by Elisabeth King

Women don’t sit down and methodically brush their hair anymore as they did when Lady Jayne was established in the late 1920s. But even though the old-fashioned, 100-strokes-a-night grooming brush has died, Australia’s number one hairbrush and accessories brand has re-invented the category as essential styling tools. Against a backdrop of aggressive discounting in many other areas of the haircare sector, the market for hair brushes and accessories remains buoyant. From stylish salon-type brushes to basic pins and barrettes, Lady Jayne has continually expanded the profile of all-round haircare while building profitability for retailers. 

Lady Jayne became indelibly linked to style in the 1950s with the breakthrough launch of the Hair Beautifier, the original detangling brush, says Juliette Toolin, Marketing Manager – Essential Beauty at McPherson’s. “The launch marked a turning point for the brand. Contemporary and relevant for the times, Lady Jayne recognised that many women were entering the workforce and starting careers. Billed as a boon to the housewife and a must for the career girl, the Hair Beautifier truly forged Lady Jayne’s continuing relationship with Hollywood glamour. Back then women looked to enduring style icons like Marilyn Monroe and adapted their hair looks, just as today they look to their successors to keep up with go-to hair trends”.

Pharmacy Focus/Unrivalled Brand Recognition

The Hair Beautifier was sold in department stores, but Lady Jayne’s popularity soared with its expansion into pharmacy. The brand’s core foundation today is pharmacy and Lady Jayne is available in 4500 outlets nationwide, including the big chains and independents, says Toolin. “Not only is Lady Jayne the market leader in hairbrushes and accessories, 8 in 10 Australians recognise the brand. An amazing brand recognition that’s not only linked to its strong heritage, but also because detangling has been such a long term speciality. Mums buy the brand for children as young as five and this has been true for decades. Lady Jayne is imprinted on the minds of consumers of all ages”.

With more than 200 products in the range, innovation is what really drives the cash register rings. The Hollywood glamour emphasis remains very strong for Lady Jayne because the brushes and accessories business is driven partially by fashion trends and partially by necessity, adds Toolin. “Last year, we overhauled the core range and refreshed the packaging and logo. But the new professional brush range has generated significant growth because it is all about making transformative looks easy to achieve. The brushes were a logical addition for Lady Jayne and they attract shoppers who like to experiment with their appearance and want a whole new look. Hair brushes and accessories are not as price sensitive as many other segments and they give retailers an opportunity to generate impulse sales and offer a complete hair care section”. 

Hollywood Glam and Premium Presentation Key To Young Consumers 

Millennials and Gen Zers under 30 are the major target consumers for the new Professional Range, says Tegan Hodder, Brand Manager Lady Jayne. “We collaborated with Jonathan Colombini, the LA based celebrity hair stylist who works with Kylie and Kendall Jenner and other high-profile celebrities such as Fergie and Emily Deschanel. As a market leader, Lady Jayne has to deliver and be all about the red carpet, the spotlights and Hollywood glam. We advertised for the first time and there was also a strong public relations campaign and social media blasts to reach out to younger consumers”. 

Seasonality plays a big role in the hairbrush and accessory category. Summer brings an increased demand for items that hold hair in a bun or a ponytail and detangle beach hair. More women are participating in sports, creating a need for functional products that can withstand high-level activity. There’s also a strong focus on brushes that make drying and styling such on-trend hair styles as the half up/half down do popularised by Khloe Kardashian simpler and less harsh on the hair, says Hodder. “Lady Jayne’s expertise in de-tangling dates back to the Hair Beautifier and that’s why people still buy the brand’s brushes today. Professional stylists are also major advocates because our brushes are designed with quality bristles and shapes to enhance the styling experience.”. 

The copper and black premium look of the new Professional Range debuted in the VaddleTM Brush – a two-in-one brush with the combo performance of a paddle and vent brush – and the Vent Brush, created for thinner, shorter hair – in mid-October. Both brushes were designed to create superior volume and movement and gave consumers a preview of the copper ceramic base plate with ionic bristles. 

A month later – mid November – four soft change brushes also hit the stores. All priced under $30, the lineup sparked a lot of interest and helped pharmacies to develop the right product assortment. The Detangling Paddle Brush with flexible nylon bristles and tip smooths wet and dry hair. For consumers looking to create long-lasting curls and waves, the Ceramic Radial Brush has the copper ceramic barrel that holds the heat longer. A mix of v-shaped ionic and boar bristles are the major selling points of the Porcupine Ceramic Radial Brush in small and large sizes which create volume or a smooth, sleek look. Boar bristles are a favourite of professional stylists, notes Hodder. “So in-store display of this collection of upscale brushes prompts consumers to spend more on a product”. 

Star Quality

Everyday glam never goes out of style because everyone likes the idea of being pampered. Glamour looks good, feels good and also appeals to a need we all have for more time in a fast-paced world. Every consumer can feel like a star with Lady Jayne’s new accessories in gold, silver and rose gold, says Hodder. “The Round Gold Barrette, Large Metallic Double Bar Slides, Large Metallic Slides, Thick Round Barrettes and Metallic Swirly Pins are affordable luxuries priced between $9.99 and $11.49”. 

Consumers have always loved Lady Jayne because it is an Australian brand and because it gives them a point of reference and a sense that they are buying a quality product. In many ways, hair brushes and Hollywood glam are like wine. They are classic and never go out of style, says Toolin. “Lady Jayne has not only stayed relevant throughout its history, we continue to make converts because consumers know they are getting the latest technology to help them achieve whatever hair style they choose from simply great to sophisticated”. 

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