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CEW Hosts Skin Care’s Power Players
By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: June 23, 2014
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Additionally, ethnicities and diversity continue to impact changing demographics. According to Dempsey, “The Hispanic population is reaching 30–40% in the coming years, the Asian population is growing, and baby boomers are all factors impacting product creation.” The Chinese population in particular is interested in products that address specific demands, including minimizing the look of roundness to the face, and is prompting looking at the area of structural cosmetics.
Landau also acknowledged increased travel and global exchanges, while Langan observed the demographic shifts that are taking place, noting that ethnicities are actually merging. “We may need to focus on aging as women will be aging differently as these changes take place,” she said.
Skin Care Routines
“Designing routines for skin care is key for Clinique,” Landau shared. After six years in development, Clinique has created a new serum that is said to “understand your skin’s past in order to determine its future.” The serum, Clinique Smart, will address specific skin signals that are transmitting signs of dullness, damage, skin tone or loss of elasticity. “It is formulated for one skin in the world—yours,” said Landau. “You will still need your moisturizer and hydration, as the product is positioned as a repair product,” she added.
Another topic that brought a range of responses was how to manage the complexity of today’s consumers. “We need to provide the tools at [the] counter to meet the needs of the consumer. Developing a deep beauty advisor-customer relationship is key to the core of the Clarins brand,” said Dempsey. And Langan shared, “Outside the U.S. there are many different approaches to selling a brand, so finding ways to reach a customer with a complex brand is a challenge.”
“Technology can also be important in bridging those gaps. Honestly, I’m not the same consumer every time I go to the counter,” Landau noted of her own experiences. “Sometimes I want something specific and sometimes I browse.” And Dempsey shared her take on technology, saying, “The innovations in digital have been big. We’ve partnered with a company that has a turn-to program allowing customers to provide genuine feedback to other customers, which has taken customer service to a new level.”
“I think consumers are looking for experiences not at the counter, like the beautiful CBGB John Varvatos store downtown [in New York]. The millennials want to know that your brand has a DNA,” said Landau, and Langan agreed, noting, “The experience is important. We’ve had the opportunity to bring the experience to the customer with the Elizabeth Arden Red Door store in Union Square. Customers can get a mani-pedi and also interact with the products. It brings the experience of the brand to life. Our color in the location also does really well, and the whole idea of being able to get multiple services on your lunch hour to provide a quick pick-me-up is key.”
Regarding consumer trends, Landau said, “The one thing I know is we’re a flat world. Skin care is exploding in Korea. There is lots of fast innovation and trends moving around the world, and technology has also had an impact. iPhones, iPads—it’s expected, and regardless of age, we’re seeing that around the world. As far as anti-aging products, particularly in Asia, I’m seeing customers at 25, and they want the products. This varies across the world.”
Dempsey commented,“ Women are feeling differently about age. Fifty years old now feels like thirty. But what scares me is that, with skin care innovation, products don’t happen overnight, despite the fact that consumers want results right away.”
Managing core products is key, and for Clarins, Dempsey noted, “It’s about how you manage innovation. We have to continue to improve our already great products. Talking to the consumers about Double Serum, for example, is important, and introducing our brand to new customers who don’t know us is key.” Landau said, “Our philosophy is that Clinique believes that we will always do what is best for the skin. The big challenge for our products—for example, Dramatically Different Lotion—is making sure we retained the texture and feel of the product.”
“Our iconic Eight Hour Cream is the only product in our line that was actually developed by Elizabeth Arden herself. This is my Windex. My go-to product,” said Langan. “It was developed more than 30 years ago. It is part of the magic of the brand. If we spent too much time making new stuff, it would detract from the magic of the brand.”
And Dempsey discussed the Clarins presence at Macy’s, in Flushing, Queens, where there is a significant Chinese and Asian population. “We brought products that are specific to Asia, [and] we had Mandarin speaking advisors at counter and at-counter literature in Mandarin. It has been hugely successful. We offer products that lift the jawline, refine the face—for example, with the new Shaping Facial Lift by Clarins. It has also been a great learning experience,” she shared.