Birkenstock is providing marketing professionals with another case of “double-take” brand extension, adding natural cosmetics to its business.

After entering the bed market some weeks ago, the German shoemaker known worldwide for its eponymous ergonomic cork sandals has now launched Birkenstock Natural Care, a range of 28 skin care products.

Cork – the brand’s renowned ingredient ambassador – contains suberin, which has a clinically proven lifting effect. But cork oak extract it is not the only ingredient in the Birkenstock Natural Care range. The active substances revealed by Birkenstock’s research comprise other highly effective ingredients such as arctic moss, argan oil, baobab, moringa, elderberry and botanical hyaluronic acid.

All are certified in accordance with the international BDIH Cosmos Natural standard, and the products contain no controversial chemical ingredients such as parabens, surfactants, silicones and paraffins, while using no animal testing. All this, plus a sustainable packaging concept, which includes an intelligent refill system, helps to preserve natural resources.

The brand strategy behind this bold launch is well articulated by Oliver Reichert, CEO of Birkenstock Group: “We have a particularly close connection to personal well-being. Alongside healthy walking, standing, running, and resting, skin care has a considerable influence on our well-being. This prompted us to start thinking about a healthy product concept in this segment.”

This statement also explains the marketing context in which Birkenstock Legwear and Birkenstock Sleep System were created – as part of a new, integrated business model, managed through dedicated internal divisions

“Birkenstock represents health, outstanding quality and a conscious lifestyle.” Considering the brand in relation to this definition of its essence, a cosmetics range is a perfect fit. We wonder what more audacious steps the brand has in store for us.