I'm back to Beiersdorf again today, with the launch this week of O.W.N. - a personalised skincare brand for cleansing, day and night care.
All the boxes and more are ticked:
A pure digital D2C business model
On self-care mega-trend and need for individualisation
Personalised at scale, with 380,000 formula combinations on offer
All driven by A.I. and algorithms, which get to know your skin better day by day
Brand identity fits current aesthetic, including brand name (which stands for "Only What's Needed"), and of course your own name on the packaging
But what's different here is the role of the dinosaur mother company. Only with 140 years' knowledge on skincare and the backing, in development, of a study of 10,000 women in Europe and Asia, with 2.5m "skin measurements", are you going to get the trust and buy-in at scale that O.W.N. is really going to do what it says on the recyclable tin.
And it's all part of the grand (yet flexible) strategic plan and purpose of the matriarch.
Now, notice I said "mother company", not "mother brand". Did Beiersdorf consider bringing out the new brand under the Nivea name, or at least make some allusion to it? I'm sure that was hotly debated.
Maybe there's something to be learned here for the companies where brand and corporate name are one and the same.
Whatever, this is a clear sign that some of those legacy dinosaurs aren't going to die out just yet.