Category Captain: Hair Care: Unilever

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Category Captain: Hair Care: Unilever


Unilever’s TRESemme was the fastest-growing brand in the daily hair care segment in 2010, contributing $44 million in absolute dollar growth to the category. Among the platforms driving TRESemme’s success was the launch of FreshSTART, a customized line of salon-quality products that fulfill the unmet needs of women who don’t shampoo daily. The line comprises one dry shampoo, one foam shampoo, a no-frizz crème and a refreshing mist spray.

Although TRESemme’ FreshSTART wasn’t the first dry shampoo to market, it was the first brand to successfully bring it to the mainstream, according to Unilever. The company ran a popular television advertising campaign that helped the brand experience more than two times its expected lift, resulting in supply chain challenges due to the overwhelming demand.

Consequently, there was a plateau in sales midway through the year. Once forecasting was quickly adjusted, FreshSTART achieved $12 million, of which dry shampoo accounted for 77 percent of sales, according to Unilever.

To encourage trial and awareness, trial-size bottles were offered as part of a bonus pack on TRESemme hair spray. Displays were also available to allow for secondary locations to further increase awareness and visibility of the brand (split with another 2010 launch, TRESemme Naturals).

By introducing a new subsegment to the category, TRESemme FreshSTART was successful in increasing category consumption of daily hair care by 9.5 percent.