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It All Began With a Bar of Soap: The History of Neutrogena

Posted by Andrea Welzien on Monday, June 10th, 2019

Neutrogena’s long history all started when Emanuel Stolaroff began a beauty supply company called Natone in the 1930’s. He specialized in supplying his beauty products to the film industry in the U.S. During a business trip in 1954, he was impressed to find a soap made by a Belgian chemist that left no residue on skin after rinsing. Awestruck that the soap allowed skin to return to it’s normal pH only eleven minutes after washing (just one minute longer than water!), he knew he had to bring the formula to the United States.

He branded the soap as Neutrogena, and emphasized the transparency of the glycerin. Shortly after Neutrogena soap was created, Lloyd Cotsen joined the Stolaroff family when he married Emanuel Stolaroff’s daughter. A few years later, he started working for his father-in-law, and he quickly began to play a huge role in sales and marketing for the company. Cotsen’s marketing strategies lead the soap to such an important part of Natone’s sales, that in 1962 they changed the company’s name to Neutrogena. Cotsen became the president in 1967, the same year they reached $3 million in sales with the majority coming from the glycerin soap.

The marketing strategies behind Neutrogena gave them a big advantage. Cotsen’s motto of “I’m not that smart, and I don’t like competition” influenced him to keep Neutrogena soap priced midway between the most basic drugstore soaps and higher end cleansers like Clinique. The company’s sales really began to skyrocket with the implementation of Cotsen’s strategy to focus on developing relationships with Dermatologists and luxury hotels. He had samples of the soap left in dermatologists’ offices and distributed to luxury hotel rooms, making sure that the name Neutrogena was branded into each bar of soap.

By the 1970’s Neutrogena began to expand their product line, promoting teen acne products, and by 1980 they entered the haircare market. In 1982, Lloyd Cotsen was named chief executive of the company, unfortunately just two years before Emanuel Stolaroff passed away. Still to this day, Neutrogena is recognizable as a trusted brand for skincare concerns. Currently, the brand’s products are manufactured and marketed in over 70 countries! Advertised as the #1 dermatologist recommended brand, Neutrogena declares that “Beauty begins with healthy skin”, and loyal customers appreciate the research and science behind their products.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 10th, 2019 at 11:47 am and is filed under Cosmetic Leaders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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