Sign in

A Rush and a Push

Jeff Falk

What a time of the year. Here in Chicago, a mild winter has given way right to summer, it seems, and the travel schedule is full while the deadlines mount—providing just the right amount of adrenaline to make it more of a rush than a panic.

As this issue goes to press, I’m getting ready for In-cosmetics and looking toward an exciting week in New York, May 14–18, where I’ll attend and/or participate in the Natural Beauty Summit America, New York Suppliers’ Day and Luxe Pack New York. And in fact, the year as a whole is filling up with intriguing events, and I felt sharing my travel calendar (right) may facilitate opportunities for us to meet. You can e-mail me at if you will be at any of the same events, and, perhaps, we can set a time to talk.

In the meantime, I invite you to enjoy the newest addition to our pages, both in print and online, Retail Corner. The first contribution to this column space is provided by Daniela Ciocan, director of marketing for SoGeCos Americas/Cosmoprof North America, whose Discover Beauty and the International Buyer Program initiatives has given her unique insights into the brand/retail connection and environment—in addition to her experience in securing Awake Cosmetics’ luxury specialty store distribution in the U.S. while also overseeing all aspects of brand management.

In “The Rules of Engagement,” Ciocan writes that retail is the final touch point for beauty brands and consumers, and it can make or break a sale. But with e-commerce and continually progressing technology, the retail environment’s evolution is fast—and requires smart strategies from the brands on the shelves.

Also In This Issue

“Consumers won’t come just because you built it,” writes Alisa Marie Beyer in “The Beauty Business is Not for Sissies.” She notes that a successful beauty brand is more than just a good idea, beautiful packaging and a great formula. It takes a well thought-out plan and strategy for a brand to create long-term on-shelf viability, and Beyer outlines the process into steps: vision, plan and design, build, deliver and operate, and cycle for success.

In “Influence From the Outside,” Robert F. Brands writes packaging design inspiration can be drawn from nearly anything, but it’s still all about the brand building. Being on the cutting edge of packaging design requires an eye to consumer macrotrends, as well as the ability to understand how these macrotrends are applicable to your brand and products. And as a critical brand touch point, the strategic design and development of a product’s packaging elements is essential to brand growth.

“The Process of Product Development” by Darrin C. Duber-Smith and Gregory Black is an exploration of product development as key in gaining an edge in the hypercompetitive beauty landscape. Product development, they write, frames strategy in terms of two variables—product and market—and success relies on matching the right products to the right market.

With sustainability, social responsibility and environmental integrity as key components of the long-term operational landscape in beauty, new choices in ecologically friendly packaging could be a catalyst to a shake-up of the current mix, writes Euromonitor International’s Rob Walker in “Sustainability Drives Game Changing Innovation in Beauty.” He notes that recent innovations have brought sustainable packaging into the competitive mainstream of beauty, with the potential to strengthen a brand’s environmental position.


Makeup is a powerful transformational tool, Faber-Castell noted when it introduced new products at Cosmoprof Bologna, and Rob Walker, contributing his second analysis this month, writes that color cosmetics also have potential to magnify concepts of fun and sociability at a time of weak discretionary spending. In “The Future Bright for Color Cosmetics Despite Economic Gloom,” Walker writes that, although some discretionary spending remained weak, there were signs of a more devil-may-care attitude to consumption. And though 2012 is a year of numerous strategic challenges for color cosmetics, creative and innovative product development, together with savvy and bold investment in emerging markets, will yield opportunities.

“A very large trend in our industry and many others is to go green. Part of this is also a trend to simplify a formulation and focus on one main concept. If you throw everything but the kitchen sink into a product, it loses its credibility,” Caren Dres-Hajeski, marketing director, Lipo Chemicals, tells Abby Penning in “Science With the Glamour: Ingredients’ Brand Impact.” And while the functional value of ingredients is a must for beauty products, those ingredient functions can also be a great way to relate a product’s story to consumers.

In “Senescence: Reversing the Clock on Skin Aging,” Shyam Gupta, PhD, and Linda Walker take a look at what may be the next ingredient story brand owners will be able to share with consumers. Senescence, the change in the biology of an organism as it ages after its maturity, may be one of the keys to unlocking the next step for anti-aging products, they write, and treatments based on cellular anti-senescence can offer this single solution to multiple skin ailments, including skin aging. Scientific discoveries in senescence are paving the way for the development of a new class of anti-aging skin care products and are opening a new field for innovative marketing.

Related Content



Jeff's Event Calendar

If you are attending any of the following events, contact GCI magazine Jeff Falk about potential meeting opportunities.

  • World Perfumery Congress—June 12–14, Mashantucket, CT
  • Cosmetics Europe (formerly Colipa) Regulatory Forum—June 13–15, Brussels
  • InnoCos USA—July 11–12, New York
  • Cosmoprof North America—July 22–24, Las Vegas
  • Beyond Beauty—September 10–12, Paris
  • IFSCC Congress—October 15–18, Johannesburg

Additional event information and links to event websites are available at the GCI events page and the Cosmetics & Toiletries' events page.

Next image >