Building beauty engagement
BY Joann Marks
Since 1990, Cosmetic Promotions has offered its clients experiential marketing for beauty brands and retailers. With services that include product sampling, demonstrations, launch kits and sweepstakes, among other services, founder and CEO Joann Marks said the company’s aim is to help its clients save money and labor.
Drug Store News caught up with Marks to discuss her company’s offerings and how its clients can set themselves apart from the competition.
Drug Store News: Tell us about Cosmetic Promotions. What’s your sales pitch to retailers and manufacturers?
Joann Marks: We help the retailers by creating beauty programs that engage, educate and delight their customers. For the manufacturers, we create customized experiential marketing tools for the introduction, sampling, and training of beauty and personal care products. Our “events in a box” are distributed to the stores to energize store associates’ interactions with customers. We ship 750,000 of these kits every year. In the last 10 years, we have placed more than 70 million samples into targeted consumers hands and provided live training to almost 60,000 beauty advisors/store associates. We do all this via a “shared vendor” model that has saved our clients more than $20 million — and tens of thousands of labor hours — since 1990.
DSN: As retailers and suppliers strive for differentiation in the marketplace, how can you help them set themselves apart?
JM: We are the only experiential marketing company that is exclusive to beauty — and the mass side of beauty at that. We are small enough to respond quickly and flexibly, and large enough to handle all their needs. From program creation and facilitation to full-scale advertising campaigns. plus, we are the only agency with more than 8,000 beauty experts — professional makeup artists, licensed skin/nail and hair professionals — listed. No other company has that depth or capability.
DSN: You are involved in in-store activities? Tell us about them and how it builds sales and consumer loyalty?
JM: Our entire focus is on increasing customer interaction and sales at store level. Therefore, we are the expert at in-store activations. Some 89% of all first-time purchases are the result of a trial. So, we design and implement makeover events that allow customers to try before they buy. This is essential to capturing and building consumer loyalty. If a product cannot be tried on at the store, our amazing sampling events provide the consumer with a trial in their home.
At the DSN Industry Issues Summit in November, one of the panelists talked about “another layer of intimacy.” That perfectly describes what we do. I just read a new article that said since retailers have cut costs is by reducing the number of store associates on staff — some 89,000 jobs in the last 12 months — that has reduced opportunities for consumer engagement. Yet studies prove that consumers are demanding more associate assistance — at least 70% report their in-store shopping experience would be improved by a sales associate with a deep knowledge of products.
DSN: What about the brands/manufacturers? What are you doing to help them?
JM: Once a brand uses us for a program at a chain, they realize we are a perfect partner for a much larger range of projects. Right now, the hot ticket seems to be gift-with-purchase items that we can develop for the brands. We also create customized displays that are perfect for new launches and sampling initiatives.
DSN: What have been some of your favorite projects?
JM: Hands-down my favorite project was our Glam Camp back-to-school event that included a national model search in conjunction with Seventeen Magazine. We created a complete “surround-sound” event that included in-store displays, a mail-in GWP, store displays/signage, and magazine spread. Our company didn’t source anything out – we handled it soup to nuts including the web design, social media campaign and even the voting software. I had the privilege of interviewing dozens of young ladies who entered the contest and got to accompany the annual winners to New York City for their professional magazine shoot. It was so much fun and there were so many moving parts that it was very exciting to work on. The results were fantastic, with sales up 13.5% over the previous year, coupon redemption almost 14% ahead and return on vendor investment was at 150:1.
A quick look at the top GM trends for 2018
BY DSN STAFF
Drug Store News has assembled a list of top trends positioned to impact retail in 2018 that general merchandise companies can get in on.
• Home decor: Trends to look for include geometric patterns; typography messaging on home goods; such natural elements as hard-carved wood being featured in lamps, bowls and pots; fringe on pillows and blankets; hand-painted metallic elements; and iridescent accents and accessories.
• Florals: Such floral flavors as lavender, rose and hibiscus being used in granola, latte and sweets. And according to officials at Whole Foods, look for elderflower to gain in popularity in 2018.
• Technology: Small, portable and highly customizable personal 3-D printers are a growing area of interest for consumers
• Charging accessories: For many, smartphones are a necessity, but it is no secret they are power drains. Portable power banks solve that problem and come in a variety of styles, colors and capacities.
• Fandom items: Fan wearables are always hot, whether promoting a sports team, hobby, lifestyle or TV show. Key products include mugs, T-shirts, stickers, car decals, mouse pads or totes.
• Lab-grade equipment: Formerly only available to professionals, high-tech devices such as spectrometers will soon be available to the public. For anyone looking to better understand what is in a product this will be the must-have item for 2018.
En-Vision America focuses on the bigger picture
Nearly 20 million Americans have trouble reading or understanding a prescription label. Officials at En-Vision America say they have a solution.
The Palmetto, Fla.-based company is offering a range of solutions to help pharmacists make their labels easier to read and understand. “Our products are designed to help patients safely and independently manage their medications,” said David Raistrick, vice president and Chief Technology Officer at the company. “Our mission is to provide better outcomes for the patient and to give the pharmacist the opportunity to extend the pharmacy counter into the patient’s home. We believe that in order to improve outcomes, what better place to start than the label on the medication.”
En-Vision offers ScripView Large Print Labels, a booklet-style label design that permanently affixes to the medication container and serves as an auxiliary to the standard pharmacy label. The product is designed for elderly and low- vision patients. “It does not take the place of the legal prescription label,” Raistrick noted. “It gives information in a larger font to make it much easier for the patient to read.”
For patients who have even more difficulty reading, the company offers ScripTalk, an audible output label that allows pharmacists to place a small electronic tag onto any container and the patient uses an app or tabletop reader to hear the information aloud through RFID technology. The product is best for patients who are blind, dyslexic or illiterate, he said.
En-Vision software provides Grade 2 Braille and also will translate labels into 17 languages through pharmacist-verified translations. “Our products are designed to help the pharmacist better connect with all of their patients,” Raistrick added. “Our software allows for full integration with most pharmacy software systems. It is a giant leap forward toward helping customers stay safe.”
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