Redken is a well-known haircare brand that has been around since the 1960s. It was founded in New York by Paula Kent and Jheri Redding, who leveraged their backgrounds as a hairdresser and chemist respectively to create high-quality haircare products. Redken pioneered the concept of “protein reconditioning”, which uses protein derived from silk and wool to repair hair damage. Over the decades, Redken has grown into an iconic brand known for its advanced haircare technologies and premium salon-quality products.
Redken’s Parent Company
Today, Redken is owned by L’Oréal, the Paris-based multinational beauty company. L’Oréal acquired Redken in 1993 and made it part of their Professional Products Division. Under L’Oréal’s ownership, Redken has expanded globally while still maintaining its identity as a top professional haircare brand. Redken is able to leverage L’Oréal’s extensive research and development capabilities to continually improve and innovate their haircare lines.
The Sister Brand: Matrix
Within L’Oréal’s Professional Products Division, Redken has a “sister” haircare brand known as Matrix. Matrix was founded in the United States in 1980 and acquired by L’Oréal in 2000. The Matrix brand is sold exclusively through professional salons, much like Redken. However, Matrix tends to position itself as a more affordable salon-quality haircare line compared to Redken.
While Redken and Matrix operate as separate brands, they benefit by being able to share technologies within the L’Oréal group. For example, both Redken and Matrix have incorporated L’Oréal’s advanced hair science like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and activated aloe into their product ranges. The synergy between the brands allows Matrix to offer salon-quality products at mass retail prices.
Positioning of Redken vs. Matrix
Although Redken and Matrix sell through the same professional salon channels, their branding and positioning differs in the following ways:
- Redken is positioned as a premium, high-end brand with cutting edge hair technology.
- Matrix is positioned as an affordable, professional-quality haircare line.
- Redken targets hair salons charging higher price points.
- Matrix targets mid-range to value hair salons.
- Redken retails at a premium price point compared to Matrix.
- Matrix offers an extensive range focused on color care and styling.
- Redken is focused more on hair reconditioning and treatments.
Here is a comparison of some of the key products available from Redken and Matrix to showcase their different product positioning:
|Shampoo||Redken Extreme Shampoo ($18)||Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Shampoo ($14)|
|Conditioner||Redken Extreme Conditioner ($20)||Matrix Biolage Conditioner ($16)|
|Hair Mask||Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus ($42)||Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Mask ($18)|
|Styling Product||Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer ($22)||Matrix Style Link Styling Cream ($16)|
|Hair Color||Redken Shades EQ Hair Color (pricing varies)||Matrix Socolor Permanent Hair Color (pricing varies)|
As you can see from this product comparison, Redken’s products are priced at a premium, around 1.5x the price of comparative Matrix products. This highlights the different positioning between the sister brands – Redken as the high-end, luxury brand and Matrix as the more affordable, mass-market salon brand.
In terms of salon distribution, Redken focuses on premium hair salons and spas. These tend to be higher-end salons in major cities and affluent communities. Redken provides extensive training and support to salon partners to ensure stylists are highly educated about the brand.
Matrix, on the other hand, targets a wider range of salons from mid-tier to value hair salons. They offer affordable professional-quality products to appeal to a broader range of stylists and clients. Matrix provides training for salon partners but on a smaller scale compared to Redken.
Both Redken and Matrix leverage L’Oréal’s sales force to distribute their products in salons. But the brands deploy separate education teams to train salon partners according to their specific brand strategy and positioning.
Redken and Matrix take differentiated approaches when it comes to brand marketing as well:
- Redken engages in high profile marketing campaigns, sponsorships and endorsements to reinforce its premium brand image.
- Matrix focuses its marketing on social media engagement, user generated content, and influencer partnerships.
- Redken spotlights its specialized hair reconditioning treatments and protein technology in its marketing.
- Matrix spotlights its extensive hair color range and styling products.
- Redken leverages celebrity stylist endorsements to attract prestige salons.
- Matrix cultivates “next generation” stylist ambassadors on social media.
By tailoring their marketing and positioning specifically for their target audiences, Redken and Matrix are able to successfully co-exist under L’Oréal’s umbrella while retaining distinct brand identities.
Redken and Matrix operate as sister brands within L’Oréal’s Professional Products Division. While the brands have distinct identities and positioning, they benefit by sharing technologies and expertise through their L’Oréal parentage. Redken serves high-end, luxury salons with its premium haircare. Matrix provides an affordable, professional-quality alternative for mid-tier to value salons. This differentiated approach allows the sister brands to complement each other and effectively cover different segments of the professional haircare market.