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Social media an indispensable tool for retailers

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Much as the late Steve Jobs likely did not foresee the iPhone when he and Steve Wozniak hammered away at the Apple I computer, it’s unlikely that Mark Zuckerberg saw the full potential of Facebook when he and a group of friends created it in a Harvard University dormitory.

(THE NEWS: Study: Online marketing drives 21% in-store sales lift. For the full story, click here.)

But as the recent study by ComScore and DunnhumbyUSA — and retailers’ own experience — show, social media quickly is becoming an indispensable tool for modern businesses, especially retailers.

The ComScore-DunnhumbyUSA study isn’t the first to show this. A survey of 1,500 adults released in June by the marketing and public relations firm Robin Leedy & Associates found that friends had as much ability to influence people’s purchases of OTC and health-and-beauty products as television did, and that digital media had more influence in many cases than traditional media did.

Many retailers already have gotten the message.

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NBA star Carmelo Anthony promotes Ultra Sheen Men via in-store appearance at Walmart

BY Antoinette Alexander

UNION CITY, Ga. — NBA star Carmelo Anthony, now the new corporate spokesman for ethnic hair care company Johnson Products Co., made a rare personal appearance on behalf of JPC’s new men’s grooming line, Ultra Sheen Men, at a Walmart supercenter in Union City, Ga., on Sept. 17.

During the debut of CarmeloLIVE, customers were able to meet Anthony in person and had the opportunity to win prizes and receive free haircuts at the Ultra Sheen Men Grooming Lounge.

CarmeloLIVE at Walmart featured local style, fashion and fun. Maria More, 107.9 radio personality, also did a live remote to complement the Grooming Lounge. In addition, there were six local barbers from the Atlanta area who provided free haircuts, based on the purchase of any two Ultra Sheen Men products.

“Adding Carmelo Anthony to the Johnson Products family, as well as having him represent the Ultra Sheen Men brand to the community, has brought some great excitement to our new brand,” stated JPC CEO Eric Brown. “Joining forces with Walmart and bringing Carmelo to Atlanta is how we thought we could ‘step up our game’ in bringing true value to our loyal customers in Atlanta.”

The Ultra Sheen Men grooming collection, which launched in fall 2010, includes Ultra Sheen Men super hold hair dress, Ultra Sheen Men wave conditioning pomade, Ultra Sheen Men lite crème moisturizer with shea butter and the Ultra Sheen Men grooming gel.

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CGT Group presents Coty Inc. with Most Innovative Company 2011 award

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — The Consumer Goods Technology Group has awarded beauty company Coty Inc. with its Outstanding Achievement Award for Most Innovative Company for 2011.

The CGT Group, a group of senior leaders representing the consumer industry, unanimously awarded Coty with the achievement following a rigorous review of hundreds of entries. Three of Coty’s products were recognized as being the most innovative: Rimmel Lash Accelerator, for its Lash Growth Technology; Sally Hansen Salon Manicure, for the first encapsulation in nail lacquer; and Sally Hansen Special Effects, for its patented film technology.

The CGT Group’s board of directors — which includes executives from Alberto-Culver, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, Accenture, Miller-Coors, Gartner Group, DelMonte Foods and Rubbermaid — determined the recognition.

"Coty is thrilled to accept this prestigious honor," stated CEO Bernd Beetz. "We are humbled to be recognized by a board of peers who are industry giants in their respective companies. At the helm of this great company for 10 years now, I have seen first-hand the drive and creativity that embodies all those who work at Coty. I am confident that this achievement will propel us even further as we continue strengthening our innovation pipeline and delivering products that consumers love."

The award was presented recently to Coty and the company will be featured in the December publication of the Consumer Goods Technology Magazine.

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