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From a Facebook first to a fragrance sensation, these companies proved the have the magic touch.
Carol’s Daughter for My Life by Mary J. Blige
Had Mary J. Blige listened to the naysayers who claimed it wasn’t possible to launch a fragrance exclusively on a home shopping channel, she wouldn’t have had the satisfaction of showing them how wrong they were. Her debut scent, My Life, created and marketed by Carol’s Daughter, sold 72,000 stockkeeping units of fragrance and ancillaries in its first 24 hours on HSN, garnering at least $3 million in sales and turning the traditional fragrance-marketing paradigm on its ear. The marketing for My Life also departed from the fragrance-industry norm. Elements included online, mobile, print, public relations, events and direct mail. Social-media efforts drove millions of impressions, as did key celebrity endorsements and significant blogger outreach. Video segments—dubbed “Chapters”— of Blige’s life story were featured on HSN and hsn.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, HSN distributed 100,000 direct-mail brochures and 300,000 targeted inserts to its customers; ran ads in Allure, Glamour and Essence; created a cross-channel TV spot, and distributed 50,000 snap bracelets embedded with the scent. The result: Another monster hit for superstar Blige, who has already received nine Grammy awards in her storied career. —Julie Naughton
Pamela Baxter, chief executive ofﬁcer, LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics
The postrecession landscape may have resulted in one of the most challenging markets in recent memory, but Pamela Baxter, chief executive ofﬁcer of LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics, isn’t one to let a tough economy stand in her way. She has expertly led her company’s beauty brands—namely Dior, Givenchy and Guerlain—through the storm, creating a compelling vision for each that has enabled them to not only weather tough conditions but thrive. Baxter was one of the ﬁrst to recognize the importance of eventing and clienteling, taking a page from the fashion side of Dior’s U.S. business, which she also oversees, to drive beauty sales. “Women still want to feel good,” she told WWD Beauty Biz earlier this year. “They still want to shop, they still want a little piece of luxury and they still want to be entertained.” That philosophy has served Baxter and her team well. Says NPD’s Karen Grant, “They are staying true to the brand—keeping it selective enough but doing an outstanding job of keeping the allure going. They are ﬁnding ways to innovate and keep the momentum going at the highest level.” —Jenny B. Fine
Procter & Gamble Co. approaches its $19.5 billion beauty business through the eyes of the female shopper—rather than category by category—all under the stewardship of Gina Drosos, group president, global P&G Beauty. The approach may explain why its beauty business has been on a tear. In the last year alone, the company has recruited talented starlets to trumpet its brands—including Carrie Underwood for Olay and Taylor Swift for Cover Girl—and honed its approach in the digital space, all while keeping traditional marketing messages colorful, pulsing and difﬁcult to miss. In September, P&G’s largest beauty brand, Olay, which reaches 60 million women worldwide, signed country music star Underwood with the aim of winning women under the age of 35, who may have previously dismissed the brand solely as an antiaging range. Its sister brand Cover Girl is having fun with its Take Beautiful Back campaign, which declares, “We believe that affordable makeup that performs is every woman’s right.” At press time, 8,006 had joined “the movement” on covergirl.com. Says NPD’s Karen Grant, “They are speaking as the leader of the industry….They are not playing second ﬁddle to prestige in their positioning.” —Molly Prior
Claudia Poccia, global president, Mark, Avon Products Inc.
When Claudia Poccia was tapped to run Mark ﬁ ve years ago, the then-two-year-old teenage-tailored brand lived in the shadow of its big sister, Avon. Driven by the directive to reinvent direct selling for the next generation, Poccia has expertly guided Mark through its initial growing pains to the point where it is now even inﬂuencing the business practices of Avon, particularly when it comes to engaging representatives and customers in the digital space. This year, Mark truly hit its stride. It sparked envy among competitors by ﬁguring out how to turn Facebook into a selling tool. The ﬂirty beauty brand launched a Facebook widget that allows representatives to put together customized offers of products and push them out to friends through their news feeds. Facebook members can browse the selection—and buy—without leaving the social-networking site. The effort also takes much of the effort out of the selling process for Mark’s legion of 50,000 representatives. Said Poccia, “Mark is taking direct selling from door-to-door to [Facebook’s] wall-to-wall.” Poccia also put a fresh face on Mark by recruiting Twilight starlet Ashley Greene as the brand ambassador, then launched a pop-up shop on Facebook stocked with a selection of Greene’s favorite fashion and beauty items. —M.P.