Senior Vice President, Marketing, Maybelline New York-Garnier-Essie
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Managing a billion-dollar beauty business that spans multiple categories is no easy task, but for Carolyn Holba, it’s all in a day’s work. Holba, who oversees marketing for Essie, Garnier and Maybelline New York, has taken a systematic approach, leveraging brand DNA as a means to expand. Take Maybelline, which before 2009 was viewed primarily as a mascara and eye brand (think Great Lash), and is now the biggest makeup line in the world. “In order to establish ourselves as a legitimate brand in color categories we needed to be a credible color authority,” said Holba, who began her revolution in 2009 with a Fashion Week sponsorship and bold advertising campaign. With the introduction of a blog, cross-device-compatible Web site and new items for eyes, lips and face, 2013 marked a year of even more expansion for Maybelline. “We want our consumers whenever and wherever to access information,” said Holba, whose sights are now set on elevating Garnier’s skin-care proposition and continued lip and eye innovation at Maybelline. She is on track with her plan: According to IRI, Maybelline, which now sponsors 14 fashion weeks worldwide, has increased its volume four percent and is up six percent in the general color-cosmetics category. Mission accomplished.