Neutrogena has long harnessed the scientific prowess of its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, in its product development. This year, it proved equally adept at using the digital side of the technological equation to propel its business. Neutrogena.com expertly combines content, community, contests and commerce to drive home its brand message. The product presentation is straightforward and easy to navigate — be it by problem/ solution, category or even award winners — and the content is basic but expertly sourced. Interactive features engage visitors; for example, the Wave for Change, named after Neutrogena’s cleansing tool of the same name, allowed consumers to vote on which charities would be the beneficiary of a Neutrogena donation. Then there’s Skin iD, a personalizable acne regimen available only online or via informercial, in which users answer 20 questions and receive a customized regimen in response. Straightforward, concise and sophisticated, the site is the perfect manifestation of Neutrogena’s core values.
Born out of two simple ideas — first, that everybody needs a beauty editor as a best friend and second, that the beauty sampling model is irretrievably broken — two Harvard business grads created a new commerce model for beauty. Birchbox.com, the brainchild of Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, is a content- slash-commerce-slash-sampling site, where members pay about $10 a month to receive a box of four to five deluxe-size samples.
“Beauty has become too commoditized,” said Beauchamp earlier this year. “We wanted to create a place where sampling was valued, not taken for granted.”
The message seems to have resonated with consumers, brands and investors. Thus far, Birchbox has over 45,000 members and has worked with myriad brands, including Kiehl’s, Benefit and Philosophy. And earlier this year, the company closed a $10.5 million round of funding. Talk about box office mojo.