Early Tuesday morning, Coty Inc. plans to face the digital world with a freshly revamped Web site to better tell its story of corporate creativity. It has also redone its corporate intranet site, which executives hope will more dramatically draw the attention of its employees and encourage them to interact with the company and each other.
Catherine Walsh, the company’s chief communications officer, said the goal in revamping coty.com was to streamline the site to make it simpler to navigate, to make it more attractive and to give viewers the capability of operating on the site through a mobile device. “The site is really rich with content, and the content focuses on all of these streams of creativity,” said Walsh, pointing out that those featured could include celebrities and designers with whom Coty collaborates, or an R&D executive explaining the particularities of a product formula, such as Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel. There is another section on creative innovation, “where you can really see how the products come to life. You’ll be able to go into every brand page and really look at the brand,” she said.
Kristen D’Arcy, vice president of global digital at Coty Inc., said, “We try to look at it from all different areas of the process,” she said. “In some cases, there are interviews that we partner with; in some cases, it would be an editorial look at something innovative, like the Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop [in London last August]. “We’re newly mobile-optimized, with the ability to better showcase the breadth of activity happening across Coty, for visitors exploring our site on any device. Flexible content modules make the design perfect for articles, videos and photography alike.” She added that the site “serves up relevant content on each page, without dead ends, which maximizes the brand-storytelling capabilities.”
While the new flagship site does not have the capability to conduct e-commerce, it has been designed with a different mission in mind. There have been conversations in the past with executives about how Coty’s 40-plus brands tend to dominate the limelight and leave the corporate parent in the shadows. “This is an opportunity to communicate what Coty is,” Walsh said. “This is a way for us to communicate who we really are, what we stand for and what makes us unique. Creativity is at the heart of everything we do.” She underscored that the aim is to drive home the corporate contention that “Coty is the most creative beauty company in the world, and we wanted to showcase that. It was to identify and give Coty, the company, a voice.”
Considering that Coty Inc. went public a year ago, Walsh said that the company was mindful of attracting three groups of viewers: investors; potential recruits—people who are interested in working at Coty; and the media.
The look of the content and the tone of voice is key. “It almost looks like a combination of a dot-com site and a blog,” Walsh said. “There’s all these incredible stories about people, about product.”
Coty not only revamped its flagship, but also its intranet portal, an internal employee-only site, where staffers usually go to find corporate announcements, news, benefit information, health-insurance forms — “all the pragmatic stuff that you need.”
Instead of the humdrum platform that usually typifies a corporate intranet, Coty decided to create a digital environment where its 11,000 employees could comfortably feel connected. “We heard from our employees that they wanted to be able to connect more, so we created this new internal site that we have called ‘The House.’ ” She said it is somewhat similar to the coty.com site but the employee site has different goals: firstly, to drive engagement. “There is something called the Leader’s Lounge, which is a place where a senior executive can communicate broadly to 11,000 employees.”
Walsh also emphasized, “We wanted to reward and inspire creativity across the organization. For example, we did several profiles of employees,” she said, adding that the feature gives workers scattered around the world a glimpse of someone they would not normally meet. There are also profiles of corporate partners, top executives and inspirational figures in the industry. “Think of it like a blog, where it’s constantly renewed, with new content and stories and profiles. It’s a way for people to connect with one another.”
D’Arcy said one of the objectives was “to make it an experience that everybody wanted to come visit every day online.” When asked if this would keep employees from doing their work, Walsh exclaimed, “What they are doing now, they are on Facebook, Twitter and everything else all day anyway. Ours needed to look equally as good, if not better.”