Yves Rocher Pilots New Brand Strategy in Canada to Gain Market Share [Interview]

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Yves Rocher has unveiled its new brand strategy, “Retour Aux Sources” which is reconnecting the retailer with its roots.

The new brand strategy for the botanical beauty brand includes: a renewed in-store shopping experience, a redesigned pricing strategy, and a revised loyalty program.

Julie Huynh

Julie Huynh, Managing Director of Yves Rocher North America, said the updated strategy aims to reconnect the brand to its founding mission: to offer natural, responsible beauty, by cultivating, revealing and transmitting the incredible power of plants through cosmetics with proven plant power. 

In addition, the new strategy aims to forge an even deeper and more authentic connection with the customer, whose input was at the heart of this brand repositioning initiative, she said.

“We have listened to our customers,” she said, adding that following the pandemic the company focused on its business model and reaching customers with an emphasis on increasing awareness for the brand to “remain in the game.”

“These findings made us really think about a new strategy and when I say new it’s not really new because at the end of the day we are just coming back to our roots – what makes the brand Yves Rocher being Yves Rocher since its creation in 1959.”

Yves Rocher Boutique (Image: Yves Rocher)

The retailer has 44 stores in Canada, all in Quebec, after closing 10 of its stores in Ontario earlier this year, mainly in the Greater Toronto Area.

With products manufactured in its own factories and grown on 60 hectares of organically farmed fields, Yves Rocher was born in the small village of La Gacilly in Brittany, France, in 1959. As a pioneer of natural cosmetics, Yves Rocher used the village’s natural plants as the basis for its products, each with an essential botanical ingredient; a concept that revolutionized the cosmetics industry. 

Today, Yves Rocher is a leader in responsible botanical products, offering over 1,000 products covering all cosmetic needs, distributed in over 3,000 stores worldwide. 

Huynh said Canada is a pilot country for the new brand strategy. She said the current strategy does not include the addition of more stores at this time in Canada.

“We are concentrating on Quebec because we know that it’s where the footprint of the brand is,” she said. “And then with this new strategy we want to refocus on our roots. Make sure that our customer knows our brand positioning, the botanical expertise, recruit new customers through those channels and also offer her an omnichannel experience – online and offline.”

Yves Rocher Boutique (Image: Yves Rocher)

The retailer said the refresh was prompted by the brand’s existing customers as research initiatives allowed Yves Rocher to gain insight into customers’ desire for the brand to refocus on its guiding principles, such as botanical expertise, rather than on what distorts it, such as promotional noise. 

“Building upon this newfound understanding, Yves Rocher’s new strategy, Retour Aux Sources, is guided by the overarching objective of reconnecting with the essence of the brand: its mastery of botanicals and its art of formulation, from plant to skin,” said the retailer. “The new in-store experience refocuses on Yves Rocher’s botanical expertise and commitment to formulation, manufacturing, and sourcing.”

“Customers will have the opportunity to discover Yves Rocher’s new “Committed Stores” – a redesigned store concept that reflects Yves Rocher’s brand identity. These innovative stores will embody Yves Rocher’s values by utilizing eco-friendly materials, highlighting the brand’s commitments to eco-design, formulation and sustainable sourcing. In addition, the stores will incorporate visually-enhanced communications detailing the manufacturing process of their containers and the commitment to the reduction of plastic use.”

While in the past the brand focused on providing value through promotions, discussions with customers led to the brand realizing that its history and botanical expertise were often overshadowed by this promotional strategy. 

“As such, Yves Rocher undertook a comprehensive reevaluation to align its prices with the brand’s definition of beauty: natural, responsible, impactful, and accessible to all. By focusing on softer, more consistent prices rather than promotional noise, Yves Rocher aims to provide customers with a shopping experience rooted in its expertise and values,” it said.

“The last facet to support Yves Rocher’s updated strategy is the introduction of a new in-store-only loyalty program designed to encourage both well-being and nature conservation. The program, which launches in tandem with the former pillars, will allow customers to accumulate points with every purchase and earn extra points for eco-friendly product choices. Customers will then be able to redeem their points for a range of personalized rewards or use their accumulated points to contribute towards planting trees.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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