Motorcycles and skeletons are not things you’d normally expect to be associated with a luxury beauty brand, but for Kiehl’s Since 1851, these images are an integral part of the brand’s heritage and contributes to its unique positioning in the over-crowded, competitive beauty market. For over 165 years, Kiehl’s has stayed true to its roots, and Chris Salgardo, US President of the brand, has dramatic plans for the future.
Founded in 1851 as a small pharmacy in Manhattan’s East Village, the brand was managed as a family business for multiple generations. Relying heavily on word-of-mouth marketing, Kiehl’s doesn’t engage in traditional advertising but has garnered a devoted following of customers through a variety unconventional strategies. For example, late last year Chris invited fans to meet him and influencer kristenxleanneat Kiehl’s Grove store in Los Angeles to support the release of his book, “MANMADE.” His commanding presence as the brand’s figurehead humanized the brand, and promotion of his book, which included the LA meet-up, drove social media posts that day around the word “manmade.”
In addition to Chris’s accessibility, another unique factor of Kiehl’s is its ability to maintain an indie feel despite being a global brand. In 2000, the brand was acquired by L’Oréal, but never strayed from its creative visual expression, quality products or its commitment to education, science and customer service.
Insights about this dynamic brand will be shared when Chris sits down for a rare industry interview at CEW’s upcoming Beauty Insider Series event, Kiehl’s in High Gear June 13 in Manhattan. He will discuss how the company maintains its DNA, and the magic behind its cross-demographic consumer engagement. He will also dispense wisdom on everything from day’s trend toward personalized treatments to the huge opportunity in men’s skin care, alongside Kiehl’s future plans for retail expression.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m. and concludes with a special cocktail networking session at 7 p.m., offering guests an unparalleled opportunity to networking with leading beauty executives. Individual tickets for members are $90, and $100 for nonmembers. To register to attend this event, click here.