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Taking Risks for Better Beauty with Maybelline New York and CEW

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: July 3, 2013
Maybelline New York executives speaking at CEW event

David Greenberg, president, Maybelline New York, Garnier and Essie, and Carolyn Holba, senior vice president, marketing, Maybelline New York, Garnier and Essie, at the CEW Women and Men in Beauty Series event "Beauty Risk-Taker: Maybelline New York." (Photo courtesy of Patricia Willis)

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Moving on to finding and retaining consumers, whether reaching them in the digital space, in print or on television, it’s important to understand who is utilizing which medium and when, Greenberg and Holba said. “We fortunately have consumers ranging in age from 9-year-olds in school to 76-year-olds using our eye shadow,” said Greenberg. “The changing media landscape is understood. It’s not so much where you say it, but how you say it, so it’s got to be placed right." Linking the consumer with the best message for the product, whether for face, lips or nails, is the challenge.

“Our website focuses on new product innovation, and we want our consumers to be able to access the information wherever they are, no matter what type of device she is utilizing,” said Holba. Greenberg also noted, “Consumer confidence is now generally high and employment is coming back. In reality, you’re the captain of your own destiny. People want a little relief, it’s a very serious world we live in, and at the end of the day we want to have the happy, uplifting qualities of the beauty industry. If we are developing the right things that we know consumers want, the sky’s the limit.”

“Like everything, it’s about having a clear vision of your brand. Not everything can grow at 40–60%. But, if it grows at 5, 6 or 10%, that’s great, we’re pretty optimistic. Our belief is, don’t make a promise you can’t fulfill. If you say a product’s on trend, it’d better be on trend,” said Greenberg. Referring to the Essie nail business, he commented on its place in the professional salon market and the importance of that heritage. “At the end of the day, we need to keep the brand special and retain its emotional connection,” he said.

Regarding Garnier, Greenberg said, “It is already a special brand in lots of categories. Brand building is harder than it seems, and if we can cross over it’s due to brand architects enabling it to deliver on what it is proven to do.”

In concluding the presentation follow-up, Greenberg added perspective for attendees, saying, “I have a box of failed products in my office. It reminds me of how humble you have to be. Always remember that someone has to buy the product you’re creating, and sometimes you just feel a product is right.” In sum, a combination of intuition and analytics will yield the best result.