Groupe Marcelle has set its sights on the modern gentleman with the launch of a brand new skincare line, CW Beggs and Sons. The Lachine, QC–based company named the range after Charles Waugh Beggs, the entrepreneur who founded Marcelle toiletries in Chicago, back in 1874 (hence the city and date on this new packaging).
Currently sold online at cwbeggs.com and Birchbox U.S., with plans for in-store distribution on the horizon, the extensive lineup includes both basics, like cleansers and moisturizing lotion, as well as more novel offerings, such as a $98 anti-aging elixir made with colloidal platinum, and two shades of a manly tinted moisturizer with soft-focus pigments. We spoke with François Lafortune, vice-president of marketing at Groupe Marcelle, for the new brand’s backstory:
What prompted Marcelle to develop a men’s skincare line? Have you noted a growing demand for men’s grooming products?
Interestingly enough, throughout our 140-year history, Marcelle has offered skincare to men at different periods in time. In the 1920s, Marcelle had a shaving cream for men, and in the 1970s, we had a full men’s skincare line, called Grand Prix. Today, we are launching CW Beggs and Sons, a line that has a variety of products catering to the different needs of modern men. We do see steady growth in the men’s segment, as well as a growing awareness of the importance of skincare and grooming in general. As a leader in skincare, it was a natural evolution for Groupe Marcelle to now offer specific products to men.
Given that CW Beggs and Sons is sold online, what’s your strategy for getting men to take a chance on a totally new brand?
Sampling is key for men, especially for a new brand. Because of this, we have partnered with Birchbox Man in the U.S., where we have a strong sampling strategy for the next 12 months and beyond. We are already seeing extremely good reviews on Birchbox Man. In Canada, we have a strong sampling campaign targeted to men who have registered on cwbeggs.com. Furthermore, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, thus limiting the risks for new customers.
Are the formulas similar in any way to existing Marcelle skincare?
All CW Beggs and Sons products have been formulated from scratch by our R&D lab and are unique to the brand. We had a clear vision as to what the formulations should be. All the products have been tested by men, and they are dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, oil-free and alcohol-free.
The line features a tinted moisturizer. Was there a void for this type of product in the men’s market?
We feel that men today are more than ready for a tinted moisturizer. In fact, men are looking for solutions that will help them feel and be more confident, and therefore more successful. Our tinted moisturizer is the perfect solution. It blends into the skin and evens out the skin tone without actually looking like you have applied tinted moisturizer. Its auto-adaptive pigments guarantee a mistake-proof application. It’s my personal go-to product.