Silky hair is apparently the path to number one.
Owned by Unilever, Sunsilk is one of the top hair care brands in the world. It’s number one in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Argentina, Great Britain, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia. Sunsilk is not available in North America.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat?
Launched in 1954, Sunsilk began as a British hair care company. In just five short years, the company had expanded massively and was available in eighteen countries all over the world.
The company had a distinct heads up over its rival hair care brands because it only needed to be used once in order to be effective. Other shampoos at the time required repeated uses during each hair washing session in order to be effective. This one-use feature of Sunsilk meant that users could wash their hair less, preserving the natural oils that help keep hair more silky.
In 1956, Sunsilk added a special cream shampoo to its line of products that was specially targeted for dry hair. The brand quickly got a reputation for giving hair a glowing sheen.
Over the next ten years, Sunsilk expanded its offerings to include a whole range of hair care products that addressed different issues that individuals were known to have with their hair.
A major reason that Sunsilk has been able to hold onto its audience over the decades is that the company changes its formulation with regularity, always seeking to improve. It is never satisfied, and always believes that there is a better solution. This keeps it moving forward, and sparks it to continue to develop new and innovative products.
Sunsilk was the first mass marketed shampoo to include olive oil as a conditioning agent. It helped dull hair to become more lustrous and shiny. The company also offered shampoo made with lemon to strip away excess grease from the hair.
In 1964, the company expanded its product line to include hairspray. One innovation from Sunsilk was a formula that would hold even when the weather was damp. The company also added a French perfume component to this product to add to the sensory appeal.
In packaging, the company migrated from glass bottles to PVC plastic bottles during the 1960s to allow it to offer larger sizes with less overhead cost. This made the brand much more accessible for everyday people, as it became less expensive due to its switched packaging.
Global Hair Care
This insistence on meeting the needs of its customer base allowed Sunsilk to expand to manufacturing facilities in twenty-seven countries by the early seventies. This created a brand that was essentially global in nature. In fact, Sunsilk is considered to be the first global hair care brand.
By the mid-1970s, Sunsilk was the largest hair care manufacturer on earth with more than one million products sold every day.
Sunsilk was always media savvy. The company began television advertising all the way back in 1955. It ran a series of 1960’s radio commercials called “Hairy Tales” that focused on specific hair care problems that its products could address. This commercial quickly drew the attention of the public, as it was both humorous and informative.
Another way that the company was media savvy was in its launch of a professional haircare magazine in Argentina in order to target stylists so that they might carry Sunsilk products in their businesses.
Sunsilk uses brand ambassadors to get the word out about its brands, including Isyana Sarasvati and Raisa Andriana.
Its tagline, “Hair on your side”, shows how much this company is focused on its customers. That customer focus has helped Sunsilk to become a major force in hair care.