When Julia Goldin arrived at Revlon from Coca-Cola three years ago, she found inspiration for the brand’s future in its past.
“I dug through everything that Charles Revson did,” Goldin, Revlon’s global chief marketing officer, told attendees. What she found is that Revson, Revlon’s founder, had a provocative point of view that could be applied today to create noise in the beauty industry.
“The beauty industry has been very safe,” said Goldin, “Are we ready to shock? That’s something that iconic brands do and that helps them to endure.”
In the Fifties, Revson got women’s attention with an empowering message of “you can be fabulous, you can be expressive, you can be sexy despite what might be expected from you in your world,” said Goldin. While the days of the Fifties-style housewife are long gone, Goldin said, “The idea of being able to express who you want to be is very relevant.” With Revson’s early vision in mind, Goldin said, the company is bringing “real glamour” back to Revlon.
Her days at Coke — where she worked across Europe and in Japan — taught her about iconic brands and how to keep them relevant.
“Coke was never just about a beverage. Coke is about love,” said Goldin. “It’s about connecting generations and connecting people.”
Iconic brands, in her view, “have an enduring perspective.” She emphasized that for marketers it’s no longer about a point of difference, “it’s about a point of view.” And beauty brands need to be clear about what that is. “If you don’t have a strong perspective of who you are as a brand, that’s when things start falling apart at the seams. Brand point of view sits at the heart of cultural relevance, universal values and consumer relevance,” she said.
Consumers are increasingly part of the conversation about what the brand is. “Today, it’s not about brand loyalty. It’s about brand advocacy,” said Goldin.
To inspire consumers to talk about the brand, particularly in a digital world, Goldin said authenticity and creativity are key. She nodded to the beauty industry’s close link with science — in fact, a high-pigment nail polish called “nail enamel” launched the Revlon business — but reminded that there’s also a need for both a human and artistic touch.
“As we move forward, art will become more important,” she said, citing an example from the beverage industry. While at Coke, Goldin helped kick off the brand’s designer collaborations, which began a decade ago with Matthew Williamson. The aim is provoke conversations, which Revlon aims to do with its the Revlon Expression Experiment, a Facebook app that allows women to try a certain beauty look and post a photo of the result. Revlon kicked off the initiative with a red-lip look and had thousands of responses overnight, said Goldin.
For Revlon, social engagement is more valuable than social networking. Goldin ended with a quote from Revson, who said, “In the factory, we make cosmetics. In the drugstores we sell hope.” Goldin added, “I see us being in the business of hope. And that’s the business of aspiration, consumer connection, consumer relevance, women’s confidence and women feeling great about themselves.”
A grooming moment between @tanfrance and @antoni last night at the The LGBT Community Center Trailblazer Awards honoring Anna Wintour, Ricky Martin and more. See more photos at WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“It was a very surreal feeling. It wasn’t like we were in the studio together coming up with it — it’s more like he discovered it and loved it. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but then it happened it was very exciting,” said singer-songwriter @nombe on discovering that @pharrell would be using his song, “Cant Catch Me” on his HBO documentary series “Outpost.” The German-born singer — named Noah MacBeth — talked to WWD about feminism, using art as a platform for political expression and personal style. Read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
This season, denim is going west – in influence. Brands like @fathersdaughterla (pictured here), @tommyhilfiger Jeans, @levis and more are opting for raw, top-stitching styles. (Styled by @thealexbadia; 📷: @ryanplett)
20-year-old British singer @jorjasmith_ made her debut at Coachella last weekend. We caught up with her and talked about her love for Amy Winehouse, working with Kendrick Lamar on the “Black Panther” album and her fashion philosophy. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @katiedaisyla)
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)