Procter & Gamble has taken a new approach to its latest hair-care line, My Black Is Beautiful.
P&G incubated the brand in-house, and it is based on its existing content website by the same name, which lives on mbib.com; the beauty and CPG conglomerate also partnered with Sally Beauty on product development and exclusive distribution. My Black Is Beautiful will launch five products designed specifically for black women in nearly all 3,000 Sally Beauty doors in the U.S. on July 5. P&G has developed other products for women of color, such as its Pantene Gold Series for textured hair, but this is the first brand dedicated to black women.
“We’ve built a community of women [through mbib.com] who are very vocal about what they want from hair and beauty products, and we decided there was a market for us to create products off of this platform,” said Lela Coffey, brand director of multicultural consumers at P&G. My Black is Beautiful first launched in 2006 and has 2.6 million “Likes” on its Facebook page; P&G declined to state how many page views the site receives a month.
P&G has typically acquired mass-market beauty brands, such as First Aid Beauty or more recently Walker & Co., rather than creating its own. For My Black Is Beautiful, P&G identified that it was able to create the brand on its own and ultimately took 12 months because of its “hyper-targeted” approach as opposed to the usual 18 to 24 months, Coffey said.
Sally Beauty sees approximately 30% of its hair-care sales are textured hair products, said Maryann Herskowitz, vp of color and care at Sally Beauty. Its stores can hold up to 40 feet of aisle space for textured hair products, depending on the size of the store, and Sally Beauty has been adjusting the product assortment in 1,100 doors in order to specifically meet customers’ needs, she said.
“Neighborhoods change, and we pinpointed these stores for these updates,” she said. “[We] talk about this as a journey because if [the customer] grows out her hair naturally, that’s a process, and we want to offer products that [address] all of her needs.”
According to a 2018 Nielsen report, black shoppers spent $473 million in hair-care products (about 11% of the $4.2 billion industry). Other brands are starting to pay attention to this customer segment more: Brands like Oribe and Unilever-owned Suave Professionals recently launched their own natural hair products.
“The natural hair trend is here to stay and getting bigger every day. Women want to have an evolving style in what their hair goals are, and it could be very different,” said Coffey, adding that natural hair has a diversity of styles such as tight coils, plaited or soft curls. “We were after trying to create a line of products that speak to the natural hair spectrum.”
To promote the launch, My Black is Beautiful will host an activation event during Essence Fest in New Orleans July 5-7. It will be held outside of the larger convention center at Auction House Market in order to facilitate an intimate introduction of the brand to the public. Attendees can buy the new products, as well as take photos and sample food based on the ingredients in the product collection (such as coconut oil and honey). Within Sally Beauty, the products will also be on an end cap in all stores throughout July. My Black is Beautiful will also be promoted in social media posts and in multiple emails throughout July to Sally Beauty’s 15 million loyalty members.
“We are very serious as a company to make products that work,” said Coffey. “Black women are tired of looking for products that say they will work and don’t.”
This story was changed to reflect that Sally Beauty is promoting the My Black is Beautiful launch to its loyalty members versus its email subscriber list.