter after I got bored from going to the other counters of choice and I didn’t feel like leaving empty handed. That’s right, I purchased those two products out of BOREDOM and not wanting to walk away empty handed. Clarins had no expectations to dash because they were never on my radar. So the bar was set incredibly low.
What’s ironic is that had Clarins NOT used ANY model images, and had their beauty associates at the counter been a bit more diverse, I probably would have given this brand a fair and neutral shake. I mean I love Decleor and I do not think it is any different from Clarins, when I think about it. Except, I don’t associate anything negative with them. However, let us get real here. Other than Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, their somewhat star product – which is not necessary for oily skinned girls, there really isn’t a blockbuster product in their skincare line.
Which gets me back to Clarins Double Serum Generation. This actually does sound interesting. This serum includes recent advances in skincare technology that combats aging skin in all skintypes by providing skin cell nourishment via a double chamber to separate the water and oil based delivery mechanism. Asian beauty blog reviews of this product mention that the dual serum that comes out should be mixed together in the hand and massaged into the skin. Reviews for this product have been generally positive.
I am curious about this product and will actually visit a Clarins counter to check it out when it launches. Whether I walk away with a bottle is another story. But if there are essential oil components within the “lipid-delivery system,” then I am game. I’m a sucker for oils…
Update: Speak of the devil Clarins is having a 15%- 25% Friends and Family Sale until 11/13. Just use the code CLARINSFF12.