Thanks to a complete overhaul, Colorescience, a company who has been a beauty underdog, will finally get the attention it deserves as a result of reinventing every aspect of itself.
Created in 2001 by Diane Ranger, Colorescience was based on a mineral makeup concept. Best known for their cult favorite Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush, the brand continued to be an underground favorite among makeup enthusiasts, but went undiscovered by mainstream retailers, dermatologists and customers, until 2011 when SkinMedica acquired the brand. With Mary Fisher and Josie Juncal at the helm, who together offer biotechnology and pharmaceutical backgrounds, the duo breathed new life into the makeup underdog. But, when Allergan purchased SkinMedica 11 months later, Colorescience wasn’t part of the deal.
Not ready to lose the company, Mary and Josie–and an impressive board of directors–decided to buy it.
“Last year was about investing and writing plans. This year is about executing them,” said Mary, who is now Colorescience’s CEO. “To really understand the daily evolution in digital marketing that occurs we brought in digital and social media expertise and hired new publicists.”
Over the next year every aspect of the brand will be altered including: reformulating all products to include zinc and titanium dioxide; changing the packaging and the company’s tagline; creating 15- and 30-second commercials with live models. Colorescience’s positioning has transformed as well, and now focuses on sun care, skin care and color.
“A brand has to make a promise it can uphold. We did a lot of soul searching to come to this approach,” Mary admitted. “We wanted to create sun care, skin care and color products that were good for you and backed by doctors and our commitment. The identity crises came from a series of leadership changes before we acquired the company. When you’re a tiny little start-up trying to be everything to everybody, it’s easy to get lost.”
To bring these changes to fruition the team also did two massive, privately-held company equity raises, securing $25 million of venture capital funding through two preferred stock offerings.
Other changes include deepening their relationships with the dermatology and ascetics community while stepping up their presence in the resort and spa world. Talks with QVC, Ulta, Nordstrom and Sephora are also on the docket. The company has already seen a 20% growth in the first quarter.
“We are creating a whole new brand from something that existed,” shared Josie, the company’s CCO. “We don’t want to be the best kept secret, we want to be in the hands of the consumer.”
They are also re-launching the company’s website, creating a 360 degree campaign intended to educate consumers on the importance of sun protection, and releasing two new, multi-tasking products: Even Up Pigment Perfector SPF 50, a 3-in-1, clinically proven skin brightening UV complex; and Sunforgettable Tint Du Soleil SPF 30, a broad spectrum UVA/UVB that combines sun protection with potent anti-agers and a tint of color. Through sales of Sunforgettable, charitable partnerships will also be formed with Women’s Dermatologic Society and The Skin Cancer Foundation.
“We spent a lot of time looking at rebranding and our opportunity to be a single category as opposed to a single product in a vast category,” shared Mary. “We’ve worked hard to bring our approach to every innovation. We are not primarily a color line. We are a color enhancement that’s good for you. Women don’t shop for makeup to prevent skin cancer, but isn’t wonderful to know she can with these products