BEAUTY CARE

With CoverGirl overhaul, Coty brand focuses on makeup as self-expression

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK — Coty has unveiled the reinvention of one of its flagship brands. The company has retooled CoverGirl, starting with a new expression of its purpose, “I Am What I Make Up.”

The brand’s aim is to inspire consumers to embrace their identities and create the version of themselves they want to be with makeup by celebrating authenticity, diversity and expressiveness. It also will eschew unrealistic and idealized standards often seen in the beauty category, the company said.

“In leading the relaunch, we started with the insight that people no longer strive for a singular standard of beauty, but use makeup as a tool for self-expression and personal transformation,” Coty SVP CoverGirl Ukonwa Ojo said. “CoverGirl has always been inclusive and is known for pushing the boundaries of what it means to be beautiful, which means we have a responsibility to elevate how we connect and communicate with people. This is bigger than a new campaign or a tagline. We hope to spark a provocative dialogue that shifts cultural assumptions about when, where, how and why people wear makeup.”

The brand is starting its conversation with its consumers with a  long-form film, “Made in the Mirror,” which features six of its CoverGirls, several of whom were recently announced, including writer and creator of HBO’s “Insecure” Issa Rae, Katy Perry, personal trainer Massy Arias and TV personality and chef Ayesha Curry. The film highlights the accomplishments of the CoverGirls and their abilities to empower and inspire as representatives of the brand’s vision.

“The new CoverGirl positioning is an important example of Coty’s purpose to celebrate and liberate the diversity of beauty,” Coty Consumer Beauty president Laurent Kleitman said. “Beauty should make people happy, and when we champion individuality and self-expression, that’s when we see its true power.”

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Walmart e-commerce GM outlines digital opportunity at Emerson Group’s Industry Day

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking about e-commerce as just another store or just another channel warned Musab Balbale, VP and general manager for Walmart e-commerce, but it's not.

"Fundamentally, that's totally the wrong way to think about e-commerce," he told attendees at Emerson Group's 10th Annual Retail Industry Day last month. "The reality is e-commerce is about digital. It's about the fact that regardless of the age demographic, over 70% of Americans use digital to influence their shopping trip."

And roughly half use digital while they are actually in the aisles shopping for your products.

To better capture the perspective necessary to succeed in a digital environment, marketers need to disconnect point of sale from the point of influence. "Does your online presence support off-line sales and does your off-line sales support online sales?" Balbale asked.

And that creates issues, he said. It's one thing to leverage three inches of in-line real estate against four feet of category allotment, to create a package that captures the consumer's eye and helps differentiate against the dozens of similar products on the shelf. It's quite another to do that across an endless aisle. "How do you manage your brand? How do you connect with customers on a site, like ours, that has 36 million products that are competing with yours?" Balbale asked.

It all comes down to customer experience, and how well a branded CPG manufacturer can manage that experience. "All the customer journey mapping that any of you will do about online shopping will show that it's the moment that somebody receives the box that's the highlight of their shopping experience," he said.

Manufacturing discovery is another key component to succeeding in the digital space, Balbale added. "I know brick-and-mortar retail sales, what's the equivalent of an end-cap? What's the equivalent of being in the strike zone in an aisle? What's the equivalent of an FSI? If you're not asking about the analogies that are relevant and relates to your brand, you're not asking the right set of questions," Balbale cautioned. There's a whole host of places on a digital page where a well-placed banner can call out that discovery, he added.

And digital represents the future of both merchandising and marketing, as evidenced by emerging digital-only brands like Casper, an online mattress company. "For any of you who have kids going to college, they're probably talking about Casper as being their first mattress," Balbale said. "We're selling mattresses online. That's a logistical nightmare that 18 months ago we would have never imagined."

Retailers are also re-inventing their perspective, Balbale noted. "One of the places we think we can win is making Americans live easier," he said. "Money was the currency of the '80s and '90s when Walmart really took off. Time, more than anything, is the currency we're all working on today. Walmart, especially, feels that our emerging 'place' is to make time more efficient, especially for busy families."

To that end, Walmart is expanding assortment online and is focused on improving fulfillment. "Worlds are blending," he added. "Our 4,700 stores are not just stores. They're 4,700 distribution points that are within 10 miles of 90% of America. That just changes fundamentally how we think about delivery and fulfillment."

Balbale has more than 15 years of experience in consumer and retail. Prior to Walmart and Jet.com, Balbale was VP of International and Business Development at the Vitamin Shoppe, where he was responsible for merchandising and operations. Balbale began his career in strategy and investing roles at The Boston Consulting Group, Charles Schwab and Summit Partners and has his Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Balbale's presentation talk was part of the Emerson Group’s 10th annual Retail Industry Day, hosted in late September to a packed room of hundreds of merchants eager to discover how to better proposition their products for tomorrow's ever-evolving consumer.

Every day this week, Drug Store News will be featuring content connected to the Emerson Group's 10th Annual Retail Industry Day. The first presentation emphasized the importance behind connecting with people, including employees, colleagues and consumers, in an effort to get at the heart of business with CNBC's Marcus Lemonis.  That was followed by marketer Colleen DeCourcy, chief creative officer for Wieden+Kennedy. She discussed how to keep catching the kind of lightning in a bottle that makes brands spark.

Up next is a joint presentation from L2 Inc.'s  Evan Neufeld and Jane Fisher. L2 helps identify the must-have omnichannel features retailers need to meet the expectations of their consumers and provides insights into the best-practices of brands using disruptive technology.

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Emerson Group’s Industry Day offers roadmap to capturing lightning in a bottle

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — What if? What if you could break down the process of capturing lightning in a bottle into its base components — the key ingredients that you could combine to be successful over and over again?

Colleen DeCourcy, chief creative officer for Wieden+Kennedy — which AdvertisingAge has described as “the world's most creatively-awarded agency” — joined the Emerson Group in late September to discuss how to keep catching that lightning in a bottle. Wieden+Kennedy is the small agency that DeCourcy said should never have landed the Nike contract that produced the widely successful "Just Do It" campaign. But they did, and its success offered insight into how to make a successful campaign more than a fluke. 

Capturing lightning in a bottle starts with being relevant — something DeCourcy said her agency helped Nike do with its Breaking2 effort, a quest to help an athlete run a marathon in less than two hours. 

"This idea of what does a consumer want comes down to [asking] ‘What do people want?’" DeCourcy said. "People want to see a brand take a risk. They want to see a brand do something that they're not sure they can do. To see human beings try; to make a claim that we're pretty sure we can all do better, it worked for them,“ she said. ”It exploded and redefined [Nike], that they were not an untouchable, weird brand in the echelon of giants. It was just a runner trying to run faster in a very improbable race.”

And that relevance is typically realized by something incredibly obvious, in hindsight.

“This is what we do when we're doing it right. It's usually based in truth,” she said. ”It's profound, it's huge and it's elusive. And when you can capture that lightning, and you can hold it long enough to show to the world, the world will go 'Ahhh!' And that's how you become relevant. … That feeling they feel when it happens is inextricably entwined with the way they feel about your product and the possibilities they have in the universe," DeCourcy said. "Creativity is about connecting things."

And if capturing lightning in a bottle begins with demonstrating relevance DeCourcy said, it ends in delivering on what the consumers want — and not even necessarily by creating the ever-elusive the better mousetrap, but by delivering on how the consumers want to feel when they're engaging with your brand. 

"People want to feel like they're winning again," DeCourcy said. That was best exemplified in the Chrysler commercial below; the campaign taps into the resurgence of Detroit. "When it comes to luxury, it's as much about where's it's from as who it's for," the narrator dictates. "We're from America, but this isn't New York City or the Windy City or Sin City. And we're certainly no-one's Emerald City. This is the Motor City and this is what we do."

But even if companies can be relevant and deliver on how a consumer feels about their brand once, how do they replicate it? 
 
"We are finding that when you go out into the world and actually make experiences for people, and give them things they want to connect to their desires on a fundamental level, that great creativity, that lightning in a bottle, it scales itself," she said.

Once you've captured lightning in a bottle, however, DeCourcy warned against getting too comfortable.

 
“Beware of a strong culture,” she said. “I come from a company that's all about its culture. What I started to notice is that culture became a way to exclude people, temperaments and ideas that were different from ours. That winning had a certain structure to it. Culture is your guide. It's not your output.”

DeCourcy’s talk was part of the Emerson Group’s 10th annual Retail Industry Day, hosted in late September to a packed room of hundreds of merchants eager to discover how to better proposition their products for tomorrow's ever-evolving consumer.

Every day this week, Drug Store News will be featuring content connected to the Emerson Group's 10th Annual Retail Industry Day. The first presentation emphasized the importance behind connecting with people, including employees, colleagues and consumers, in an effort to get at the heart of business with CNBC's Marcus Lemonis.

 

And up next is Musab Balbale, VP and general manager for Walmart e-commerce, who discussed how Walmart and Jet.com endeavor to capture consumer attention in an increasingly digital world.

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