Poly-Version Takes Brand Assurance to a New Level
Brand image is pivotal to how health and beauty companies differentiate their products. Their brands hold tremendous value. Brand Finance, a respected valuation firm, estimates the L’Oreal brand is worth $7.7 billion, comprising 34.6 percent of the company’s market cap. Revlon’s brand is worth $922 million, generating about half of Revlon’s total company value.
Understandably, health and beauty companies go to great lengths to protect their brands. Increasingly, they’re mindful of brand vulnerabilities that could be accidentally introduced by suppliers. While brand damage occurring through the supply chain is not new—think of apparel companies’ recurring sweatshop scandals—brand risks are rising fast, given today’s globalized business world and the rapid spread of information enabled by social media.
My company Poly-Version has built our business by being good stewards of our health and beauty customers’ brands. Specifically, we’ve carved out a specialized niche printing instruction sheets with plastic gloves attached to them for hair coloring kits. Our instruction sheets appear in hair coloring products sold in the U.S. and Canada, including those made by Clairol, Garnier, L’Oreal, Revlon and Soft Sheen Carson.
The hair care market has globalized, and Poly-Version faces fierce competition from companies in China and Mexico. Poly-Version gained an early market advantage by patenting an automated, heat-sealed process for adhering and folding plastic gloves on sheets of printed paper. Our New Jersey manufacturing facility has four offset printing presses and 36 custom machines for heat-sealing gloves. Each machine is capable of producing approximately 30,000 pairs of gloves and instruction sheets per 10-hour shift.
Our manufacturing assets, however, cannot protect us from foreign competition. Competitors have developed technology and methods similar to ours. Although their machines and processes may be less efficient, their labor costs are much lower. Poly-Version cannot, of course, match China’s or Mexico’s low labor costs (nor would we want to). Instead, we must be operationally lean to compete with our foreign competitors.