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BrandZ™ Category Analysis: Personal Care

High Brand Purpose

shapes personal care


Of the five BrandZ™ Vital Signs, the Personal Care Top 15 score highest on Brand Purpose and lowest on Innovation and Brand Experience. These results reflect both the strength of the category—that it provides consumers with real functional benefits to make their lives better—and its weakness, which has been a tendency to crowd shelves with iterative products.


But the category is not static. Dividing the Top 15 into luxury and mass brands reveals a strong shift to luxury. The luxury group comprises 46 percent of the Top 15 today, up from about a third in 2006. The luxury group increased 87 percent in brand value over the past 12 years, while the mass brands increased only 17 percent. The shift to luxury reflects an effort to innovate and avoid category commoditization.


Varying brand characteristics drive luxury and mass growth. Consumers view mass brands as more Meaningful (being brands they like and that meet their needs), and higher in Brand Purpose. In contrast, they view luxury brands as Different (distinctive and trend-setting). Consistent with their Brand Purpose, mass brands are viewed as Caring and Straightforward, and the luxury brands as Sexy and Desirable.  


Brand Implications

In a category where brands work hard to stand out from competing SKUs, it is not only important for brands to innovate, but also to connect their innovations with Brand Purpose. Brand Purpose may come more naturally to mass brands because they provide functional benefits to improve people’s lives. But luxury brands can achieve strong purpose in a different way, as a welcomed indulgence. Brand Purpose leads to innovations rather than iterations that crowd the retail shelf.