I was intrigued to discover recently that premium anti-ageing skincare range Astalift is now available in the UK, four years on from its original release in homeland Japan. The range has all the design and linguistic cues you’d expect from an upmarket skincare brand: glamorous packaging, neat little application tools (those tiny little spoons just scream luxury, don’t they?), dual-language descriptors (English and French, naturellement), breakthrough science and a liberal application of words like ‘radiant’, ‘luminous’ and ‘youthful’.
So far, so normal, right? Well, yes – at least until you get as far as the manufacturer. It then becomes just a little less standard, because in this case, Astalift is a product of Fujifilm Corporation – long-standing manufacturers of photographic and digital media technologies.
At this point, your thoughts are probably running along the lines of something like: “Okay, this is going to be one of those ‘Top 10 worst brand extensions’ blogs, isn’t it?” Actually, it’s not, for two simple reasons. Firstly, the parent brand has acknowledged the seeming incongruity of a photographic manufacturer going into health and beauty, keeping any link between Astalift and Fujifilm firmly restricted to the fine print on the website and back of pack.
More importantly, however, the new line builds on transferable brand expertise and a very real set of RTBs, as the company explains:
“Fujifilm’s Astalift series is a comprehensive anti-aging skincare brand, developed by using cutting edge core technologies accumulated over many years of research and development of photosensitive materials. These distinctive technologies include the findings of its own collagen research, anti-oxidization technology and nano-technology.”
With the abundance of new, almost sci-fi technologies now utilised by the health, wellness and beauty industries, it’s suddenly not so surprising that a brand such as Fujifilm, with its heritage in capturing and arresting the effects of light, could put that experience to good use in anti-ageing.
So there you have it. Not an April Fool’s joke, but rather a potentially very lucrative decision by the business to look beyond the first circle of innovation. To close with a question that’s often lumped in with the laziest of marketing and business strategy, but can just occasionally prove wholly apposite: when was the last time you thought outside the box?
Fujifilm certainly has.