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Q&A with Laura Mercier's Executive Director


This month, Inside Cosmeceuticals was able to connect with Linda Treska, executive director of global product innovation for Laura Mercier. Later this summer she'll be presenting "Successfully Launching Brands and Products into New Markets – with Focus in Europe" at InnoCos USA in New York on Thursday, July 12, 2012, with a macro look at launching a brand—from the economy of the market to knowing who your competition is.

IC: How can companies thoroughly and accurately assess a market before entering it? How can economical, political and social status weigh in during this process?

Laura Mercier: The best approach is to live in or have some sort of exposure and knowledge on that specific region or market. It’s extremely important to understand the economical, political and social status before entering a market with a product or a brand. It gives one the perspective of the business and market opportunities, whether or not they are high or low risk, whether or not the market will be profitable based on the economic status, and whether or not there is a real need or demand for that specific product or brand. In addition, it helps one to plan, strategize and market the brand or product in a way that benefits both the economy of that region as well as the company.

IC: What is one of the biggest mistakes (or overlooked hurdles) companies make when launching a new product in the European market?

Laura Mercier: One of the biggest mistakes in the European market would be formulating cosmetic products with ingredients that are not compliant with EU regulation standards. This can create a very big expense on the company’s product registration, as well as reformulation costs.  Another mistake could be launching a product that people don’t care for. For example, the likelihood of success of a red lipstick in a European market is greater than that of the U.S. market, based solely on regional trends. as the European consumer tends to embrace bolder, classic shades, while the U.S. consumer will tend to gravitate more toward modern, natural shades such as brown/nude lipsticks. Therefore, if one is going to launch a brand of lipsticks, paying attention to the shade selections is critical in the brand’s launch and continuous success. 

IC: What imperative knowledge must companies possess about their audience when not only launching a new product, but branding as well?

Laura Mercier: Understanding the consumer one is targeting is key in launching a successful brand and product. Living and breathing the woman one will be catering to; and understanding her needs, her life, her behavior and psychology of her purchases is imperative. Having this knowledge keeps the brand competitive, interesting, and unique—the idea is not just to launch a brand, but also grow it and expand it in different regions and markets around the world.

IC: The question of the day: How can you stand out/differentiate your product from the competition?

Laura Mercier: Find something that no one else has done or do something that others have done, but create a story that attracts the audience and ultimately entices the consumer to be curious and buy the product.

Treska will also be speaking at the upcoming Inside Cosmeceuticals’ Top Trends Forum at SupplySide MarketPlace in New York on May 8. Click here to learn more.


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