Known for its fun, witty packaging, Soap & Glory, the brainchild of Bliss Spa and FlipFlop creator, Marcia Kilgore, was purchased by Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2014. Positioned as an accessible luxury brand with high performance formulas, Soap & Glory’s star item has been its The Righteous Butter, which registers a sales of one of its tubs every 20 seconds around the world. Currently Soap & Glory has entered all 850 Ulta Beauty stores, as well as its online shop. According to Sandy Mayo, Vice President and Global Brands Director, Soap & Glory, the brand ranks as a top seller for the retailer, and was voted Britain’s Best Body Butter. Here, Sandy shares some news on the brand that’s reinvigorating the bath category in the US.
Beauty Insider: When were you brought on board, where were you previously where is the company based?
Sandy Mayo: I’m an international marketer with 20 years experience focused on the strategic and commercial development and growth of iconic global consumer brands. I joined as Vice President and Global Brands Director of Soap & Glory in mid-September working out of our new King’s Place headquarters in London. Most recently I served as Global Category Vice President at Bacardi Limited, where I was responsible for the overall leadership and strategic direction of the Vermouth, Sparkling Wine and Apertivo portfolio (Martini, Noilly Pratt, St Germain).
BI: What is the brand’s online intelligence?
SM: Today, Soap & Glory boasts more than one million global Facebook fans and it is a top-five beauty brand among younger millennials in the UK. Soap & Glory was also recognized in the May report compiled by Tribe Dynamics, an independent digital trend agency, as the leading skin care brand in social media for the month in earned media value, ranking first on Instagram, second on YouTube, third on Facebook and in the Top 10 for blogs and on Twitter. Earned media value is based on the social word of mouth of over 50,000 top influencers. Results were driven by The Righteous Butter campaign where we personalized the hero product for top US social influencers.
BI: When did Walgreens Boots Alliance acquire Soap & Glory? What are some of the other brands Walgreens Boots Alliance owns?
SM: In November 2014, Walgreens Boots Alliance acquired Soap & Glory to further accelerate retail growth of the brand, especially in the US market. Walgreens Boots Alliance is the first global, pharmacy-led, health and well-being enterprise. Its portfolio of retail and business brands includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Rite Aid, Boots and Alliance Healthcare, as well as a growing portfolio of global health and beauty product brands, such as No7 (the UK’s leading skin care brand with one No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum sold every eight seconds in the UK), Botanics, Extracts, Mark Hill Salon Professional hair care, Champneys spa and bath care, Liz Earle and Indeed Laboratories.
BI: Where else is Soap & Glory sold worldwide?
SM: Soap & Glory is the number one indulgent bathing brand within Boots UK and is sold at more than 2,500 doors in the UK. It was recently selected as one of the top five beauty brands with younger millennials in the UK. The brand also retails in Australia at Mecca Cosmetics; Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia in Sephora; and Boots International in Norway, The Gulf and Thailand.
BI: How was the brand repositioned? Please explain.
SM: As part of our launch with Ulta Beauty we’ve lowered all of our prices starting from just $4 to $25. There’s enormous potential for this beloved British beauty brand in the US and we look forward to a long-lasting and successful partnership.
BI: How many sku’s is S&G currently? Is it all bath and body?
SM: In the US we currently have 25 sku’s along with a very strong gifting business with a spectacular holiday collection launching at Ulta stores early this month. Although we are famous for bath and body with The Righteous Butter, our brand is well known for its high quality cosmetics. We revolutionized the lip category with our award-winning Sexy Mother Pucker lip products and our skin care range has a cult-like following. We are looking to build on the brand’s phenomenal success to create the same record-breaking hit in the states.
BI: What’s in the works for 2016?
SM: In 2016, we are looking to significantly increase the number of products available to our customers to include our must-have color cosmetics range, and expand our distribution and accessibility through various masstige channels with new retail partnerships in the US.