Beauty Store Business

JUL 2016

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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Page 17 of 115

16 July 2016 | we are selling at the time. We have large, comfortable showrooms and conference areas set up with all of our items and pla- nograms for our customers. We have great working sessions. Working off a spreadsheet has value, but only up to a point. Looking at live prod- ucts in a planogram can be more effective because it is easier to visualize. You see the products and the packaging, and you see how they look on the POG. It is very hands-on. We love working that way. We treat our new visitors to a tour of our facilities. The highlight is always our state-of-the-art engineering lab, where we design and test products. Customers who have been on the tour compare it to visiting the Batcave or Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. We are approved by various agencies, such as UL and Inter- tek, and are very proud to have earned those certifications. How would you describe Helen of Troy's approach to marketing? Taricco-Cropp: The leaders [Julien and Leah] come from large-company, consumer-products marketing backgrounds, and everything we do must be consumer- centric. I am thrilled they love marketing so much, and I have learned a lot from them. Every product we consider for addition to our lines or develop from scratch must meet a need or want for the customer and create delight with its use. We look at the "first moment of truth," when the customer sees our appliance on the shelf, and the "second moment of truth," when the customer takes the appliance home and uses it. Our goal is to win at both of these moments by delivering the results and features that the customer is looking for. How does Helen of Troy tackle social media? Taricco-Cropp: I love social media and the Web in general, and my team works hard to keep up with it. Beauty recently hired a new digital manager who focuses solely on social media and digital— the results have been truly unbelievable. My team still works on social media, but with a structure set in place; and with an expert guiding them, the early results have been eye-opening. Everything is immediate. It is NOW—and you see results and receive feedback right away, unfiltered. I love it, and I love that the new management sees the value of it. We currently have two people focused on digital, all day, every day; and based on the results we have seen, we will want to continue to invest in that team. What other trade shows has and will Helen of Troy attend this year? Taricco-Cropp: In November, I went to the launch of Hot Tools in Mexico City, and that show reminded me of the USA beauty shows from 25 to 30 years ago— so many great stages with so much going on. It was so exciting. I thought of when I was a stylist, fresh in the beauty business MARKETING & SALES IN A DIGITAL AGE In this age of digital consumerism, how are marketers and salespeople contending with the ever-evolving marketplace? We decided to pick the brains of veteran beauty professionals Helen of Troy's vice president of marketing Terri Taricco-Cropp and vice president of sales Scott Hagstrom to see how they approach marketing and sales in this digital age. Here are their well-honed insights: Terri, what is the marketing experience like in this age of multigenerational and digitally driven marketing? Taricco-Cropp: Marketing to stylists is still a people-focused business. Just as customers still need to go to a salon to get their hair cut or colored, a stylist needs our tools to do his or her job. We do see many of our distributor customers opening stores and developing websites to sell to their stylist customers; so the industry is adapting. I love the digital age because we can disseminate information quickly and immediately. We provide all product features, benefit sheets and education to our customers on the Web through Dropbox or via email. BUT—the digital age and ecommerce has a dark side when you want to protect your line and make sure it stays in the right sales channels. We have had to work diligently to keep our line out of the mass retailers. With digital and the Web, everything is available to everyone at a price. We try to keep our items in the professional channels of trade that include beauty supplies and salon retail—stores that have salons in them. This has proven to be a tough job that Scott's team deals with every day. But we take it very seriously, and our efforts have been rewarded. Marketing to the different generations has been interesting. Thankfully, when we attend beauty trade shows, we see a cross section of our target demographic—salon stylists and beauty students of all ages—and we try to take note of the things they like and don't like as well as what do they respond to, and then try to do more of that. I am often surprised by what strikes a person's fancy. Everyone is different; so we try to find a common ground to appeal to the most people we can. By focusing on the stylist customer—and this includes all age groups—all our desires align. Helen of Troy and the stylists love hair and beauty of all types—and we all desire tools to help people get whatever look they are striving for. That look will be different for a baby boomer than it is for a millennial. But for any of the hairstyles they create, they will need a great tool to get the job done—and that is where my team comes in. I loved Hot Tools when I was a stylist, and now I have the unique privilege of working for the tool brand I most loved as a stylist. We all have a common joy, passion and love of hair and beauty that brings us together. Creating beautiful hair and making our customers look their best is HOT's goal and the stylists' goal. I take great pride in that and the products we provide to this artistic group of people. Terri, what do you see in the future of marketing? Taricco-Cropp: There are definitely a lot more digital programs. We are devoted to that avenue of marketing; and since a post is immediate, we see responses immediately. So they can influence us to choose the right path to be successful. Immediate communication and immediate feedback are a powerful combination! Scott, what is your opinion of the state of sales today in light of the various changes and influences that have affected the beauty business? Hagstrom: There is always change in any industry. Some change happens more slowly than others. From my perspective, we are on the verge of dramatic changes that will be unfolding over the next few years. I know it sounds cliché, but the ability to adapt to change is what will ultimately determine your success. As an industry, we have been confronted with many changes over the past 25 years: salon booth rental and salon suites, consolidation of full-service distributors, the rise of OTCs, the diversion issue and others. The biggest change currently under way is in the digital space. How salons and customers purchase beauty items is becoming more Internet- based. Bloggers and "CeWebrities" have a much stronger voice now in social media, and they have incredible power to influence people in beauty and fashion. This element can be a huge opportunity if managed correctly. New doors of opportunity are opening up. But it also complicates things. The Internet is influencing people to rethink their definitions of professional beauty, and to reevaluate their go-to-market strategies. It can be tricky, but the upside far outweighs the downsides.

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