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20 to Know

By: Brian Budzynski and Jeff Falk
Posted: January 5, 2010, from the January 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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A new logo, a new tagline (“Become Your Beauty”) and new product lines—including bronzing powders and concealers, as well as real photography shade strips on-shelf—saw the rebrand successfully connect with regular women and men in a manner based less on flash than on authority and aspiration. Increased sales and market presence followed almost immediately. The brand’s renewed purpose is to make “the [regular] you into the very best you that you are capable of being,” says Huggins. “We don’t just create beauty products; we create beauty dreams. It’s not about me, it’s about Black Opal. My time here has been all about achieving the Black Opal dream.”

David Pollock, CEO, American Private Label

Exploring technologies, product development, operations management and marketing to home shoppers—it seems pretty safe to say there are very few beauty industry professionals with experience and expertise in such diverse aspects of the industry. Yet, David Pollock has been able to leverage this unique résumé to guide a technology-driven company that also has the expertise to provide packaging design and marketing support toward the success of private label brands. The team under his guidance develops, formulates, manufactures, markets and distributes product concepts and pre-designed product ranges based on green chemistry. Pollock seeks to change the private label industry by helping retailers use the recession to their advantage.

Among his product development achievements, Pollock is responsible for several early alpha hydroxy acid products, the first mass-market vitamin C line and an acne system that topped sales in mass-market for 18 months. His experience in formulating is augmented by his product marketing and operations background—including as the CEO of Hydron Technologies, a publicly traded skin care and pharmaceutical technology licensing, contract manufacturing and branded skin care sales through QVC and HSN; founder of Clinical Results, Inc., a contract product development laboratory; vice president of product development for the Home Shopping Network; executive vice president of Medi-Cell Laboratories; and as part of Fuller Brush Company’s senior management team, overseeing a 500,000-square-foot manufacturing operation.

Pollock is also an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, has written articles for various consumer and trade publications, was a contributing writer for a textbook on delivery systems for chemists and recently announced his first consumer-oriented book on the secrets of the beauty industry and the path to unlocking one’s inner beauty.

Esi Eggleston Bracey, Vice President of Global Cosmetics, P&G Beauty & Grooming

Esi Eggleston Bracey was the recipient of Cosmetic Executive Women’s (CEW) 2009 Achiever’s Award for outstanding contribution to the beauty industry in her role as harbinger of systemic growth and evolution for P&G beauty up-market strategy in the face of an almost impossibly constricting financial downturn. One of the youngest general manager appointees in her company’s history, and the very first female African-American to attain such a position, Bracey oversees an operation that achieves more than $2 billion in retail sales, and is the light-keeper of P&G’s Covergirl and Max Factor brands globally. The former brand has, thanks in large part to its Lash Blast mascara, been staging a singularly effective grab at the eye makeup segment, a business long dominated by L’Oréal’s Maybelline brand. Two of Bracey’s greatest branding triumphs, heralding a new era of brand identity and cross-demographic marketing strategy, were the emergence of award-winning singer and actress Queen Latifah as a national Covergirl, following shortly on the heels of comedian Ellen DeGeneres’ appointment to the same—two very popular, talented and strong women with broad appeal who also represent specific social segments still considered to be in the minority. With DeGeneres as spokeswoman, Covergirl and Olay’s Simply Ageless Foundation became the biggest- and fastest-selling foundation at mass retailers during its first full quarter on market, and sales have only continued to progress. P&G’s future holds further market strengthening and expansion into developing markets, with Bracey leading the fold. Her leadership successfully spurred new product growth after the Olay cosmetics plug was pulled, and that same leadership will see P&G into the near future, and makes Bracey someone “to know.”

Rochelle Bloom, President, The Fragrance Foundation

In a time when fine fragrance is taking its knocks at the sales counters, the industry can take some solace in having an advocate in Rochelle Bloom, who looks unflinchingly at the reality and where there has been a shortfall while still offering reassurance and an action plan toward an upward slope of success.

“We have become complacent, taking the easy path, and transformed what was a highly prestigious category and made it into a commodity,” she has said. “In doing so, the perception of fragrance is extremely different today than it was 20 years ago.”

Bloom began her career in beauty with The Estée Lauder Companies in 1976. Her career has spanned the company’s premier brands in both domestic and international markets. After a two-year stint in Canada, Bloom returned to the U.S. as director of advertising and sales promotion for Clinique International before rejoining the Estée Lauder International brand as field marketing director for Latin America, Asia and select European markets. In 1979, she launched Prescriptives International as vice president/general manager. In 1986, she was promoted to senior vice president/general manager of Estée Lauder International, a position in which she tripled sales and quadrupled profit. Bloom assumed the presidency of The Fragrance Foundation, a global organization whose primary focus is to build awareness and promote the use of fragrance around the world, in 2003.

And the brand manager in Bloom clearly coexists with the industry advocate.

“It’s no longer business as usual, and the industry needs to regroup and make some significant changes to send the signal that it understands the needs and wants of the customer and then deliver,” she wrote for GCI magazine. “The industry needs to go back to its roots, when it built brands and took risks and made fragrance a must-have in everyone’s daily life. Those who recognize and act on this crucial sea change will survive. Those who continue to do business as usual will not. I’m betting on the former. This is an industry that has more creative and marketing talent than any other. Now is the time to harness this talent and make magic again.”