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A clean start


American brand Neutrogena has opened a standalone store at Mumbai in July. This is the first boutique in the world for the brand which is a leader in premium, dermatologist-recommended skin and haircare. Neutrogena, which is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson is distributed in more than 70 countries and headquartered in Los Angeles. The brightly lit Neutrogena store in Phoenix Mills has been conceptualized like a beauty and health magazine — from an eye-catching cover (read window dressing), to in-depth features all shaped by a branded editorial perspective. The beauty advisor serves as the face of the brand and interacts with the customer to set the stage for an in-depth Neutrogena brand experience. The Neutrogena boutique is built on four key principles — attract, educate, evaluate and decide, through the various experience zones. There are several touch points like Tru-View system, product samples provided in the private consulting area and the tester bar to provide a product experience to the customer. Product ranges include ranges for deep cleansing, base cleansing, base moisture, fairness, sun care, Norwegian formula, anti-ageing and the men’s range.

Dr Snehal Shah, Senior Director for Product Development, R&D, Neutrogena Corporation is based out of Los Angeles. He has been studying the Indian market intensely in recent months.

How specific are Neutrogena products going to be for India?

Skin is different is perhaps a myth. However skin needs might be different across the world. For example, in Mumbai you have very high humidity all through the year. High humidity brings in lots of sebum, sweat, dirt and grime on the face. You might be apt for looking for a product that actually cleanses your skin.

Will you introduce all the products from Neutrogena in India?

We will not be able to bring all the products here in India, and all the products may not be appropriate for the market anyway. Speaking from the R&D perspective we will bring in the products that are essential for the improvement of the health of the skin. Eventually we will add to these as the market matures and knowledge of the skin increases.

What is the biggest challenge for Neutrogena in India in terms of skin and haircare?

I think the biggest challenge is to raise the awareness of how to maintain the healthy beauty of the skin. In the last three weeks I visited about six cities and spent a lot of time at the stores talking to consumers. I find that there is a general sense of awareness of beauty. However the depth of the knowledge is not there. My sole reason for being in India is to internally educate the organization on skincare, with its available technology and the physiological conditions that skin goes through when it is exposed to the environment. People have different needs based on the geog- raphical and skin conditions.