John Frieda

Client: John Frieda

John Frieda Category Vision

Unlocking powerful category activation using consumer insight


Times are tough for haircare brands. For a variety of reasons, consumers are spending less money on hair products, buying less often. It was against this backdrop that haircare brand John Frieda came to us to help work out how to reverse the decline – not just for themselves, but for the whole category.

John Frieda wanted to dig deep to find the real consumer story behind the category’s malaise. But rather than focusing on things the brand itself could do differently to better address consumer needs, they wanted to find out what the category as a whole could do. It was time to get up close and personal with consumers.

What we did

Our approach focused on first identifying the knowledge gaps within the category through a thorough resight process. We knew from this that we had a deep understanding of what was happening in the category but not why it was happening, so we embarked on talking to both consumers and shoppers at home and in store to unpick the way in which they interacted with the haircare category, before identifying future trends which we felt would further influence the choices they were making.

At home, people had been clear about what they wanted from hair products. But when we got to the haircare aisle in a store, their clarity was suddenly clouded and the enthusiasm they had shown dwindled. Faced with shelf upon shelf of products with confusing names and claims, people simply didn’t know what was right for them.

John FriedaJohn Frieda


Armed with the insights and trends from our work, we helped John Frieda come up with a category vision and growth drivers focussing on making women once again feel inspired and confident about shopping for haircare. Thanks to our work, John Frieda is now empowered with the insights it needs to influence its retail partners to take another look at the haircare category, and come up with solutions that benefit all brands – as well as of course the consumer.

Personal care

Category vision

As the #3 brand in the Haircare category we were concerned about the decline, we saw the category edging towards being commoditised however had learnt how important consumers and shoppers felt about the category. We wanted to inspire shoppers and get our retailer partners to view the category as consumers felt about it – positive, fun and beauty. Only working with Happen’s creative processes and thinking are we richer in insight and have a vision and strategy to help the category and the brand back into growth.

Priya Jassal

Senior Category Manager

Kao, John Frieda

John Frieda

Industry Personal Care

Happen's perspective

Working in such a challenging category is tough, but working with the John Frieda team was a collaborative and positive experience. It was an energising experience to see the category, sales, marketing and brand teams galvanise together to create a vision and strategy that engages and excites both the John Frieda brand and their retailers at a category-wide level

Our People