By  on October 5, 2007

The cosmeceutical skin care brand N.V. Perricone M.D. is fine-tuning its corporate structure in preparation for its next phase of growth, said company president Shashi Batra.

The effort includes the promotion of Christina Banas to the post of executive director of global communications. The change, effective immediately, extends her current role as director of education globally, and establishes her as the firm's media contact. She will continue to report to Lynda Berkowitz, the firm's senior vice president of sales.

Batra said Banas already serves as the brand's educational and training liaison to its retail partners, which include Sephora, QVC, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bluemercury. The company's products are sold in about a dozen countries, including France, Italy and Australia, and will likely roll out to eight to 10 more next year, said Batra.

Perricone's current growth strategy, which includes Banas' new role and the implementation of a multichannel media campaign, is designed to trumpet the clinically backed benefits of the doctor brand, said Batra.

"We're such a technically driven company, but now we need to talk about the specific product benefits to the consumer," said Batra, noting that in the past the company relied heavily on the books penned by founder Nicholas Perricone, M.D., and his PBS television program to educate consumers about the brand.

The company, which is owned by private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners, launched its first national advertising campaign in August beauty magazines. Batra would not comment on the ad budget for the campaign, which will run through December, but industry sources estimate the online and print effort could total $4.5 million this year.

After a quiet 2006, the company is steadily ramping up for a major initiative — slated to be implemented next year — that is designed to ignite growth, declared Batra. He was mum on details, except to say the effort would be unveiled this spring.

"Last year, the business was not growing," he said, adding there was little movement on the new product front. In fact, as Batra pointed out, the firm's top 10 products had not changed in three years. Noting that innovation drives sales, Batra said, "Are you going to buy a three-year-old iPod? No. Technology evolves to improve people's lives." In the case of Perricone, technology is aimed at improving the health and appearance of the skin sans cosmetic enhancements, including Botox.This year, the firm peppered its assortment with a handful of introductions, including Ceramic Skin Smoother and Advanced Eye Area Therapy, which Batra said has helped fuel sales by double digits this year. Industry sources forecast the company will end the year with more than $100 million in retail sales.

Batra said the firm plans to usher along that growth rate by focusing on continuing its advertising efforts, growing its sales force and filling the product pipeline.

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