HAIRTALK

h4ufme (Singapore) - - Contents -

IN­TER­VIEW WITH CORY COUTS, CHRISTOPHE GAIL­LET AND CHA HONG FROM L'OREAL PRO­FES­SION­NEL AND RITSUKO EHAMA FROM SHI­SEIDO PRO­FES­SIONAL

AC­CI­DEN­TAL BEGIN­NINGS…

Cory Couts: Ac­tu­ally it’s pretty in­ter­est­ing be­cause I be­came a sa­lon man­ager in the 90s to­tally by ac­ci­dent. A friend of mine wanted to open a sa­lon and needed help. I was the only busi­ness per­son he knows and he asked me if I would help him with the busi­ness plan, and I ended up man­ag­ing the sa­lon. At that time we had KMS in our sa­lon in San Fran­cisco and we were ex­tremely suc­cess­ful with KMS – and KMS asked me to travel around the world and teach peo­ple on how to be suc­cess­ful in re­tail­ing their prod­ucts. And that turned out to work­ing for KMS. And KMS was then pur­chased by KAO Cor­po­ra­tion, which owned Gold­well so; I ended up work­ing for both brands. Even­tu­ally af­ter all these years, I be­came the Global Pres­i­dent for both brands.

TAK­ING OVER THE REIGN…

An­thony (for­mer Global Pres­i­dent) and I worked to­gether for quite some time. And he’s one of my best friends and we’re very like­minded in the way we see the busi­ness. So I think my role has been more of a con­tin­u­a­tion and ex­pan­sion of some of the things that both An­thony and I al­ready be­lieved in. My first job for KMS was grow­ing the brand in Aus­tralia. At that time, An­thony was the pres­i­dent of our Aus­tralian di­vi­sion and I worked very closely with him. He chose me to be the US pres­i­dent and then he chose me to be his suc­ces­sor. There has been new brand­ing and new strate­gies in place for the com­pany, but it’s not a turn from what An­thony did, it’s a re­fine­ment. There are new things, but we’re still in the same di­rec­tion; it’s about sa­lons and stylists. We all be­lieve that we don’t win as a com­pany un­til the sa­lon wins. We win sec­ond, that’s what we al­ways say.

BIG­GEST CHAL­LENGE AS THE GLOBAL PRES­I­DENT…

Time. We are in 40 coun­tries around the world and I have a home in Los An­ge­les, my job is in Ger­many and my boss is in Tokyo. So there’s a lot of space to cover in be­tween. There’s run­ning the com­pany but a favourite part of my job is to be in sa­lons. We have tens of thou­sands of sa­lons so I try to make time to visit these sa­lons as much as pos­si­ble. There’s just not enough time. My ma­jor chal­lenge is time. We have a great team, great brands, great par­ent com­pany that lets us fo­cus on hair­dressers and sa­lons which is great, but at the end of the day my big­gest chal­lenge is still: time.

GOLD­WELL IN 2015…

We don’t have se­cret prod­uct news we can share – not with a lot of peo­ple read­ing your pub­li­ca­tion (laughs) - but what you can ex­pect from us is a con­tin­u­a­tion of what we have been do­ing. One is the new brand de­sign and you are go­ing to see the new flavours of the new brand de­sign, you are also go­ing to see the ex­ten­sion of Color Zoom be­ing our cou­ture trend of­fer­ing. And you will see a con­tin­u­a­tion of our ser­vice col­lec­tion – we don’t just want to cre­ate prod­ucts, we want to cre­ate ser­vices that make sa­lons money. Yes there are prod­ucts in­volved, but it’s more about the ser­vices from sa­lons. Again, the sa­lon has to win first.

GO­ING GLOBAL – IS IT NEC­ES­SARY FOR BRANDS?

It de­pends on the brand - if a brand is for a very spe­cific hair type only, some­times it has to be only re­gional. If a brand is only good for one hair type, of course go­ing global doesn’t work for it. We have been a global brand for a very, very long time. When I was with KMS, I was re­spon­si­ble for the global growth. And part of it is de­mand – the coun­tries ask­ing for the brand – and part of it is the growth you want to achieve. I don’t think a brand has to global – I think there are a lot of beau­ti­ful lo­cal brands some need to stay lo­cal but some stay lo­cal be­cause that’s the owner’s vi­sion. It’s not re­ally a tip­ping point nec­es­sar­ily.

PRO­PEL­LING THE IN­DUS­TRY THROUGH GOLD­WELL…

For us we have what we call a mantra, which, where a lot of com­pa­nies keep their strate­gies se­cret, we ac­tu­ally pub­li­cize our strat­egy. And our strat­egy mantra is “part­ner, port­fo­lio, growth” – ba­si­cally, part­ner with the right sa­lons (Gold­well and KMS are not right for ev­ery sa­lon so we don’t try to get ev­ery sa­lon, we want to part­ner with the right ones), we have to have a broad port­fo­lio to ser­vice all the sa­lons’ needs and we have to of­fer it to them we want to make sure what they want to do they can do it with us, and grow, is for the sa­lons to grow, not for us to grow.

HOW GOLD­WELL WILL IM­PACT THE IN­DUS­TRY 10 YEARS FROM NOW…

C: Prob­a­bly what we’ve been do­ing – which is grow­ing sa­lons and mak­ing sure we have the best in­no­va­tions and best tech­nolo­gies in or­der to achieve the sa­lons’ goals. Gold­well has a long history since 1948 and in bring­ing the in­dus­try for­ward. Back in the day it was about perms, and then it was about colour, and then it was about dif­fer­ent kinds of colour tech­nol­ogy and even in re­cent times, hav­ing Ker­atin treat­ments, which is healthy. It’s about giv­ing hair­dressers what they want, but some­times it’s also about sur­pris­ing hair­dressers by giv­ing them some­thing they didn’t know they needed. We do that by hav­ing the best labs in Ger­many, the best par­ent com­pany in Tokyo, and thou­sands of peo­ple work hard ev­ery­day to make sure hair­dressers have what they need to­mor­row.

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