- Unilever hair care brand Suave debuted Suave Professionals for Natural Hair, created with help from 5,000 women with diverse natural hair types, styles and lifestyles, the company announced.
- The Natural Hair Trust, a group of co-creators and influencers, emerged to develop and test the products before hitting shelves. Suave also teamed up with celebrity stylist and Unilever hair expert Ursula Stephen on the project.
- To promote the new product line, Suave launched a digital and social campaign featuring three Natural Hair Trust influencers — Temitope Adesina, Charlize Glass and Enocha Tellus — to showcase natural hair products in real-life situations, like strolling on a windy day, dancing and enjoying a day at the beach.
Celebrating diversity and authenticity are marketing themes that a growing number of brands are embracing as they strive to more deeply connect with consumers who may have been historically underrepresented in media and marketing. Suave's new hair care line and influencer-focused campaign align with this trend, and the brand said the products were inspired by the idea that multicultural hair brands tend to be more expensive and difficult to find than the general market. Suave aims to position its natural hair products as a less-costly go-to line for a variety of hair and life situations.
The new line highlights how major consumer packaged goods brands are working to cater to people of color, a key market demographic, with greater intensity of late. African-American consumers have a buying power of $1.3 trillion, and 54% of the population are digital natives, according to Nielsen, demonstrating the value of connecting with this group. Unilever's competitor Procter & Gamble recently acquired direct-to-consumer marketer Walker & Company, which owns brands catering to consumers of color, including men's grooming line Bevel and Form, a brand for women with textured hair.
Consumers, especially millennials and Gen Zers, respond positively to brands that showcase diversity in their marketing. Suave's latest line and campaign continue Unilever's commitment to women's empowerment and showcasing diversity in its messaging. Last year, the company said it would expand its Unstereotype initiative across all content formats to call on creators and distributors to remove outdated stereotypes in their marketing.
Suave isn't the only Unilever brand to focus on representing a broad spectrum of hair types and styles. Dove Hair recently teamed up with singer Kelly Rowland on "Crown," a new "power anthem" and music video to break down the narrow definition of beautiful hair and empower girls to be confident in however they choose to wear their hair. The campaign message was "Wear it proud. #MyHairMyCrown."