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Innovation Takes The Spotlight at CEW Newsmaker Forum

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: September 20, 2012

Left to right, Renato Semerari, president, Coty Beauty; Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances, Coty Prestige; and Michele Scannavini, CEO, Coty, at CEW's September 2012 Newsmaker Forum.

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Obsession, likewise, was sex in a bottle,” she said. “It’s evolved by always trying to tap into the zeitgeist. Calvin Klein had a way of putting all these things in front of your face, and today it continues to be a huge global brand.”

Semerari discussed Playboy’s success as a lifestyle brand, which, he says, “plays different chords for younger men and women. It’s a teenage brand now. Teenagers don’t have the same image in their minds that we do of Playboy. Now, it’s a way of behaving at school and it’s seen differently.” He added, “Adidas is also a big brand, particularly with deodorants and fragrance. It about performance and sports, all the elements of the 20-35 year-old market.”

The Criteria For Getting It Right

According to Semerari, “When Lady Gaga doesn’t scream, you’re getting it right.” Walsh noted, however, that there is a list of criteria that is followed. “With celebrities, we check how global a celebrity is, how likable they are and how big they can be,” she said. “The fascinating thing is that celebrity fragrance is a very big and accepted part of a young woman’s career. They see it as part of their brand building. This is especially so for women more than men.”

Regarding crossover brands, Walsh cited CK One as a perfect example. “The brand is 18 years old and it caters to both men and women. It is 52% men and 48% women, split almost evenly,” said Walsh, “and has always had a reputation with the cool culture.” In addition, she said, it appeals to individuals from the age of 13 to 54 years old. “It’s pretty impressive,” said Walsh.

Color Cosmetics and Skin Care

While fragrance is said to be 53% of Coty’s business, both color cosmetics and skin care are in growth mode. Scalamandre noted that 28% of the Coty business is in color cosmetics, and mentioned Sally Hansen as part of the portfolio. Semerari agreed, “Nails are a fantastic category. When I joined the beauty industry, a lady would wear all Chanel. Later you would see a Chanel jacket with jeans, and then you saw people mixing and matching colors, which is easier to do with your nails than with your face.” He added, “The nail trend really started in the U.S., but we have seen it spread globally, with nails in cheetah patterns and more. OPI is a fantastic story, too. They had a vision of making nail color a fashion accessory.”