Go-to-Market Makeover: P&G’s reflect.com takes on department stores.

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Procter & Gamble reaches in two new directions – online and upscale – with reflect.com, a $50 million start-up launching this holiday season. The Web site will sell custom-blended cosmetics and fragrances. P&G’s first Internet-only product line will be priced comparable to department-store brands.

The site will serve as an e-commerce model for P&G as it takes a lead in pioneering online packaged goods sales and develops new channels of distribution under its Organization 2005 initiative (July promo). The site is also P&G’s first shot at direct-to-consumer sales. Its other sites, like covergirl.com, offer product information but send shoppers to online retailers for purchases.

P&G’s partner is Institutional Venture Partners, Menlo Park, CA. The two (P&G is majority owner) set up reflect.com as a stand-alone “to blend P&G’s strengths in consumer knowledge and product innovation with the online savvy and speed of Silicon Valley,” says chairman-ceo Durk Jager in a statement. “This will allow us to learn how to bring personalized products and services to consumers online.”

The site launches with “an interactive, personalized women’s beauty experience” that lets them customize cosmetics, fragrances, and moisturizers from 50,000 possible product and packaging combinations. Consumers began pre-registering in September.

“Reflect.com will be much more than just a place to buy beauty products. We are creating a truly unique consumer shopping and bonding experience,” says a statement from interim ceo A.G. Lafley, who’s also P&G’s president of global beauty care and North America.

Separately, tpuppy.com, New York City, broke a $20 million campaign to launch beautyscene.com, selling national branded cosmetics and personal-care products. The “lifestyle site” runs print and online ads touting its upscale tone and content on beauty trends. Ad agency frierson mee + kraft, New York City, and interactive shop Lot21, San Francisco, handle.

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