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Live from New York: Companies Pursue New Business

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: January 9, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

Bloomingdale’s CEO Michael Gould (center, with scissors), joins Nicky Kinnaird (to his right), founder and creative director of Space NK, in cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony for the new Space NK Apothecary at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street in New York City.

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Carlotta Jacobson, president, Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), welcomed Gina Drosos, president of global personal beauty, Procter & Gamble Beauty, to CEW’s Women in Beauty series October 2008 event at the Harmonie Club in New York City. Drosos described her 20-year career at P&G, leading its skin care, cosmetics, deodorant and male personal care brand segments.

Described by Jacobson as a professional “with an uncanny knowledge of the industry and a wonderful resource for women in the industry,” Drosos discussed the importance of getting results, collaborating in business by inviting new ideas into the process and being persistent.

“P&G’s mission statement is to make consumers’ dreams real,” Drosos said, “and it’s been a blessing to work in a company that values diversity. Diverse teams can help you see your blind spots and help you create balance.”

Regarding the current economic meltdown, Drosos said, “We always want to offer products at good price points, and we are trying even more to keep our value strong for consumers.” She added that she has observed retail outlets traditionally known for value becoming stronger as consumers spend more time at the shelf to determine quality and value. Also, she has noticed consumers having less of a “grab-and-go” mentality. “While super premium segments are holding, it’s more important to emphasize third party credentials to consumers, to let them know they’re making a good choice,” she said. Drosos noted that listening to consumers is essential. “Finding ways to harness consumer participation is key, and social responsibility is more important than ever,” she said. “When women are voting with their pocketbooks, they want a brand that represents them.”

Drosos concluded her presentation with an assessment of the growing importance of naturals as an enduring trend and the rise of at-home treatments and devices for skin care.