Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, known in the global market for their mineral-based products, has recently rebranded its core skin care product lines to simplify the brand’s collection and refocus its attention on the practical needs of the consumer.

To steer the company in this new direction, Ahava has brought in beauty industry veteran Elana Drell Szyfer, formerly of Estée Lauder, to lead as GM/CEO of North America and bring an overall cohesiveness to the brand.

“Ahava means ‘love’ in Hebrew, which is reminiscent of our brand’s philosophy and values of ‘loving your skin’,” said Drell Szyfer. “We’re incredibly true to who and what we say we are down to the littlest detail. We want to bring the experience of the Dead Sea to the consumer.”

Since the beginning of time, the Dead Sea has been a natural wonder, and known as the “world’s original spa”—a place where Cleopatra used the mud and mineral-rich water for beauty treatments. People traveled to the sea from all over to experience the “mystical properties” of the water, and would collect the mud and water in containers to take with them in order to use as beauty treatments or treat serious skin ailments. In 1988, a small group in Israel living on the banks of the Dead Sea developed the idea for the brand, driven by a deep passion to unearth the secrets of the revitalizing effects of minerals on the skin. Today, the brand still has a lab and manufacturing plant at the Dead Sea, with a permit from the Israeli Government, and is headquartered in the Modern Tel Aviv District of Airport City, Israel.

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Now sold in over 30 countries worldwide, Ahava remains the only cosmetics company indigenous to the Dead Sea region, and therefore aimed to repackage, reposition and reformulate in order to create one cohesive look to represent this link to the brand.
“My Skin Reborn,” the company’s new campaign slogan, will appear on all marketing communications materials at the point of sale to reflect this fresh approach. The new, recycled-paper packaging aesthetic includes a nature-inspired look—echoing elements of water, mud, salt and plants from the Dead Sea region to strike a balance between scientific research and natural wonder.

Ahava will also be unveiling a unique stripe-based naming system for the facial care collection to communicate the various levels of skin care offerings. One stripe represents basic care, while two and three stripes denote an increased level of intense, age-defying ingredients—a system created to address the developing and ever-changing skin concerns of the brand’s consumers.

“We are very strong in our body business, and one of our strategic priorities is to increase awareness of the performance of our face products,” said Drell Szyfer. “New launches in 2011 and beyond will focus on building this category.”

The new face collection’s key proprietary ingredient, Osmoter, allows for each product to include an exact replication of the 21 minerals in the Dead Sea, and recharges the skin’s natural functions by optimizing cell metabolism, protecting from UV damage and increasing moisture levels to keep it looking young. While some formulations have been enhanced more than others, each one will now be free of parabens and other harsh ingredients.

“As far as reformulation, we wanted to ensure that what was inside was as natural as possible,” said Drell Szyfer. “We invested a large amount over a period of years in research and development, as we place a strong importance on the brand’s authenticity.”

Another area of large investment was in sampling, using innovative methods like Birchbox, a company that hand-picks luxe beauty samples and delivers them to consumers on a monthly basis, creating a new path to purchase.

“In-store, we treasure our relationships with our retail partners because we are an open-sell brand without beauty advisors,” said Drell Szyfer. “We rely on their support and the strength of our brand message in order to be successful. Our new merchandising signs for retail display will help tell the story of the brand, and highlight our ‘top sellers’ and ingredient stories. Ahava has an incredibly passionate following once someone discovers it.”

The new collection is now available in select stores and online at ahavaus.com—the brand’s completely revamped website, which now includes the history of the brand, mineral dictionary and other innovative features to keep the brand moving forward throughout their new efforts.

“Our current strategy includes our goal to focus on the U.S. for the next three and a half years—hopefully making the U.S. our largest market,” said Drell Szyfer. “I joined the company to further these efforts, and no detail has been left untouched.”

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