Boots Laboratories

The beauty of certainty

The plan to launch the Boots brand into the European pharmacy channel required a complete re-evaluation of the brand and product strategy, creating a new premium skincare brand with a retail value of > £30m.

The brief

The opportunity to leverage the brand assets and pharmacy wholesale and distribution capabilities of Alliance Boots Group within European pharmacy required us to re-evaluate the equity and relevance of the consumer facing brands amongst pharmacists and pharmacy shoppers.

The brief required us to develop, test, optimize and launch an engaging and differentiated brand idea and initial product portfolio within an extremely challenging timescale.

What we did

Whilst virtually unknown as a retailer brand in Europe, Boots as the inventor of Ibuprofen, had, over the years, developed equity as a ‘laboratory’ with pharmacists in key markets.

Our brand and product marketing strategy focused on building the endorsement of healthcare professionals through proven product effectiveness, leading to consumer preference (PEPP – professionally endorsed, ‘patient’ preferred).

A master brand positioning promising the ‘Beauty of Certainty’ was developed under the name of ‘Boots Laboratories’ building on the brand's heritage and latent awareness amongst healthcare professionals. A new visual identity was created to reflect the ‘scientific’ heritage and healthcare credentials of the new master brand and rolled out across packaging, POS, trade marketing and consumer collateral.

The results

The brand was initially launched with 7 anti-ageing SKUs into the French pharmacy skincare market in Paris, achieving 7% share and 6th position ranking (by unit sales after only 8 weeks despite only having 22% weighted distribution).

Our innovation pipeline has to date created a range of 32 SKUs across 3 life-stage segmented anti-ageing ranges a sun-care range and an everyday skincare range. Currently available in 5 European markets, sales of >£30m have been achieved with no significant above-the-line investment.

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