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You Can Have Your Triple Chocolate Cake and Eat It Too

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: June 1, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

A few years ago when the U.S. economy took its ugly turn, there was quite a bit of speculation about the future of trade shows. They can be expensive to run, to exhibit at and to attend—and they take a whole lot of work to organize. In addition, other ways to communicate with clients and peers (social media, video conferencing and so on) continue to proliferate. But as alternative options to real face-to-face interaction grow, I’m acutely aware of how far they also fall short. Booths and special features are great, but the focused opportunity and ability to interact—the conversations and connections—are the things that make trade shows invaluable for me. I’m particularly excited about what I learned during three days of incredible conversations at In-cosmetics in April, held in Barcelona, and GCI will soon bring content built on these conversations and the innovations suppliers unveiled on the show floor there.

Among the good news reported during its press briefing in Spain, Euromonitor International continues to assess the U.S. market optimistically, and in Euromonitor’s annual “State of the Industry” report, analyst Rob Walker writes “Developed markets played their part in beauty care market growth, notably the U.S., which posted its best beauty performance in more than five years on the back of strong sales of premium brands.”

Also In This Issue

In the “Time for a Fresh POV” Marketing Matters column, Alisa Marie Beyer and Kate Helfrich write that, in addition to considering the obvious (what you want the product to do), brand owners have to think about not-so-obvious strategies—what do you not want your product to do. And a smart, clear ingredient story is one key to selling these strategies. It’s also how emerging brands can compete. Telling an ingredient story in a fresh, concise, compelling way forges an emotional connection between consumers and your products.

And ingredients that offer multiple claims or can be applied to more than one product category are valuable in both the formulation and in telling a brand’s unique story, writes associate editor Abby Penning in “Beauty in Layers: Multitasking Ingredients.” “Multitasking active ingredients are like a triple chocolate cake,” Induchem Companies’ Fabrice Lefèvre tells Penning. “You always have a top layer—the first claim or benefit—and then additional ones.”

Talking about an ingredient in a compelling way gains attention and results, and multitasking ingredients can free up formulation space to add more specialized ingredients and can contribute to simpler, easier-to-understand product labeling. “In this new landscape, the private label supplier is taking on the role of an innovator, working closely with the retailer to develop unique selling points for the products,” Diamond Wipes International’s Tom Hill tells Lisa Doyle in “Private Label Lessons From the Recession.” In light of new consumer attitudes following the recession, more beauty brands are seeking better price points and added value options for their products—a general trend for developed beauty markets, according to a panel led by Euromonitor during In-cosmetics.