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05/06/2021

CVS Invests in Men's Grooming

Jacqueline Barba
Associate Editor, Path to Purchase Institute
Jacqueline Barba profile picture

CVS Pharmacy is growing its footing in an emerging category with the recent launch of its first men's grooming private label, Goodline Grooming Co. 

Available in stores and online, Goodline Grooming Co. currently encompasses 35 skin care, beard care, shaving, and bath and body SKUs such as a grooming comb, shave brush, beard oil, eye roller gel, nail clippers and grooming scissors. The line also includes a range of combo product kits touted as all-in-one solutions, such as a grooming kit, a mustache styling skit and a grooming scissor duo. All products are paraben and phthalate free, not tested on animals, and range in price from $4.99-$24.99.

a bunch of items that are sitting on a desk

Employing a Look Good, Be Well trademarked tagline, the brand boasts it was built For Guys, By Guys (another CVS trademark) while its packaging flaunts a blue and white, modern barbershop aesthetic. In stores, the brand enjoys primary merchandising space on shelves in the men’s grooming/hair removal end of the personal care aisle, which has expanded over the past year.

Within cvs.com, a dedicated brand shop positions Goodline as a men’s wellness brand, elevating its “good-for-you” ingredients, particularly aloe vera to help “hydrate, moisturize, calm and soothe the skin.” The shop also continues the brand’s For Guys, By Guys positioning, emphasizing how Goodline was inspired by "unbiased, genuine feedback on everything from the Goodline name to its ingredients, look and story" from a community of men. Shopper product reviews populated in the brand shop echo the importance Goodline places on customer feedback.

graphical user interface

“Our approach with this brand was to develop simple, uncomplicated, easy-to-understand and good-for-you products — which is brought to life through the packaging,” Brenda Lord, vice president of private brands and quality assurance at CVS Health, recently told Path to Purchase Institute sister publication Store Brands. “The packaging, which was created for guys by guys with input from a panel of consumers, was designed to be innovative and intuitive, while maintaining a focus on the familiar and approachable. It’s upfront and transparent about ingredients, telling our customers exactly what’s in it — and what’s not.”

CVS tapped NYC-based agency Standard Black to design Goodline’s branding, identity, creative direction, packaging and production. A case study showcasing the agency’s Goodline work for CVS on the agency’s website includes a dedicated, three-sided endcap display, a standalone branded website that links to CVS for purchasing and other marketing support, not yet deployed or spotted by the Institute.

Goodline was subtly introduced to shoppers as early as March, highlighted through sporadic circular features including one that used a QR code to direct shoppers to the Goodline brand shop. Support for the launch has since ramped up as the line hits more stores. Social media updates as well as multiple cvs.com display and leaderboard ads linking to the Goodline brand shop have highlighted the brand or incentivized trial with ExtraBucks rewards. For the first week of May, CVS dangled $7 in ExtraBucks to ExtraCare members with purchase of $20 worth of select Goodline products.  

a stack of flyers on a table

CVS has been eyeing men’s personal care as the men’s grooming category continues to trend upward and gender norms shift. In July 2020, CVS became the first major retail partner for digital native brand Stryx, a corrective cosmetics and personal care brand for men. CVS carries Stryx’s concealer and gel cleanser, located in the shaving cream and razor aisle, where Goodline has arrived.

CVS has also ushered in products from California surfer-inspired Byrd Hairdo as well as digital native, natural skincare brand for men, Wolf Project, which last year rolled out its hydrating face masks to 2,000 CVS stores nationwide. Display racks with branded signage often merchandise and sometimes unite grooming products from the three aforementioned emerging brands in the men’s care aisle.

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