Over the past year, prestige skin-care brand Murad has developed a partnerships strategy aimed at sharing the brand’s 360-degree story around health, wellness and efficacy, and ultimately driving brand awareness.
Murad’s strategy is to team with four new brand partners per year, on an ongoing basis, with most partners positioned on the fringes of beauty. Its most recently established partnership is with Remedy Place, a social wellness club, in Nov. 2022. For the partnership, Murad curated a four-part experience involving Remedy Place services and each of founder Dr. Howard Murad’s four pillars of wellness: eat your water, awaken your body, be kind to your mind, and nourish your skin. Clients who opt-in to the service receive complimentary deluxe Murad products to try out the brand. Paul Schiraldi, CEO of Murad, said the value of working with Remedy Place is that it brings multiple medical philosophies under one roof, exemplifying different wellness approaches. Remedy Place is one of a handful of new wellness social clubs that have opened in New York City in the past 12-months. It boasts infrared saunas, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, cryotherapy, chiropractor treatments and acupuncture services.
“Going forward, partnerships will specifically [focus] on taking doctor philosophies and bringing them to life in new and interesting ways that connect with consumers … [We also want to] remind them that skin care is health care and inform them of our philosophy,” said Schiraldi.
Murad has focused on aligning itself closer to wellness for at least the last three years, spotlighting in marketing its founder Dr. Howard Murad and his principles for combatting stress-related skin-care issues. Based on its annual brand awareness study, Murad has seen a lift in its wellness positioning among consumers; from 2019-2022 the brand experienced a 30% increase in being associated with promoting wellness. The Unilever-owned brand declined to share sales, growth figures or payment terms of the new partnerships.
“A key effect of taking a holistic health approach is that how you feel on the inside is a direct contributor to how you look on the outside,” said Dr. Jonathan Leary, founder and CEO of Remedy Place. “[Working] with brands like Murad that have these same founding values speaks to our mission to be holistic in everything we do.”
Other Murad partnerships launched in 2022 include Hydrafacial and Sesame, the latter of which is a health-care marketplace. With Hydrafacial, Murad created an exclusive topical product to use during treatments. With Sesame, it offered clinical skin consultations. The intent in these cases was to cement Murad’s status as an efficacious clinical derm brand. Murad offers multiple skin-care lines that target issues like acne, aging and sun care, allowing it to evenly reach multiple age demographics. The partnerships therein are mostly about reaching people who aren’t as familiar with the brand or the idea that skin care can contribute to overall wellness.
“We go through a vetting process of asking how [a partnership] fits with the partnerships we already have: How does it add more? And does it evolve our story around health and wellness?” said Schiraldi. “The health and wellness piece of the brand has been harder to activate, because it’s not the most obvious when launching skin care. We’ve treated it as a separate part of our communication pillars, and that piece is what has begun to resonate with consumers and separate us [from other brands].”
Glossy’s own research shows that Murad is well-positioned within the derm-backed skin-care space. An exclusive Launchmetrics report measuring media impact value found that Murad claimed the top spot, followed by Dr. Dennis Gross Skin Care, Lancer, Dr. Brandt and Dr. Loretta. MIV tracks the impact of influencers, print media, celebrities, official third-party partners and a brand’s own media channels.
It was partly the proliferation of derm-backed brands that pushed Murad to emphasize its relationship with wellness, said Schiraldi. Past efforts include launching its digital publication, “Well Connected,” in 2021. It publishes 12-14 stories per month on various topics within wellness, such as stress reduction, self-care and nutrition. And in 2019, Murad hosted a wellness-themed, three-city pop-up offering visitors the chance to write down and post promises to themselves, take part in sound bath meditation sessions, and sample fresh fruit juices underscoring Dr. Murad’s advice to “eat your water” through fruits and vegetables.
Schiraldi declined to share what partnerships will launch in 2023 but said the first one will debut within the first half of the year.
“We’re getting sharper in our approach to [partnerships]; Remedy Place was a great example,” said Schiraldi. “[It serves] engaged people focused on their wellbeing, and it links [wellness] to skin care. It’s a great reminder that this is all part of self-care.”