Francois Coty revolutionized the beauty industry with his fragrance business in 1904, deliberately disrupting an elite marketplace to inspire a new era of accessible beauty. Fast-forward to 2016 and the marketplace is dominated by many players – most obviously by the ubiquity and scale of L’Oréal, Estée Lauder and Chanel. Acquiring P&G’s Specialty Beauty Business transformed Coty overnight into the 3rd largest global beauty company, with a renewed mission to stir up the industry again. The organization is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with approximately $9 billion dollars in revenue.
Coty’s stated aim is to become a leader in beauty. Negotiating and completing the complex merger with P&G Specialty Beauty was the first major step to compete in a marketplace dominated by a few significant, global players. The complete restructuring and organizational reshuffling then needed to unite 20k employees (10k from each company) under a wholly new entity – and at pace – was another major challenge. Similarly the need to align two different corporate cultures and clearly articulate what the ‘new’ Coty would stand for – what qualities, attributes and beliefs would be maintained, evolved or dropped – were all fundamental steps to be taken. And all of this had to be resolved within a year, while at the same time continuing to run both businesses.
Our key industry insight was the homogeneous representation of beauty; minimal engagement and lackluster customer experience. This was our catalyst to focus Coty’s brand strategy on a more diverse perspective of beauty. The new purpose is ‘To celebrate and liberate the diversity of beauty’ which drove key creative coordinates for the identity; joyful, colorful, multi-faceted, plural and kinetic. We based the visual identity on an iconic symbol of change, beauty and diversity: the butterfly. The identity system comprises an evolving series of hand-crafted butterflies representing Coty areas of specialization: fragrance, hair and color cosmetics, with wings crafted from raw materials used in Coty’s famous brands such as COVERGIRL, OPI, Wella and Rimmel. Logo and strapline are designed with a bespoke font, the starting point for which was a curvy ‘Y,’ mirroring butterflies symmetry.
After 100+ years in business, rebranded Coty has breathed new life into its founder’s visionary legacy, rejuvenating the spirit of consumer-focused change with a disruptive, distinctive idea. The new purpose, values and visual identity were launched simultaneously on NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) and across 130+ countries to all employees. Overnight, newly branded interiors were created, and personalized brand communications delivered to all. The reinvented brand signaled a new era for Coty and has been embraced and praised by all employees citing pride to ‘Liberate Beauty’. In September 2017 Coty announced its new cause-related corporate responsibility initiative with Global Citizen with an agenda of radical inclusion and self-expression. Portfolio brands have been energized to develop new products with stand-out inclusive campaigns, self-selecting as brand ambassadors to reflect Coty’s motivating purpose.