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Starting Point: Taking on the Future

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: April 30, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

It is with mixed emotions that I write my first Starting Point column. GCI magazine has long been both partner and resource to the industry, and it is also clear that the magazine rides the same ups and downs as the industry. The realities of operating in the current climate mean change, and we say good-bye to Karen Newman—who has been both a personal and professional mentor. Karen worked diligently to chart the course of this magazine since Allured Business Media took ownership in 2002. That course focused on bringing you actionable business and marketing strategies along with reporting on the nuances and challenges of our industry. I plan on using that chart to stay the course, and so my disconsolate message is tempered by confidence and enthusiasm, and I’m excited to build on a strong past to foster an even stronger future.

The changes at GCI magazine also mean we welcome Brian Budzynski. You may already recognize his name from our masthead, but he is stepping from behind the curtain and adding industry-focused editorial duties to his role of managing editor.

In This Issue

This month’s cover story considers the nature and impact of innovation, and recognizes three companies whose work and thinking we believe will leave a deep and long-term impact on the beauty industry. Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. is working to successfully bridge the renewables and chemicals industries by transforming plant-based oils into specialty chemical products while transforming industrial science into a collaborative effort that takes its lead from nature; the Monell Center’s work represents the type of critical thinking that will propel the creation of products that intrigue the 21st century consumer; and Beiersdorf AG looked inward at its strength and the brand experiences it offered in order to create a ray of light in 2008’s dark economic storm.

Euromonitor International notes that hair care, a segment worth $63 billion globally in 2008, will continue modest growth, but that brands must evaluate their marketing and positioning strategies to maintain positive momentum.

In “Beauty Packaging Identity Trends,” contributor Aniko Hill identifies packaging trends while exploring the importance of packaging design as part of the brand development process and its role in reinforcing core brand values. And Diana L. Howard, PhD, shares alternatives to hydroquinone in “Hydroquinone: Is the Cure Worse Than the Problem?”