It’s not often we see a haircare brand launch with a unique target audience focusing on culture and an innovative marketing plan, but that’s changing this fall with haircare brand Lu (LatinUs Beauty).
Photo courtesy of LatinUs Beauty.
Lu was created by an eclectic group of best-in-class executives, each having achieved high levels of success in either consumer-packaged goods or media. The all-star group deeply and passionately invested in their previous positions, with considerable success to tout.
They came together to form Lu anchored by a powerful vision – to create a beauty brand by (majority Latin-owned and led) and for Latinas, built on a breakthrough product formula, proprietary scents and leveraging the power of telenovelas to bring a multi-dimensional brand to life.
Cesar Jaramillo, co-founder of the brand, shares the inspiration for the brand: “We walked in knowing there were two significantly underserved and undervalued assets in the market: Latinas are the crown jewel of beauty in the U.S., and they do not have a brand to represent them. That is crazy.”
Jaramillo continued, “And then novelas are this powerhouse of entertainment that can have millions of households glued to the TV or YouTube app for 80 to 100 hours. Nothing else does that. And they are severely undervalued. We discovered along the way that Latina ambassadors in the U.S. were also an untapped opportunity because they did not have Latino brands to support. So, bring these things together and it is just magic.”
Carol Teter explains: “Once we had the disruptive business model of bringing together the beauty and entertainment industries, along with the concept of a haircare line based brilliantly on mood instead of hair type and the notion of freedom, the target, and key ingredients defined, all we needed to bring Lu to life were a few additional things to make it a reality: formulas, a brand name, product names, perfumes, a package design, packaging, suppliers, a novela script to be written and produced, actresses to star in the novela, brand ambassadors, marketing, a legally formed company, and, oh yeah, funding!”
Teter adds, “It was at this time I was asked to join LatinUs Beauty, first to lead external partnerships, and then to serve as the CEO.”
Thus, Lu was born.
A Latino-Designed and California-Made Haircare Brand
This Latino designed and California-made haircare brand is based on the insight that Latinas share mood and mindset with regard to hair versus the traditional end benefits that other haircare lines tout.
In testing, consumers were provided with breakthrough product formulations featuring “Impossible Keratin” (a proprietary plant-based ingredient) as well as exclusive perfumes from the Lu haircare line. Extensive consumer research including ethnography and meeting with Latina/o salon owners, provided the Lu team with insights necessary for creating the brand positioning, nomenclature and tone of voice.
What takes this brand to the new heights is that it is being launch as a Telenovela – this is a first.
Carefully scripted to represent the multi-generational consumer, Lu hired two of the most renowned Telenovela writers to create the script for this important story. Those writers accompanied the team on consumer research throughout the U.S. so they could experience consumer insights and perspective on creating the right narrative for this offering.
Cesar Jaramillo, co-founder, Lu, said, “Brands are about stories. And stories build connections. And novelas, their stories, their stars connect us as Latinos. It is a common cultural element across our countries. We adore stories about love, about coming from behind. And about all the drama that builds around it.”
“What made ours specially challenging is that we didn’t want the typical product integration. We wanted a story built from the ground up around our values of female (and Latina) entrepreneurship. This is not easily done.”
Jaramillo continues, “Most novelas are re-makes of past stories. Creating a new story is incredibly difficult and almost a lost art. We had to go well beyond the typical novela to create something that connects with the audience. And it had to be “socially-relevant.”
“Our partnership with our branding agency was critical to building this distinctive offering for Latinas. They were truly instrumental. Working side-by-side with our research team; understanding the novela, the characters, and how they connected to product design—their insights and creativity were fundamental to building this brand.”
Millie Carrasquillo in her role of chief research officer, provides the facts that pushed the insight of entrepreneurial and generational Latina women – grandmother, mother and daughter.
“Latina-owned businesses totaled nearly 1.5 million, representing 87% growth in the past five years, far outpacing the 39% growth by Hispanic male-majority owned firms, and 27% growth by total female majority-owned firms,” she explained.
Hence the story of female empowerment and entrepreneurship, as well growing together through adversity as multigenerations of a Latino family, was born.
Sol (Victoria Ruffo), not your typical abuela (grandmother), lives in Mexico and plants agave to make tequila. Her daughter, Mariana (Marlene Favela), leaves Mexico as a young woman and opens a salon in Los Angeles. Mariana’s daughter, Lu (Sofia Castro), is a young woman with a business degree.
They came together through adversity and created a company with a new-to-the-world haircare product – leveraging all three of their backgrounds.
Packaging That Represents ‘Hair Moods’
The packaging — and product names — represent the different hair moods of Latinas: Freedom, Rescue and Control.
Each package has a distinctive mandala (a geometric figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism) that depicts each product’s hero ingredient. The mandala is an homage to the brand’s chief brand builder who left behind ideas for the package design before his untimely death.
Lu already has a Facebook and Instagram presence. The product is being offered direct to consumers via its website, LatinUs Beauty.
The Telenovela will debut online in September. It will be exciting to see how this first-of-its-kind brand launch fairs in the Latin beauty marketplace.
Isabel Pelaez, Lu’s marketing manager, sums up the team’s wishes for the future succinctly:
“One year from today, I hope to be talking about how we brought together multiple voices in the Latino community and turned them into a platform that supports and empowers Latinas through our products and storytelling.”
Pelaez continues, “I would also like to be talking about our innovative marketing model and how disruption and iteration are vital to our success: We work from the customer backward in everything we do, even our advertising, and this is the right path forward to build trust and long-term relationships with the community that embraced us.”
She adds, “Finally, I also look forward to talking about exciting new projects and collaborations; the Latino community is very diverse and we want to do it justice.”
Originally published on BeautyPackaging.com | see original article