In a bid to expand its awareness in North America, No7 Beauty Company is staking a claim on being an inclusive mass brand.
On Oct. 4, the less than 1-year-old No7 Beauty Company launched “We See You,” a new campaign for its standalone No7 brand. The campaign is meant to shine a spotlight on the skin-care needs of BIPOC women who historically felt less represented in the beauty industry. It’s in conjunction with a launch of products called the Pure Retinol line, which includes a night cream, a serum and an eye cream for $27.99-$36.99. No7 Beauty Company spun out of Walgreens Boots Alliance in April as a standalone business to broaden the beauty division’s appeal to the North American market and accelerate global expansion. The standalone No7 brand was founded in 1935 by U.K.-based Boots. Brands in the No7 Beauty Company portfolio include No7, Liz Earle Beauty Company, Botanics, Soap & Glory, Sleek MakeUp and YourGoodSkin. According to WBA’s third-quarter 2021 earnings in July, the company’s U.S. beauty retail sales in the quarter increased nearly 15% year-over-year.
The No7 brand’s retinol collection is now available in Walmart, Target, Ulta and Kroger grocery stores, among other retailers. “We See You” campaign videos will debut on Oct. 4 across linear and connected TV channels, and social media channels including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Anisha Raghavan, No7 Beauty Company’s North America CMO, referred to this campaign as a “gold launch” campaign, meaning that No7 Beauty Company has dedicated the most attention, resources and financial investment possible to “We See You.”
Glossy spoke with Raghavan about “We See You,” including where the concept stemmed from, how No7 Beauty Company aims to live up to its inclusivity premise, and why the brand’s “talk-ability” matters.
What was the impetus for “We See You”?
Like the rest of the industry, we’ve seen retinol continue to drive growth in the [skin-care] category throughout 2021. But also back in January, we [introduced] our Unstoppable Together [corporate-social initiative] to support women in the U.S. for the first time. This time around, when we started developing these retinol products, there was a statistic we learned that 63% of U.S. women of color don’t feel seen by the skin-care industry and don’t feel like there are enough skin-care offerings for them. Women were telling us stories of how they either hadn’t heard of retinol because retinol brands do not target them or they didn’t feel like the products were for them. For example, hyperpigmentation is one of your top concerns if you have a darker skin tone, but most retinal advertising out there talks about fine lines and wrinkles. The premise of the “We See You” campaign is that no brand is perfect, and no company is perfect. But we are committed to our Unstoppable Together purpose of being an ally to all women.
What are you hoping is the takeaway from consumers who view “We See You”?
I’d love for people to take away what it says: We See You — that, No.1, we are a brand that walks the talk. And that that we are committed to delivering skin-care solutions made for the broadest population of people across different ages, ethnicities, skin tones and skin types. This [ad] also addresses older women in their 50s or 60s who don’t feel seen all the time by the beauty industry. It shows the continued evolution from No7 Beauty Company on how we want to approach this issue. As a skin-care company, I want our brands and the industry to take this issue seriously.
How will you measure the success of this campaign?
All of our campaigns are about both brand awareness and sales lift. But the brand is still in its infancy in the U.S., so awareness is very important to us. We also have marketing metrics that we look at, including one I refer to as ‘talk-ability.’ It’s a measure of our share of voice [online] and how much social conversation is about No7, and who’s talking about us. And the quality of the conversation. That is a key metric because we want to build that brand love; it’s not just about No7 being on the map, but [it’s also] about connecting with consumers and making them feel like this is a brand made for them.
How else does No7 Beauty Company try to live up to its Unstoppable Together proposition around women’s empowerment?
It goes back to the beginning of our pipeline and the way we think about our products’ science and formulations. [It’s also] the way we think about consumer testing and how we brief our beauty consultants. And how we design our teams internally and with outside agencies. The No7 North America marketing team is 73% women and 47% BIPOC population. There’s also an age spectrum within the team. On the agency side, the production crew for this campaign was 80% female or minority. As the No7 Beauty Company continues to evolve, you will see more from us with how we bring our product collections to life and our brand purpose to life, and the integration between the two.