9 February 2018
Coty became the third largest beauty company in the world after completing its purchase of 41 Procter & Gamble beauty brands such as Wella Professionals and COVERGIRL.
Workroom was the brand consultancy tasked with developing a new brand strategy and identity to launch a new era for Coty post merger. The scale of the task was huge: it was P&G’s largest ever divesture and the deal brought together two very distinct corporate cultures, doubling the Coty workforce overnight to 20,000 people working across more than 40 countries.
The sheer scale of this endeavour presents as many opportunities as it does challenges, and the revitalised brand must equip ‘new’ Coty with the tools to address these. Amongst the many challenges of combining two very different businesses, we pick five key insights from this, our largest-ever rebranding programme.
1. Define the Why
Industry research shows that a purpose-driven company not only attracts the best people, but ultimately outperforms its peers. Defining the right, meaningful and differentiated strategic foundation – the Why? of a business – is absolutely critical. It’s the springboard for everything the company says and does, such as product and service development and the creative expression and visual identity of a brand. Coty’s purpose ‘To celebrate and liberate the diversity of beauty’, supported by a set of uniquely dynamic values, is the impetus behind the creation a newly energised, entrepreneurial culture. It will also be the essential driver for strategic and creative decisions within the business.
2. Do the unexpected
Coty has set out its stall to be a challenger in the beauty industry. To make this flourish at a corporate scale requires a recasting of the cultural mindset, in addition to the heavy lifting of organisational change. For the Coty management team, a rich, vibrant and visually-arresting new brand identity is one of the most visible signals of change. It genuinely supports an ‘uncorporate corporate’ brand.
3. Bring it all to life
A great idea is only the first part of the challenge. Success or failure depends on implementation. And that depends on empowering people to instigate new ideas and take care in how those ideas are crafted to maintain the brand’s integrity. Our inspirational, relevant and forward-thinking brand platform helps Coty devise innovative and engaging ideas and the reinvention of many aspects of the business.
4. Keep the lines open
All rebranding programmes require consistent and regular stakeholder communication, especially with employees. This is the key to develop advocacy and trust, build excitement during the journey, and will eliminate ambiguity. In the absence of a group-wide intranet during the acquisition, Coty provided weekly all-employee email updates in the form of an internal digital magazine. And translated into 22 languages it ensured the widest possible accessibility for their global audience.
5. Passion + detail = pride
It’s amazing how much impact thoughtful ideas (large or small) can have on your people. It’s often these touches that are remembered fondly and talked about forevermore. For Coty, these things provided impetus, a sense of ownership and pride: