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Can John Hopkins be beautiful?

Talk about co-branding. One of the world’s leading medical research institutions is lending its brand to a skincare product line.

It’s nothing new as far as co-branding a newly launched brand with that of an established one. What is new is this established brand is one of the most-respected in the world with an image and identity that evokes prestige, trust, and cutting-edge innovation, not to mention its highly world-wide level of awareness. With such a positive and respected association it is only right that Cosmedicine would want to associate its foray into the market on a platform of that breadth and depth. On the other side of this brand association is J. Hopkins with its brand associated to a no name, no brand skin care line. Brand-wise, there is a fundamental disconnect with respect to the Hopkins brand.

A strong and trustworthy image and identity are hard enough to come by in such a trend-oriented industry that cosmetics happens to be. The cosmetics industry has most recently been using “science”, or at least the label, as a driver for new product marketing; thus, it seems that with each passing day comes a ground-breaking research study on a touted new (or old-turned-new-again) ingredient to deliver “younger”, “fresher”, “smoother”, “radiant”, and basically anything else related to transformed appearance to that of the perception of youth and beauty. It has got to the point where it is hard to believe in this industry where exactly science stops and marketing and branding begins.

Does it really always just come down to the Benjamins? And will consumers “buy” the branding or will J. Hopkins see a diminished brand result? (If so, where can a diminished brand go for funding then?)

Is this brand innovation or brand dilution? Your mirror may be the only relevant indicator.

Further reading:
You can read the details and the debate in Rhonda Rundle’s WSJ article from Wednesday’s edition [Subscription required].

You can find out more about Cosmedicine at Sephora online.

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