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Case Study: Alterna Haircare + building digital presence from the ground up

Alterna | Web Development

Alterna Haircare, Los Angeles, California - Luxury haircare without harsh and harmful chemicals since 1997

Before State

Alterna Professional Haircare®, the formerly independent, North American luxury cosmetics brand and pioneer of clean beauty products, was acquired by Henkel®, the Düsseldorf-based fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant in 2014 along with haircare brands Sexy Hair® and Kenra®. Since its acquisition, the Alterna brand hadn’t been a priority for the portfolio, but with the clean beauty movement building, Henkel called to rejuvenate the brand and relaunch products with new packaging, and do it quickly.

Their plan was to minimize their e-commerce burden by partnering with key online retailers and wholesalers like Sephora®, Nordstrom®, and Ulta® to handle distribution. Alterna had drastically simplified the fulfillment process and had made it easy for consumers, businesses and distributors to buy Alterna products online.

Rather than building out the brand’s e-commerce experience, the vision for their online presence was to be editorial, providing valuable, engaging content to Alterna’s professional stylist customers. Alterna needed a solution to source, manage and display multimedia content that was useful, educational and inspiring for haircare professionals.

The newly-hired Digital Marketing Manager at Alterna had more than her fair share of challenges to overcome:

Bottom line: Alterna needed a website that would impress. It was an essential piece of the foundational marketing materials. With a beautiful rebrand to implement, they needed an agency with the expertise and finesse who could handle the task, deliver to the brand standards, and meet deadlines without fail.

The Digital Marketing Manager knew that hiring experienced agency partners and contractors would be crucial to hitting her 6-week target successfully. At the recommendation of one of its sister Henkel brands, Alterna partnered with Skyrocket, and the clock kept ticking.

What we did

Alterna hired Skyrocket on a monthly retainer for website and marketing content services.

Alterna’s relationship—like every client relationship with Skyrocket—started with our trademark braindump. Alterna’s Digital Marketing Manager brought anything and everything to the table—concerns, priorities, past grievances, needs, budget, and timelines—and downloaded it all to our team. From there, Skyrocket distilled needs from the chaos and developed a plan of attack that would have the most impact. We prioritized Alterna’s immediate need for a website with a plan included website design and development, website content production, and blog content production on a monthly contract.

Worry-free experience

Alterna’s Digital Marketing Manager appreciated Skyrocket’s integrated yet hands-off approach. We handled everything: information architecture, technology plan and integrations, user stories, user flow, UX design, UI design, content development, analytics setup and integrations, development, DNS setup, QA and testing, and launch—all aligned to current industry best practices and, most importantly, met timelines.

Delivered as promised… in 6 weeks

Following an Agile workflow (What’s Agile? Learn more in our blog post “An Agile Way To Better Work”), Skyrocket built and launched the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of the website in 6 weeks. The MVP focused on the essentials—6 webpages communicating key information for a B2C audience, minimal site features, and beautiful brand implementation. We introduced a robust yet easy-to-use content management system (CMS) solution that was built to scale with Alterna’s needs and would allow the digital marketing team to manage edits.

In the months that followed, Skyrocket refined webpages and pushed updates live in batches. We delivered a web experience that featured beautiful, custom design work and lots of space for compelling content—always staying true to the Alterna brand with every iteration.

Highly visual content for a hyper-focused target

Once the website had launched, Skyrocket developed and executed a targeted content strategy for Alterna’s B2B audience—salons and stylists—including blog posts and design assets. Working closely with Alterna’s Digital Marketing Manager, Skyrocket produced multimedia content including educational articles, product tips, special features, posts on industry events, descriptive and beautifully designed tutorials for recreating looks with Alterna products, and a downloadable media kit for promotions, complete with logos and other social-media-ready assets. The brand now had a place for haircare professionals to learn, grow and be inspired that the digital marketing team could continue to build out.

Alterna Case Study Image 1

After State

As the Alterna brand gained digital momentum, the Digital Marketing Manager hired another marketer, growing the digital marketing team to two. The small team still balances a full workload of planning, managing, and executing on numerous projects and campaigns across multiple digital channels daily through successful contractor and agency relationships. Skyrocket remains a trusted partner that continues to support Alterna’s digital team on web development, multimedia content production, brand implementation, and digital strategies.

Skyrocket’s Agile development cycles continue to allow the team to launch, learn, iterate and optimize the website as Alterna releases new products into the market and learns more about what its clients want.

Skyrocket wowed the Alterna digital marketing team and, subsequently, Alterna’s digital marketing team impressed the rest of the company by keeping deadlines, increasing user engagement, and delivering industry-leading, stunning digital experiences that all of Henkel could be proud of. The team even won the “Digital Difference Maker” award at the company for their contributions.

A new website was an important starting point for the greater vision for Alterna’s digital presence. Together, we created a strong foundation for the brand that will serve them well into the future.

From the client

Ashley Braune, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Alterna said that Skyrocket is “...a terrific vendor who is consistently in front of trends, never misses a deadline, amazingly communicative and strategic, and really is like an extension of your team.”

Results

With optimized marketing bandwidth, Alterna's digital marketing team saw a significant increase in content creation overall and accelerated release of multimedia content across all channels.

Awards

Won the "2019 Difference Maker Award" at the company for their contributions

Overall media growth in 2019

51,064,148 Impressions +1,560% vs. 2018

Website updates

Brand authority and audience reach

Relevant links

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