Growing up there were three known brands of soap that people used. There was Lux and Imperial Leather which were the premium soap brands. Then there was Rexona which was the brand used by everybody else.
20 plus years later when you go to the supermarket there are so many soap brands to choose from, from local to international. The customer is spoilt for choice. There are herbal soaps, antibiotic soaps, soaps for people with pimples. There are even dubious soaps for restoring virginity. In short whatever kind of soap you are looking for you will get it.
In the last 2 months however 2 brands Camay and Lux have brought it up a notch. They have both launched or re-launched (Lux) their beauty soaps. Camay is a brand of Proctor and Gamble that is well known internationally but now for the first time is being sold in Africa and Kenya specifically. Lux also decided to relaunch their classic brand Lux. Both brands launched their new “products” at the Villa Rosa Kempinski.
The two brands Camay and Lux are similar in that they target women in the middle to upper class segments of society. Their target audience is women who want their soap to not just be another bar of soap. Both beauty soaps contain real fragrances from perfumers. Camay not only launched a soap, they also launched a whole range of body works. There is the soap, a deodorant, an antiperspirant and a lotion. Lux only launched the soap but there was a hint that there may be more to come from the video. Unilever however seem to be pushing Lux and Rexona together as currently Lux does not have a deodorant range.
Competition is good. For too long women wanted brands to give them a whole variety of products that they can choose from apart from the same old stuff. Women who have traveled especially have wondered why so many great products found in international markets are not found here. Hopefully, with the competition to win women’s minds and pockets other brands will also step up.
Cussons, whose premium brand is Imperial Leather also have a whole range of products from bath and body works including shower gels, deodorants and lotions. Nivea also has a whole range of bath and body works in its portfolio.
Right now though it seems Camay ( P & G) and Lux (Unilever) are the ones fighting to win over the ladies. You will see the adverts on the tv, on social media and billboards. In this fight the consumer ends up winning as we get better quality products. It would also be good to see men’s products being marketed as well. In terms of marketing this is the segment that has potential for growth considering that men are becoming more conscious of the products that they use. After all this is the age of the metro-sexual man who wants to look good, smell good and feel good.