CVS Rolls Out Exclusive K-Beauty-Inspired Brand Joah
CVS/pharmacy recently teamed with Kiss Products to roll out an exclusive Korean beauty-inspired brand dubbed Joah.
Joah, which translates to “I like it” in Korean, first rolled out on cvs.com in July and is slated to hit 4,000 stores this month. The collection, which ranges in price from $2.99 to $15.99, comprises 158 SKUs including 40 shades of lipsticks, four liquid eyeliners, two eyeshadow pallets, 11 concealers, two peel-off face masks and makeup brushes. Aimed to reflect a “fearlessly feminine and unapologetically girly” attitude, Joah boasts colorful packaging, unique names such as “Make Her Gel-ous” and “Brow Down to Me,” and marketing materials that render a cohesive look, feel and messaging across channels.
Senior vice president of global marketing at Kiss Annette DeVita-Goldstein told Women’s Wear Daily that the brand's marketing efforts employ women of all complexions and ethnicities, aligning closely with CVS’ Beauty in Real Life commitment to elevating diversity and unedited marketing materials in the beauty category.
“We have a robust marketing plan behind this, including a recent preview at Beautycon LA, digital media, in-store promotions, plus an influencer campaign with an army of online tastemakers. We are working with celebrity makeup artists on tutorials and red carpet appearances, coupled with out-of-the-box sampling programs,” DeVita-Goldstein said.
In stores, the full-range collection enjoys prime positioning in beauty departments on a colorful endcap display. A power wing on one side of the unit stocks lip products presented as “created from a love of K-beauty, inspired by a smile,” while the opposite side stocks brow SKUs above a “go natural or go bold with brow down to me pencils” message.
Online, Joah boasts its own Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest accounts as well as a YouTube channel (view one video below) and website (joahbeauty.com). The website functions as its own brand shop, detailing each product and linking to cvs.com for purchase. It also engages visitors with K-beauty “tips & tricks” as well as invites users to give “fan feedback” and subscribe to Joah’s newsletter for the scoop on trends, new products, promotions and more. The site additionally offers a “sweet talk” section comprised of blog posts and vlogs covering both Joah-specific and broader K-beauty topics including trends, eye/brow tips, face facts and K-beauty news.
The brand's launch was promoted with a leaderboard ad on cvs.com that linked to a brand shop within the website. Also on cvs.com, select Joah SKUs are elevated within the retailer’s “K Beauty” shop.
Other supporting activity spans sponsored content from influencers such as New York beauty vlogger Nicol Concilio, multiple circular features including one referencing the designation of July 29 at "National Lipstick Day" that offered loyalty cardholders $4 in ExtraBucks rewards with purchase of $12 worth of Joah cosmetics, as well as other deals and social media giveaways. For example, an Aug. 2 Instagram update from Joah dangled a free “Birthday Suit” eyeshadow palette for tagging three friends in the post, while a July 16 update offered free shipping with purchase of two Joah SKUs on cvs.com from July 14-21.
"We're excited to exclusively launch Joah, a brand that mirrors CVS/pharmacy's belief in having fun with beauty," Andrea Harrison, senior director, divisional merchandising manager of beauty at CVS said in a media release. "We continue to find new ways to expand upon our current beauty offerings, particularly when it comes to K-beauty-inspired brands like Joah that encourage playful exploration through cosmetics."
The Korean beauty market is among the top 10 around the world, worth more than an estimated $13.1 billion in sales in 2018, according to global market intelligence agency Mintel. In the U.S., dollar sales of beauty products from South Korea are growing at an annual rate of more than a 30% and surpass $250 million, according to Kline research.
“We feel this is the right time for this brand given what is going on with K-beauty,” DeVita-Goldstein told WWD. “CVS was the perfect partner given their support of K-beauty." The retailer last year added cult-favorite brands like Frudia and Peach Slices to its product assortment.
“We’ve continued — and will continue — to invest and innovate our beauty offerings in both our online and in-store experience to create a guilt-free, stress-free atmosphere that makes it easy and exciting for customers to explore new products,” Harrison told WWD.
In the past two years, CVS has steadily added more exclusive and first-to-market beauty launches to discourage shoppers from migrating online or to specialty stores. The retailer just revamped its ExtraCare Beauty Club with new benefits – including routinely awarding shoppers with samples and pre-launch items.
“We’re always in search of premium lines and niche products. We believe Joah brings an experience consumers would have with top trending prestige brands and innovation that we’re excited to introduce to our customers throughout the country,” said Harrison, who credited social media for making consumers more perceptive about innovation and trends like K-beauty. “They know what they want — and it’s often coming from uniquely positioned niche brands.”