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CEW Puts Spotlight on Clinique

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: November 8, 2011

CEW’s Women in Beauty Series hosted “Spotlight on Clinique,” welcoming Janet Pardo, senior vice president of product development worldwide, Clinique; Lynne Greene, global brand president of Clinique, Origins and Ojon; and Agnes Landau, senior vice president of global marketing, Clinique.

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“It’s all about creating that product that a woman doesn’t think she needs today but will recognize it when offered,” said Pardo.

“You’re always going after that white space innovation, and you have to keep innovating in all areas of the business, including communication and development,” added Landau.

When asked about what we don’t know we need today, Greene highlighted the service proposition: “The service proposition really fascinates us. We have a new counter in Bloomingdale’s called ‘Service As You Like It,’ and we have color-coded message bracelets for our consumers, which indicate whether a consumer is looking, wants to be left alone or is ready to buy. That’s an interesting way to create excitement and leave the consumer in charge.”

Landau highlighted the speed of digital communication. “What is fascinating about digital is how quickly you can hear from the consumer about how a product is doing. This is now a dialogue,” she said. While Pardo noted the importance of first hand communication: “For me, innovation through observation is key, talking to doctors, gaining patient insights. That’s fascinating to me. Instinct also plays a strong role. Knowing your brand instantly is crucial. I know when something is a Clinique idea and when it’s not.”

Local to Global Relevance

Sixty percent of Clinique’s business is done outside the U.S., which led to the subject of globalization. “We think of ourselves as cultural anthropologists,” said Landau, citing Greene’s firsthand experience with the need for hyperpigmentation solutions in Italy and relating it to an experience she had while traveling in Asia. Landau had encountered concerns about acne in Shanghai, where issues surrounding clean skin are prevalent, and some consumers think acne is a rite of passage that will pass. She maintained that developing locally relevant products for the global consumer is key and, in the Shanghai example, the new offerings in a specific area are opening up opportunities to develop products that will fill a need for consumers in that entire region. Pardo cited Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector as an example of a product for a specific need in a specific region that has gone global, and Landau noted Age Defense BB Cream—a merger of makeup and treatment that offers concealing coverage of dark spots and pores, optics to blur lines and wrinkles, and offers antioxidants and UVA/UVB protection—created in South Korea. “We created BB Cream [to be] a great product [for a region], and it’s doing well in the U.S. and Europe. Success goes around the world,” she said.