When it comes to building a brand, the most important element in any brand’s success, is loyalty. Every brand wants to know that people buy their products, recommend their products, and pledge to be product devotees for as long as they live and breathe. There are very few products that I can say I’m loyal to, and Kiehl’s used to be one of those brands.
It goes all the way back to Christmas of 1999, when I was a Junior Account Executive at my first PR firm. Clients were sending gifts to staff members and, around the holiday season, it wasn’t unusual to see baskets and beautifully decorated wrapped gifts flanking the secretary in the lobby. I remember that one morning, coming down to the main level from my cubicle on the 11th floor, and making my way past reception. There, at the front, was a beautiful basket of Kiehl’s products. I was not familiar with the brand and so I asked the secretary who the basket was for.
It was for Julia Roberts’ Publicist, and right away I absolutely KNEW I had to learn more about the company. You see, I was going through my Julia Roberts phase, and was obsessed with just about anything she wore, bought, ate, and drank. I knew I didn’t have the money to shop at Armani, and I kept kosher so I certainly couldn’t frequent the eateries she was photographed at. But, the cosmetics she liked and sent as gifts? Well, that was definitely something I thought I could swing on my meager budget.
I can’t remember where I purchased my first Kiehl’s product, but I soon discovered that their products were fantastic. And, over time, I became extremely loyal to the brand. From body moisturizer to under eye cream, hair masks to toner, my bathroom was stocked with their products. And, I’ve been using and purchasing Kiehl’s products for years! Before my daughters were born, I used to covet their now-defunct line of baby products, and vowed to one day purchase their entire line of baby products for my future children.
And, when I moved to Israel six years ago, my precious suitcase space was packed with my essential Kiehl’s products. I discovered that Kiehl’s held up really well given Israel’s harsh water conditions, and that my avocado under eye cream was still the most important thing I put on my face every day.
So, imagine my confusion and surprise when, weeks ago I was unable to access the Kiehl’s website. At first, I brushed it off and chalked it up to the site just being down. But, a few days later, I still couldn’t access the site. It was confusing but, again, I decided to give it a few days. Truth be told, I forgot about it for a couple of weeks until today, when The New York Post ran an article about their Top 25 beauty product picks. I was not at all surprised to see Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica lightweight cream as one of their picks and, since I’m not familiar with the product, tried to access the site again for some details.
So, I took to Twitter and asked my friends living in Israel to access the site. I thought, perhaps, that maybe it was a problem with my browser. But, they weren’t able to access the site either. Then, I asked my friends living in the good ol’ USA, to try to access the site. My friend in Florida had no problem getting in.
So, what’s going on?
I like to give Kiehl’s the benefit of the doubt and just think that they were unaware that people in Israel can’t access their site. I wouldn’t want to think that the brand I’ve been so loyal to for all of these years, the brand I have literally dropped THOUSANDS of dollars on, would be intentionally blocking access from Israel.
Kiehl’s, I wait to hear from you! And, hope with all of my heart, to be able to access your website tomorrow.