Andrew Knox: President of PIXI and POP Beauty,

Building and fostering a successful brand requires executing at a high level on many aspects: defining consumer target needs, developing packaging that reinforces the needs and expectations of that target, and offering ingredients and formulas that deliver on the brand promise, among them. And all that relies on strong consumer insights built through dialogue and a continuous effort to engage consumers.

Members of GCI and Cosmoprof North America’s “Creativity and Passion: Fueling the Brand Story ” panel are all leaders responsible for establishing or managing successful brands in the mass, masstige and specialty sectors – and all are experts on the desires of today’s consumers, how brands should look to communicate consumers and the business strategies to keep consumers buying. They, too, are not only familiar with the passion and commitment required of brand owners, they embody the passion and commitment. I spoke with one of our panelists Andrew Knox, COO of PIXI and POP Beauty on his perspective gained from years of experience, on how to create relatable brands, grow and position those brands, and how brands should seek to understand and communicate with consumers.

1. How do you create a brand that resonates with consumers and capitalizes on that connection?

For my brands in particular, it’s all about her. Brands are an extension of the consumer’s wants, needs and desires. It’s about who she is and who she aspires to be. The persona we create intrinsicly relates to her. She is, “flirty, sexy, cerebral… truly an indvidual.” Brands allow women to step out of the confines of their daily routines.

2. Do you feel the consumer is much more savvy these days and does their homework at home when it comes to actually purchasing a product in store?

Yes, definitely. The online community allows her to learn and develop her makeup skills. She relies on the beauty blogs to tell her about the most amazing or latest beauty products. An actress endorsing products is not enough for her anymore. 10 years ago, she would sit down at a Bullock’s makeup counter to learn eyeshadow application. Today, she is on Youtube watching Bobbi Brown or Kandee Johnson create smoky eyes just for her, on her IPad, in her bathroom, and in front of her own beauty mirror. I’m not saying the makeup counter artist is a thing of the past, although Bullock’s is.

3. Or is it based on packaging and marketing?

She is not a slave to marketing, but she is an active participant in beauty. Today’s consumer becomes involved via outbound and inbound marketing activities. She sees a featured product in the Ulta advertisement and then she researches it on line. She goes to her blogs, checks out the product website and confers with her peers using social media. It’s this mix of reaching out to her and getting her to reach out to us that makes this new era of retail so dynamic.

4. What do you feel is the most effective tool today to get your branding message across to the consumer?

It’s hard to say. You can’t have only one tool. Like I was saying, she is an active participant in beauty today. She receives information in so many different ways. There is no magic single solution.

5. Do you feel success is built on passion, sound strategies or all the above with a dash of pure luck?

It’s all of it. Passion without strategy is a mine field. And strategy without passion can drive a company out of business. A dash of pure luck is almost always combined with passion and a sound strategy. It’s the formula for our dynamic business today.

Join me on Sunday, July 31st from 3:30pm to 5:00pm, as we delve into Creativity and Passion: Fueling the Brand Story, along with Andrew Knox of PIXI /POP Beauty (masstige), Ido Leffler of Yes To! (mass), and Deborah Lippmann of Deborah Lippmann Nail Collection (specialty).

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