We presented our bi-annual BEAUTY BIZ ROUNDTABLE 16 (BBR16), on Friday, October 6th at the Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica Hotel. BBR16 featured senior executives from the West Coast’s beauty scene including Sephora, Benefit Cosmetics, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Guthy Renker, Algenist, and ipsy, who gathered to address the beauty industry’s trending topics in influencer marketing, e-commerce, retail merchandising, packaging, manufacturing, and entrepreneurship.
“Based on 2017’s trending growth of major brand acquisitions, retail rebooting, and emerging markets, our goal is to continually facilitate lasting and invaluable connections for the beauty industry as a whole,” said Frances Mazur, CEO of Mazur Group. “When the beauty community is given the opportunity to come together in this intimate forum, the ideas that are sparked – from marketing innovations to essential steps when scaling the business – are incredible. More importantly, we give our speakers the opportunity to directly connect with their peers in a smaller, more intimate setting, which is rare in the beauty industry.”
BBR16’s first keynote speaker was Elizabeth Maul, EVP of Brand Development at Luxury Brand Partners whose keynote “Inspiring for Innovation” touched on how brands can cultivate a culture of internal innovation. Quoting from the Harvard Business Review’s “The Innovator’s DNA” report, Maul revealed that “Innovative CEO’s spend 50% more time on discovery activities than CEO’s with no innovation track record.” Citing LBP’s success stories with prestige beauty brands like Oribe, Smith & Cult and R+Co, Maul explained the importance of how CEO’s should not just create an internal environment of innovation but to actively participate in it using the 5 Key Steps of an Innovator’s DNA: Observing, Questioning, Associating, Experimenting, and Networking. In closing, Maul challenged attendees to use these 5 key steps and ask themselves where they were getting their “nourishment” and inspiration from to inspire their internal teams.
The second keynote speaker was Giulia Prati, Associate Director of Research in Beauty at L2, Inc. who discussed “Social Frontiers” with the rapidly evolving digital landscape and social media challenges that many beauty brands face. On Instagram, fragrance category challenges include product seasonality, lack of sensory experiences especially visual, and few fragrance influencers. To counteract the “hyper-seasonality” of fragrances, Prati suggested engaging online viewers by promoting smaller gifting occasions and GWP’s throughout the year as opposed to focusing only on traditional holiday promotions. Prati also revealed that while skincare was historically weak on social media engagement compared to color cosmetics, it’s recently starting to rise. Based on L2’s research, resonating factors for driving positive skincare engagement on Instagram are user transformational videos vs image-only posts, demonstrable products and proven results, the integration of color cosmetics, and the disclosure of product ingredients.
Roundtables were led by the following Facilitators:
- Shasta Blaustein, Packaging Development Manager/ColourPop – “Packaging Development Challenges in the World of E-Commerce”
- Laura Chisholm, VP of Sales & Education/Becca Cosmetics – “The Art of Retail Relationships”
- Lizzie Francis, Founding Partner/Brilliant Ventures – “The Future of Funding Beauty: Key Trends in Beauty & Beauty Tech”
- Brian Freeman, Founder & CEO /Heartbeat – “”How to Market to Millennials and Generation Z”
- Shannaz Schopfer, SVP of Strategic Business Development, Anisa International – “Is an International Contract Manufacturer Right for You?”
- Ryan Sieverson, President/SEVEN Haircare – “Ryan Sieverson, An Open Book – How Sharing Proprietary Information Has Grown SEVEN’s Business”
- Jonathan Weiss, CFO/Freeman Beauty – “Flying the Plane While Building the Plane – The Transition from an Entrepreneurial to Professional Company”
In Shasta Blaustein’s roundtable presentation on “Packaging Development Challenges in the World of E-Commerce,” she revealed the challenges with selling on both retail and e-commerce platforms since “packaging should create the same user experience in e-commerce as in retail.” Since 95% of beauty consumers say that packaging impacts their online purchase experience, Blaustein outlined some of the key consumer concerns including packaging sustainability, concerns in how much material is used in the shipping of e-commerce purchases, and their “unboxing” experiences upon package deliveries.
The only beauty industry event of its kind, BBR – now in its 16th run – offers unparalleled opportunities for global brands to meet in an intimate environment to forge partnerships and discuss how beauty brands are expanding into new channels, distributions, and next-gen customers.
“As both an attendee and facilitator I have found BBR to be a unique and valuable opportunity to get to spend meaningful time exchanging ideas with professionals from a variety of disciplines across our industry,” said Laura Chisholm, VP of Sales & Education at Becca Cosmetics. “I always walk away from the event with new insights as well as fresh connections and resources.”
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Stay tuned for BBR17 in Spring 2018!