2016 in review: Revlon – all change please, all change

2016 in review: Revlon – all change please, all change

Revlon, a make-up staple that is still surging on. The year begun with billionaire owner Ron Perelman announcing he was considering ‘strategic alternatives’ for the brand

and that certainly came about in the form of with one of the company’s most notable moves this year – the acquisition of Elizabeth Arden. This all-cash acquisition, valued at US$870 million, was key for the color cosmetics giant, moving it from the mass market and incorporating a sizeable premium portfolio.

As told by my colleague Georgina in a recent blog post, “This pick up ‘not only gives it a hold on the fragrance market – one it’s been trying to infiltrate for the past year – but also a premium make-up brand to renew and, if it pulls it off, Revlon could be onto a winner. Work has already started over at Arden, in the form of a digital strategy aimed at under 25s.”
Not only does it pitch itself at an influential consumer group, it also puts Revlon among the 20 largest beauty companies in the world, bringing annual sales to US$3 billion. We’d say that this alone set 2016 apart as a momentous year for the beauty player. Indeed, the company was pulling out all the stops to attract a younger audience, with the likes of RnB star Ciara being named as its Global Brand Ambassador.

And it seems that the company was prepared to shake up its management structure too in order to have a stronger team in place to drive this new focus. Earlier in the year the company named Fabian T Garcia as President and Chief Executive Officer by its Board of Directors, Juan R Figuereo as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and, in perhaps the biggest move, poached Pamela Gill Alabaster from Estee Lauder to lead the company’s Global Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility function.

Talking of the company’s CSR activity in 2016, its Love Is On campaign was a notable strength for Revlon. Earlier in the year the company launched its Choose Love campaign, part of its Love Is On brand mission. The aim being to ‘spark a global movement around the positivity of love.” Indeed, the Love Is On campaign spread love in more ways than one, with the Love Is On Million Dollar challenge, a groundbreaking women’s health fundraiser, on CrowdRise.com running for the second year. The challenge was won by Cancer Research Institute, with the total amount raised reaching $6.37million in donations from various charities.

Alongside upping its charitable contributions, it also seems that Revlon used 2016 as the year to refresh its business model in terms of retail too, with a notable focus on new standalone stores – a common trend amongst many beauty brands. The company opened up a new standalone kiosk in the Forum Sujana Mall in Kukkatpally, Hyderabad, India, in a bid to boost its profile in the growing Indian cosmetics market. And it seems that India was the country of choice for its bolstered retail channels, with the company suggesting just last month that it planned to use the year ahead to increase the number of exclusive stores it operates on the Indian market in 2017, bringing the number of standalone outlets to 100 by the end of next year.

I’d also hazard a guess they weren’t the only development plans the US color cosmetics giant has on the back burner for next year.

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