Beiersdorf Skincare

Research into category definition, role, merchandising, brand impact

Objectives of research:

  • to define the skincare category which Eucerin could grow;
  • define and reassert Eucerin’s unique role in category;
  • improve visibility, navigation, and share of shelf;
  • clarify the brand’s USP, RTB and EMY;
  • identify the style, tone and assets which embody the brand.

What we did:

(*in association with Bridgethorne)

  • Phase 1: Accompanied shops with Tobii Eye Tracking to understand the impact at retail of Eucerin alongside the competitor set, the use of navigational cues, placement, impact of signage, packaging design and colour.  In addition to interviewing consumers, we also interviewed in store demonstration staff and intercepted their customers to gauge the effect of the advisory service. 
  • Phase 2: Co-creative consumer sessions to revise the brand proposition, creative strategy and media approach. 
  • Phase 3: Quantitative segmentation study which both identified the core consumer segment and proximal groups in relation to the brand’s current proposition whilst testing an alternative proposition, imagery, branding, pack designs, signage and range architecture.


Consumers were grouped in to segments based on level of investment, brand loyalty and intensity of expert skincare needs. They were analysed in terms of those skincare needs; levels of knowledge relating to skincare types, ingredients, product promises; their brand perceptions, influences and touchpoints along the path to purchase, heuristics and biases.

We discovered how significant an impact a lack of “sectioning” or chunking of the fixture, the lack of colour variation, punctuation and invisibility of logical flow, can truly have on a shopper’s ability to browse or even attend to a skincare area, let alone attend to the brand.

What’s happened since?

Eucerin has been a key growth driver in Beiersdorf since recommendations delivered by the research have been implemented.  It has grown at twice the rate of Nivea, 7.5% in 2019.  Eucerin has become the stronger voice in category, influencing Sainsburys to expand their specialist skincare category and Superdrug to create a new Skincare consultation counter.

Highlights of the project?

Ruth: I really appreciated the client’s feedback following the debrief of this project. The client told me that the output of the project went far above and beyond their expectations in presenting not just the findings, but developing strategic recommendations which addressed so many of their commercial interests, and so well, too.

I think having worked client-side for so long, including in health and beauty, it’s 2nd nature to be able to look through the client’s lens and consider all things, from the reactions and needs of a Boots Pharmacy buyer to the supply chain factors of the manufacturer, global range and price comparisons versus local needs, range architecture and long term ambitions of the brand champions at HQ.

Using techniques such as eye tracking boosts the evidence of our findings with an extra layer of science, so if you are going to go above and beyond the expectations of the client, it helps to increase their confidence (and yours) in the changes you recommend they make!

This Beiersdorf project is just one of a line of similar projects which Ruth has led in recent years, which use eye tracking and other AI software to dig under the surface of consumer behaviour, including:

  • Entertainment One
  • Tesco
  • Spotify
  • Warner Bros
  • Toys R Us
  • Barbie
  • Fisher Price
  • Diageo*

In association with Bridgethorne*