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High Performance, Good Business

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: April 2, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 7

How are these expectations different from those of two years ago or even 10 years ago? Are consumers savvier?
Dino Guglielmelli
: I think the expectation is higher because of the promises that are being marketed. Individuals who think Botox, for example, provides immediate [and pleasing] results will compare the results of their skin care regimen to their injections, which is unrealistic. The expectation is higher now because of the results of these intrusive type of treatments. Are they savvier? Maybe a little bit, but not much more than before. There is a need for more education of what types of damage are being done when people are actually trying to do good.

Ron Cummings: Ten years ago, consumers certainly had much fewer choices in terms of ingredients and fewer choices on where to get advice, so I think expectations were lower about what products may accomplish for them. Consumers now have a wide variety of possibilities (like the emergence of medi spas), more magazines dedicated to skin care ... . And, naturally, this has made the consumer much wiser.

Lyn Barbatschi: In the past 10 years, there has been an emphasis on recycling and sustainability in both packaging and raw materials used in manufacturing. The selection and variety of creams, lotions and personal care products offered a few years ago was pretty basic. Just a few years ago, consumers would purchase products just to indulge in a great smelling product, now the consumer is much more educated because of the media. Consumers are more aware of what is healthy and what is not healthy and what they can do to make a difference for the environment, personal development and sustainable living.

Carolyn Veroni: Even as little as two years ago, we didn’t have access to clinically proven ingredients to make claims of a result-orientated product line. Our customers are growing up with us, and they sometimes suggest an ingredient that they have read about and wonder if we will be using it in our new products. [They are] much savvier. I think they are label readers and ingredient readers. They don’t want to waste their money on products that will not perform for their skin type.

How do consumers approach products on the shelf?
Dino Guglielmelli
: We are in a visual marketplace, and—obviously, in this environment—packaging sells product and gives it a “personality.” There is a big push in retail internationally to have “testing bars” in the stores where people can apply product and test them on their own, listen to their iPods and make an event out of trying skin care. Domestically, it’s more about how the shelf looks or price, depending on the venue.