The L’Oréal Group annually organizes their international branding business case competition. Students from top-universities worldwide can participate and develop a branding strategy for a brand. In the Brandstorm of 2014, students received a business case on the brand Kiehl’s.
Kiehl’s is a luxury personal care brand, originally from New York. The main goal of the case was to develop a multichannel strategy for Kiehl’s that leveraged their brand in such a way they would appeal more to the male market. With the use of ProBAR®, 37°Celsius analyzed several varieties of brand names, competing brands, as well as Kiehl’s brand personality, and Kiehl’s user imagery amongst others. Research showed that Kiehls’ could benefit from making more use of its roots: Being from New York adds positive associations like exclusivity, quality, hip & trendy and expensive. Expensive in this case fits with the exclusive nature of the brand and is seen as a logic consequence of being a (super)premium brand! The ‘only’ problem of the brand was its brand awareness of which we know (Keller, Sharp) that it’s a prerequisite to be in (big) business.