BEAUTY CARE

L2 encapsulates the power of digital at Emerson Group’s Industry Day

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — Yesterday we learned how digital is transforming the platform of commerce from value to efficiency, where people no longer make purchase decisions based on price but rather on how much time they save.

Today, we learn how digital is disrupting everything else marketers and merchandisers hold dear.

"Digital is not just impacting what's happening online, it's impacting what's happening off-line. It's fundamentally changing the way people are interacting with brands," opened Evan Neufield, VP intelligence, L2 Inc., a subscription-based business intelligence service that benchmarks the digital competence of brands. "A lot of the notions on how we interact with customers are actually being turned on their head by digital," Neufield shared with attendees of Emerson Group’s 10th annual Retail Industry Day held here late last month.

For example, advertising in today's digital market isn't what it was cracked up to be in yesterday's analog market. "The way you reach customers has fundamentally changed. TV advertising, print advertising, all of these things are seeing retrenchment as digital becomes a more effective means in reaching consumers," he said. "[Digital] is especially effective in reaching the all-important millennial generation," Neufield added, important because they recently eclipsed baby boomers as the largest demographic with the greatest buying power.

Not only is digital supplanting traditional media, the platform has created an entirely new venue through which brand marketers can reach consumers – influencers. "Increasingly, consumers are looking for help to sort out what they should pay attention to and what they shouldn't pay attention to," Neufield said. "Online, people are turning to influencers as the ones who add that personal touch to the transaction process."

Digital is also a platform that supports greater personalization, which is what consumers have come to expect. "What consumers want is what Amazon gives them," Neufield said. "Amazon is really a personalization engine. … Every person who goes to an Amazon page sees a different page based on what they've bought in the past [or] based on their search behavior," he said. "When we looked at over 100 brands across several retail categories, we saw that only 13% of brands are actually personalizing their site's homepage."

And with digital, communication goes both ways. Marketers can learn as much about their consumer's wants and needs based on search terms and browser activity as their consumer can about their products. "How traditional marketing worked in product development, if you wanted to know what the consumer was interested in, you had to ask them," noted Jane Fisher, associated director, client strategy, beauty sector, L2 Inc. "If you think about how this works today, every day consumers are already telling you what they're interested in. They're voting with their browsers."

"Your consumers are coming to you everyday and telling you all about themselves," Neufield added. "Are you mining that data to get a competitive advantage?" he asked.

The presentation from L2 Inc. 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.

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. 

After Lemonis, marketer Colleen DeCourcy, chief creative officer for Wieden+Kennedy, took the stage. She discussed how to keep catching the kind of lightning in a bottle that makes brands spark.

Yesterday, DSN summarized the presentation of Musab Balbale, VP and general manager for Walmart e-commerce, who sees how digital will transform the shopping experience from an exchange of goods for money to a shopping experience defined by time-saving efficiencies.

Following L2 Inc. was Michael Dart, a private equity partner with global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney and co-author of "The New Rules of Retail," a guide to succeeding in the modern retail environment.
 

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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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