GCI Magazine

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This Business of Ours

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: August 27, 2012, from the September 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

Whether in conversations, moderating panels or writing in this column space, I’m always cognizant of how I communicate about GCI and the beauty industry. For one thing, it’s too easy for media companies to fall into the trap of talking about the world—or, in the case of a trade publication, the industry it serves—from some omnipresent vantage point.

Additionally, and related to the first point, GCI doesn’t exist apart from the industry. In fact, it doesn’t have a reason for being that is apart from the industry. It’s reason is the industry—not for putting words on paper or into cyberspace, per se. Its mission is to play a role in the advancement of the beauty business, and we do our best to fulfill that role by being active in the industry, presenting ideas and strategies, providing a platform for expert voices, and presenting options, pathways and solutions for the advancement of your business. To reflect this, we’ve updated the GCI tagline to “Your Brand is Our Business.” Our business is working toward your success and the success of the industry as a whole. Together, with your contributions to us and our contributions to you, we can work to share and solve problems, discover and navigate new opportunities, develop and implement forward-thinking strategies, and change and grow fluidly to make sure the business of the beauty industry stays strong.

In This Issue

In this month’s Marketing Matters column space, Alisa Marie Beyer writes that the need to create a beauty ad that carries a lasting impact while also translating emotionally is critical to capture the attention of your target consumer in today’s hyperconnected world. Further, it’s about fostering that emotional connection. A great advertisement, says Beyer, reaches out and creates a powerful connection on levels that transcend the product.

Connecting with consumers continues to be of key importance, writes Ada Polla in “New Perspectives in Beauty Retailing,” but in earning the sale it’s about making sure your brand is available where the consumers are—lately, online, in drugstores and in pop-up locations. There’s more ways for consumers to shop, more ways to experience a product and more ways to learn about a new brand, which means more work for brands to do, more new technology to embrace and more chances to connect. The key is finding an effective way to tell a genuine story across product packaging, marketing and distribution efforts.

In “Skin Care Market Radiant for Foreseeable Future,” the emergence of new categories and premium products have propelled the skin care market to new highs in Asia-Pacific and back to healthy growth in North America. In the article, by Euromonitor International’s Nicole Tyrimou, premium anti-agers, with the strongest growth rates, have benefited from the incorporation of extra benefits that add value and justify higher prices. And although there has been a blurring as skin care benefits are incorporated in other categories, new ingredients and technologies continue to facilitate the establishment of unique selling points.

And, as Lisa Doyle writes in “Re-energizing the Beauty Business With Novel Ingredients,” ingredient/technology innovation is always the name, but finding ways to translate claims and making the ingredients relatable to consumers is paramount. “It is very important that the customer relates to the products; there has to be a real connection where the message strikes at an emotional level,” Cristina Samuels, co-founder of Mode Cosmetics and a GCI advisor, tells Doyle.

Meanwhile, as social media has impacted brand-consumer communication, it also has provided the means for trends to go globe-trotting—with the potential for a consumer trend initially localized to one region or market to grow to impact the global beauty market (think BB creams). Larger than a predilection for one type of product, certain global macrotrends, writes Lubrizol Personal Care’s Marie Ollagnier and Juliana Feitosa in “Beauty is in the Eye of the Trendsetter,” are also leaving their mark on the beauty industry. Among them are consumers balancing a more urban lifestyle with a desire for time savings and nature-based solutions, and the drive for customized solutions that address their desire to find what’s best for them. Lubrizol has categorized these trends as “The Citysumer,” “SENSE-ability” and “YOUniqueness.”

Touching on the latter, today’s color cosmetic choices are highly customizable, helping satisfy consumer desire for personalization, and beauty products distinctly benefit from the changing trends in color preferences, updating and creating new product hues and tones to match fashion, culture and other influencers. In “Only Limited by the Imagination: Color Sets Brands Apart,” Abby Penning notes color ingredients also can be used to add effects, functional skin benefits and mark the distinctiveness of a product—a positive of the blurring of the categories that Tyrimou touches upon.

And innovation and attention to detail, in fact, fuel the color cosmetics market, writes Kevin Marshall, but without a combination of creativity and consumer insight, truly innovative packaging and products are impossible to design and develop. In “The Simple Story of Wonderfully Complex Color Packaging,” Marshall writes that while winning packaging is an important ingredient to a program’s success in skin care and fragrance, it is an absolute nonnegotiable in color cosmetics. As today’s formulas and consumer desires grow more complicated, companies are investing in new delivery system and applicator technologies that couple effectively with both these advanced formula and consumer needs. Read all about the packaging trends and techniques propelling brands.