The company’s CEO Debra Perelman took over as Revlon’s first woman CEO in its 89-year history in 2018, when the iconic global beauty company was already facing big challenges. Revlon had been leveraging its almost century-old heritage and settled into an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset. The company filled its C-suite team with men and relied primarily on the traditional brick and mortar strategy to sell its 15+ brands around the world.
Revlon had been struggling for years due to a heavy debt load, changing consumer tastes and intense competition; and most recently from celebrity launches like Kylie Jenner-backed Kylie. Revlon’s problems only intensified with the pandemic which hurt sales of lipsticks as people masked up. Sales fell by 21% to $1.9 billion in 2020 and the company avoided bankruptcy late last year.
Revlon is in the midst of a major transformation. It is diversifying its management team, streamlining workflow to make the company nimbler and more closely aligned to the consumer, and leveraging digital to bring a true omnichannel experience to its customers around the world.
Back in 2018, e-commerce sales at Revlon were in the low single digits. Today, that number has increased to 20%. Sales over the past two years alone have increased by almost $100 million; a direct result of Perelman’s commitment to a true omnichannel approach and of a company-wide digital transformation to merge consumers’ online and offline experiences. The company now offers live-selling, one-on-one beauty consultations both online and in-store, and in-store interactive tools to help customers find their perfect shade or skin care fragrance.
The beauty brand hasn’t called for a major agency review for its creative or media planning and buying strategy since 2018. As the company develops a multi-channel strategy, it will need agency partners which can help create integrated campaigns that will drive D2C sales.