Growth & cut-through VIP in today's busy beauty space

esprit talks to leading brands in mass and prestige about the inventive and tried-and-true initiatives they have in place to boost sell-through and target new consumers

Category Analysis, Staff Training, Tagged Advertising

One of the many ways Coty helps our retailers to sell more product is through conducting thorough category analysis, says Monique Smith, Marketing Director, Coty Consumer Beauty ANZ. “We track which brands, segments and formats are performing in market, and how the retailers can optimise their space allocation in-store in order to capture the full sales potential of these performance trends. We look at what is delivering the strongest return on space and provide recommendations on how the space can deliver more. Then we use historical data trends to estimate the uplift in sales our partners are likely to expect from our recommendations”.
As a new company in a highly professional and branded environment, we have to earn the right to work with leading retail groups and gain the trust of consumers, says Neale Joseph, CEO, Pure Beauty Australia, whose portfolio includes Blessed by Nature and handsome, the men’s grooming brand. “We prepare ahead of time, which is hard given the short lead times that retailers ask suppliers to work within, but our aim is to be very easy to do business with. The training of staff is key. With high staff turnover in store, this is an ongoing focus for us as we believe that if a beauty advisor knows and uses the product they will recommend and sell it to their customers.”
We continue to invest in sampling programs with our partners and customers, adds Joseph. “We believe customers need every chance to trial and then buy. This is very helpful in driving sell-through and results may not be immediate, but the strategy is effective over time. Promotion is also crucial. Retailers are constantly driving to provide value to existing clients and new ones. For new brands, inclusion in these programs provides significant sales uplift and growth which supports sell-through”.
From Skin Doctors’ standpoint, we run a very account-driven ATL marketing campaign where we support the brand when on discount at retailers, says Tracy Murdoch, Senior Brand Manager, PharmaCare. “This support ranges from designed catalogue spots that highlight the key benefits of our products through tagged TV advertising during in-store promotions on the brand and tagged advertising in leading print media such as News Corp’s Body & Soul that also alerts consumers to discounts”.
We also advertise new product launches through our social media pages, says Murdoch. “To help target consumers better, we use our partners’ reward programs, such as Priceline’s Sister Club, to target new, lapsed and existing users, depending on the strategy. Strong social media support with influencers – both earned and bought – is another focus. Point of sale is available for our brands and can be used within relevant retailers. We also have a very strong online sales presence and a number of new initiatives have debuted to boost engagement with the brand’s followers”.

Price Promotions, Skin Diagnosis, Constant Dramming, Customer-Facing Content

At Dr LeWinn’s, our brand and sales teams work extremely closely with our retail partners, building robust and consistent plans for new product launches, as well as our core base business, to ensure strong product sell-through, says Lucy Robinson, Senior Brand Manager, Dr LeWinn’s Skincare. “Price promotions will continue to be an ongoing factor, with consumers consistently looking for the hottest deals and added value. However, we must continue to work with retailers to effectively communicate our brand purpose and point of difference to consumers, whether that be in-store, at point-of-purchase, in catalogues, through brand and/or retailer advertising, editorial coverage and social media channels”.
Combining all activity as part of a 360 marketing campaign enables us to deliver a consistent brand message across all touchpoints, which achieves significant uplift during key launch periods and throughout the year, says Robinson. “An example of a key retailer vehicle which works exceptionally well for Dr LeWinn’s is the What’s On in the Warehouse TV segment from Chemist Warehouse. The infomercial delivers product detail and education on mainstream TV channels. Combined with deep price promotions, off-location store podiums, POS at shelf and hero catalogue focus, it produces a significant uplift in sales throughout its 2-week timeframe”.
Swiss cosmetic brand Mavala strives to support retail partners with a number of sales-driving initiatives, says Remi Bouchenez, Managing Director of Cosmier. “Last year saw the launch of the Swiss Skin Solutions range, a collection of 17 compatible products. Pharmacies nationwide were offered a “skincare diagnosis” sales package. A Mavala skincare specialist would be available in-store to offer customers a skincare diagnosis and provide personalised skincare regimens, samples and product information. Each skincare diagnosis event was advertised in-store and on social media to increase foot traffic”.
Mavala’s core strength is the nail category and the brand provides continuous support through in-store manicures, says Bouchenez. “Social media advertising is geographically targeted before such events to pique interest and drive customers into store. The Mavala manicures are complimentary for a minimum purchase amount and are conducted by a sales representative and a professional manicurist. They also have a knock-on effect from a training perspective to the staff in individual stores”.
These days with the wide variety of products and brands available, customers want to try before they commit to a purchase, says Hayley Fitzsimons, Retail Marketing Manager, Clinique. “By implementing a custom-fit, always-on dramming/sampling campaign, Clinique highlights the fact that we have confidence in the effectiveness of our products. The approach also allows customers the opportunity to trial products to experience the benefits and results for themselves, which ultimately drives them back in store to purchase. Utilising our highly trained Clinique consultants, we custom-fit our sampling to a consumer’s specific skincare concerns and makeup needs”
Through understanding our core customer and what they value, Jurlique provides engaging content across product, newness, benefits, CSR initiatives and brand story, says Ann Donohue, General Manager ANZ, Jurlique International. “We are in the best position to attract and drive traffic and conversion by providing a desirable brand that offers a strong, local and natural brand heritage. Customer-facing content across various media outlets, including social, helps to attract local and international customers to seek out the brand, helping drive sales in-store”.

Target Groups, BOGOFs, Customised Campaigns, Consumer Rewards

In an industry where consumers are bombarded with multiple purchasing opportunities, there cannot be a blanket approach to retail, says Meg Bolli, Retail Marketing Manager for Dermalogica. “At Dermalogica we target consumer groups differently through different channels and tailor our messages accordingly. We offer each channel a unique strategy to ensure that we are making the most of that purchasing opportunity – whether that be exclusivity that resonates with a particular consumer or a holistic service approach available at our flagships”.
Our more mature customers prefer to shop in our department store channel, says Bolli. “They tend to purchase a new product when prompted through added value such as a gift with purchase using traditional print advertising. Our Gen Z consumers, on the other hand, activate on social media. We have had great success driving e-commerce sales via influencer marketing and tap-to-shop links. What works for one retail channel completely misses the mark for another”.
In a luxury twist on the BOGOF principle, Lancôme introduced its “buy 30 get 30” campaign last August (2018) and it was a huge success, says Kelly Fall-Armytage, Social & Communications Manager for L’Oréal Luxe. “For a limited time, consumers received a bonus 30ml of Advanced Genifique, our number one selling serum, valued at $100 with every 30ml purchase. The promotion was a complete sell-out, supporting the star franchise while following our icon-centric strategy. We reprised the promotion in mid-February because of the outstanding results”.
When we work with our retailers, we look at the Nude by Nature customer for each retailer as this changes dependent on their shopping habits, says George Tsoukalas, Commercial Business Manager ANZ. “Gone are the days when you could create one strategy and hoped it worked across all retailers. We don’t usually launch exclusives, but for our 10-year anniversary celebrations in March, we launched a collection of value offers to showcase iconic products. When planning for Priceline, we took into consideration that Priceline customers expect animation and events. They also look for expert advice, so an in-store eventing program was put in place to drive awareness and sales. With Chemist Warehouse, we decided to engage consumers with a competition and animated the campaign in-store, online and outdoor to maximise exposure. Early results proved these tailored strategies are successful”.
At Palmer’s we pride ourselves on our strong relationships with our retail partners, says Hayley Bishop, Marketing Manager, Palmer’s Australia. “We listen to their strategies and blend with our consumer communication to maximise the sales off-take of both core and new lines. We also offer exclusive lines to meet the needs of a particular customer base, whether it is based on an emerging trend or existing requirement. We also like to give rewards to consumers and have offered holiday prizes with retail partners to Hawaii, Vanuatu and Mexico which gives the stores the opportunity to display our products such as the Coconut range with tropical themes. Marketing tools such as in-store POS, neck tags on bottles, free samples, promotional rebates and displays are all vehicles we use to drive growth where consumers stop and interact with the brand”.
Palmer’s also drives communication through social media, in particular Instagram and Facebook, to our thousands of followers, says Bishop. This is complemented by making information and marketing assets available to retailers for use on their websites and e-commerce stores. Consumers are demanding more relevant information such as key ingredients, free-from claims, reviews from other consumers and clinical trial results and claims. Palmer’s products use ethically-sourced ingredients such as cocoa butter, coconut, shea and olive oil, which also helps to drive consumers in-store”.

Holistic Media Plans, Education, Shelf Navigation, Targeting at Micro-Level

Head & Shoulders, Australia’s number one anti-dandruff brand, launched its first-ever premium Supreme range in April 2018, says Katim Tsui, Assistant Brand Manager, Head & Shoulders ANZ. “P&G Australia’s marketing and sales teams have worked closely with the buying and marketing teams of leading retailers. We helped them to break through consumer barriers such as – many women are embarrassed to buy Head & Shoulders and they also think that anti-dandruff shampoos won’t give them beautiful hair”.
Today, Supreme is ranged in all top retailers and has reached 1.3 per cent value share of total haircare, says Tsui. “That’s about 15 per cent salience of the Head & Shoulders brand. We crafted a holistic media plan, incorporating TV, digital, social and out-of-home to drive awareness, and premium disruptive POS materials to flow through and close sales in-store”.
One of the most important elements in the promotional mix to help retailers sell more products is education plus product trial aimed at the right person, says Erica Galea, Marketing Director, Chemcorp International. “The product wouldn’t have made it into store in the first place without educating a buyer or store manager. But this needs to be followed through to ensure that the person selling the product understands what makes it different and better from its competitors. This approach has been one of the success factors for Real Techniques makeup brushes. Providing Priceline BAs with Real Techniques brushes in their makeup kits, together with tips and information on how to use them by Sam and Nic, the makeup artists founders of the brand, gives them the knowledge and trust to confidently recommend them to customers. A sample is worth 1000 pictures”.
A’kin assists major retailers with sell-through using two key techniques – shelf navigation and GWP, says Matthew Chong, Customer Marketing Manager at McPherson’s. “A’kin has invested in shelf units to improve shelf navigation and educate shoppers about which product is right for them. They have been installed in top Priceline stores and also help to improve in-store theatre. We also had a successful Chemist Warehouse mechanic, encouraging current users to trial new products through a GWP outside the scope of skincare to increase basket size and prompt repeat purchases”.
We run support activities to coincide with our retail partner promotions, says Craig Schweighoffer, Managing Director, Biophysics, the owner of the Skin Physics and Rapid Loss brands. “Firstly, we target new customers through social advertising. We find this very effective because you can target down to micro-level. We target the area where the promotion is being run and our core customer demographics, then deliver key messages which are aligned with the promotion. We also engage current customers through our social communities and email database. Not as an email blast, but in a segmented, targeted way to ensure the offer is communicated to the relevant customer. We find this gives our brands better engagement and provides the retailer with better results”.

Sampling, New Categories, Increasing Basket Size, Better Margins

Product sampling is still an effective way to offer an introduction to Weleda’s world of natural and organic skincare, says Charmaine Pichler, Marketing Manager, Weleda Australia. “Unlike a tester in store, product samples can be taken home as well as explored further online. The perfect mechanism to create an emotional connection between the brand and target consumers. Skin Food is our iconic must-have moisturiser and we team up with David Jones to sample it every year. Results have been very good at driving sales online and in-store”.
At RAWW, we are constantly expanding the breadth and depth of our range, optimising it for increased sell-through in-store, says Elise Synott, Brand Manager. “While renewing the current skincare and cosmetics collections, we are also launching relevant new categories to meet demand in the wellness movement because we are a strong lifestyle brand in the superfood-infused beauty space. Our RAWW aromatherapy range, which launched in February, has been designed with the modern consumer in mind and includes a mix of traditional pure essential oils and unique custom blends”.
The objective of our retail partners is centered around increasing stock-turn and basket size, says Markeeta King, Senior Brand Manager, Designer Brands Cosmetics. “We drive this with a very generous gifting program, which keeps our stores out of the discounting spiral and maintains margin. In addition, we have one major sell-through promotion during each half of the year. Our most successful campaign to date has been our Scratch & Win promotion, which focused on instant prizes for consumers, but we have also given away cars and money-can’t-buy experiences. We also work with celebrity figures such as mummy blogger, Sophia Cachia, and will soon be launching an exciting new range with a well-known star of the Married at First Sight TV show”.
Our first duty as a supplier is to provide major retailers with better margins to work with, says Arnaud Husser, Managing Director of Cosmetiques de France, the distributor of Bioderma and Uriage. “Percentage discounts, PWPs and GWPs also support sales and promotions. Exclusives are also still important to major retailers. Recently, suppliers have been offering more and more digital support such as posts on their websites and EDM content for launches”.

Driving Foot Traffic, Tailored Approach, High ATL Spend

Heat Doward place a lot of focus on shopper insights to identify opportunities in-store and leverage our leading and exclusive brands to drive foot traffic and trial, says Leanne Harris, Marketing Manager. “Last year, for example, we launched a new, market-leading concept, Winter Warmers, to capture the increase in demand for products to keep customers dry, warm and healthy over the coldest months of the year. Following a successful 2018 season, the 2019 Winter Warmers campaign is designed to deliver the same great convenience to our retailers and customers and to drive a higher average basket size. To deliver these results, we have implemented a two-stage support program that includes a Customer Incentive – rewarding customers that spend $20 with the chance to win a RedBalloon Experience from over 5000 choices – and also a Staff Incentive – rewarding the stores that collect the most entries”.
At MOR we choose to partner with retailers to develop a tailored approach specific to their consumer demographic, says Courtney Sims, Senior Marketing Manager. “We work closely with their buying, marketing and retail teams to come up with retail execution strategies that can include exclusive product launches, GWPs, first-to-market offers, on-going staff training and in-store visual merchandising support. We also supply commissioned marketing materials and content lead creative to engage consumers further”.
We have made a big investment in the training of BAs in department stores, says Peter Playford, Country Manager, Puig Oceania, whose fragrance portfolio includes designer brands such as Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, Prada and Jean Paul Gaultier. ” Seventy per cent of consumers don’t go into stores knowing what fragrance they want to buy. Once in store, knowledgeable staff have to convert interest to sales which is why they are so important to prestige fragrance sales. We also have a strong ATL strategy and rank in the top four in the market to create maximise brand awareness.”
I divide people into two categories – humans and consumers -says Playford. ” Consumers actually look for a category but humans have to be talked to and listened to. We do a lot of tagging in advertising for David Jones and Myer, particularly on TV and we are getting good growth in department store. We also have strong promotional strategies online and through digital and social media.”
Because our brands cover a wide range of demographics and retailers from department stores to pharmacies, we have also done promotions and marketing on popular websites and apps such as Tinder and Uber, adds Playford. ” We also sponsored the GWS Giants Aussie Rules team and gave away over 800 samples. We are very much a brand-building company and although we have done very well with the Paco Rabanne franchise, watch this space for major promotions, events and social media activities over the next few months”.

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