The Brand Neutrogena

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Neutrogena Corporation, headquartered in Los Angeles, began its success story when, in 1930, founder, Emanuel Stolaroff, started a small specialty cosmetic company called Natone. In the early years, Natone was a supplier to Beauty salons usually associated with the glamour of the film industry. By the 1940’s, Natone began manufacturing and distributing cosmetics for the retail market.

In 1954 on a business trip to Europe, Stolaroff heard of an unusual soap developed by Dr. Edmond Fromont, a Belgian cosmetic chemist. Fromont’s patented formula produced an unusually mild, clear soap that rinsed quickly and easily from the skin, leaving essentially no soap residue. Eleven minutes after washing with this unique soap, the skin was able to return to its normal pH - just one minute more than if it had been washed with only plain water! Hence the name, “Neutrogena.”

Stolaroff believed there was a market for such a high quality soap and arranged to import and distribute the Neutrogena brand product in the United States. Setting the course for future growth, he emphasized the transparency of the soap to clearly communicate its difference. In addition, he targeted sales to new distribution channels - department stores and better drug stores.

By 1962, Neutrogena soap was so synonymous with the company image that the company name was officially changed to Neutrogena Corporation. Lloyd Cotsen, an integral member of the Neutrogena family, became President of the company in 1967 and made another key decision that would profoundly influence the future of the company - to promote the advantages of Neutrogena soap to the medical profession. The strong relationship between Neutrogena Corporation and dermatologists gave the company an exceptional competitive advantage.

As Neutrogena gained a unique acceptance by the medical profession, a new emphasis was directed toward marketing and research efforts to create a line of safe, mild, premium quality skin care products. In 1973, the company went public and by 1980, Neutrogena entered the hair care market. Today, Neutrogena Corporation manufactures and markets a line of premium priced skin and hair care products which are distributed in more than 70 countries.

The respect and credibility earned by Neutrogena Corporation led to its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 1994. As a member of the worldwide network of Johnson & Johnson companies, Neutrogena has the opportunity to preserve the “Neutrogenic way” while at the same time drawing on the breadth of Johnson & Johnson resources.

Now more than ever, today’s consumers equate health with beauty, Neutrogena stands naturally poised for tremendous future growth and an ever increasing number of satisfied customers.

Instrumental in the design of the first marketing strategies for the Neutrogena soap was Lloyd Cotsen. A former archaeologist with a history degree from Princeton, Cotsen married Stolaroff's daughter, Joanne Stolaroff, in 1953, and then went to Harvard for his M.B.A. Beginning in 1957, he became an integral and personally invested player in the family business (he retained ownership of approximately half of Neutrogena's stock until the company's 1994 acquisition). In fact, Cotsen's strategies made the soap such an important aspect of Natone's business that in 1962 the company name was officially changed to Neutrogena Corporation. In 1967 Cotsen became president of the company. Neutrogena's sales in that year were approximately $3 million, with the major product being the glycerine soap. Soon after his presidency began, Cotsen created the niche marketing strategy that would shape the success of Neutrogena for almost three decades. According to Business Week, Cotsen's motto has always been: "I'm not that smart, and I don't like competition." Priced midway between soaps like Ivory and Clinique, and positioned between elite...
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