So You Want to Work With a Beauty Brand?

Round three of Cosmo’s ca­reer se­ries is ded­i­cated to lots of ex­cit­ing (and use­ful) beauty ban­ter from In­dia’s bright­est brand man­agers!

Cosmopolitan (India) - - CONTENTS - By Priyam Chaturvedi

How to bag your dream job... as told by the ex­perts!

Q. So, what ex­actly does a beauty brand man­ager do?

a “You have to do just about ev­ery­thing... from hir­ing people, to en­sur­ing sales, cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and re-vis­its, as well as cri­sis man­age­ment.”

Nidhi Saraf, As­sis­tant Gen­eral Man­ager, May­belline

b “The most im­por­tant part of my job is to un­der­stand what prod­ucts from my Lancôme In­ter­na­tional port­fo­lio will work well in the In­dian mar­ket and bring those par­tic­u­lar prod­ucts here.”

Laeti­tia Ay­ache, Mar­ket­ing Man­ager, Lancôme

c “I need to keep a check on new trends and see how our prod­ucts fit in. My job in­cludes meet­ing sales tar­gets, dig­i­tal me­dia mar­ket­ing, cus­tomer en­gage­ment and PR, plus launch new prod­ucts.” An­juli Prad­han, Mar­ket­ing Man­ager, Sephora

d “My job en­tails writ­ing on and re­search­ing cos­metic der­ma­tol­ogy, seek­ing ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties with me­dia, cre­at­ing PR strate­gies, and con­vert­ing ex­ist­ing cus­tomers into loyal brand ad­vo­cates.”

Priyanka Bedi, Man­ager - PR & Corp Comm, Kaya Skin Clinic

e “My role in­volves a lot of re­la­tion­ship han­dling, from work­ing with an am­bas­sador to co­or­di­nat­ing with our head of­fice. Then there’s cri­sis man­age­ment and plan­ning new launches for the year.”

Savita Dhami, Mar­ket­ing Head, The Body Shop


“You could be in­no­vat­ing on a new prod­uct, plan­ning an event, or pro­ject­ing growth num­bers. Brand man­age­ment is about analysing your busi­ness, iden­ti­fy­ing the gap, and pro­ject­ing the way ahead.”

Mamta Saini, Se­nior Man­ager, Hair Colour, L’Oréal Paris


“Be­ing a brand man­ager re­quires you to be on top of ev­ery­thing. I need to know about sales, cus­tomer per­cep­tion of the brand, and whether the sa­lon owner and hairstylist rec­om­mend my prod­uct.”

Ankita Ro­jin­der, As­sis­tant Brand Man­ager, Sch­warzkopf Pro­fes­sional

h “Ev­ery­thing from dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, to sales, hir­ing and prof­its come un­der a brand man­ager’s KRA. You have to be on your toes about cur­rent trends, and pos­sess great lead­er­ship skills.” Tashnu Khari­wala, Man­ager-Mar­ket­ing Op­er­a­tions & Train­ing, Shi­seido

i “A big part of my job is to cre­ate a bal­ance be­tween main­tain­ing the global im­agery of my brand and fig­ur­ing out what the In­dian con­sumer wants and mar­ry­ing the two needs.” Nam­rata Har­i­ana, Op­er­a­tions Man­ager, In­glot

j “Since Avon is a di­rect seller and only op­er­ates through cat­a­logues, prod­uct in­no­va­tion is the cen­tre of our busi­ness. Apart from that, there are reg­u­lar things like PR, sales, celebrity en­dorse­ments, etc.”

Shweta Ku­mar, Cat­e­gory Man­ager, Avon

Spend­ing their time amidst tonnes of gor­geous prod­ucts, plan­ning launch events and shoots, build­ing the brand, man­ag­ing price points and even help­ing with the R&D...if these brand man­agers are any­thing to go by, work­ing with a beauty brand in the coun­try is a whole lot of hard-work, but a lot of fun too!

Cosmo: Does one re­quire a for­mal de­gree to work with a beauty brand?

An­juli: “Yes, hav­ing a for­mal de­gree makes sense, even if it isn’t an MBA and is a cor­re­spon­dence course or a di­ploma pro­gramme. That said, it’s im­por­tant to have soft skills so you can pick up the aes­thet­ics and ex­pe­ri­en­tials of a brand.”

Ankita: “Yes, I have an MBA de­gree and didn’t have any prior ex­pe­ri­ence in beauty. But you can’t just be good with num­bers and clue­less about the world of beauty. You need to have a bal­ance of the right and left brain.”

Cosmo: What do you look for when hir­ing some­one?

Shweta: “I would look at how up­dated she is with the lat­est trends and her un­der­stand­ing of the mar­ket and in­dus­try.”

Laeti­tia: “Be­ing a lux­ury brand, we look for prior ex­pe­ri­ence with a sim­i­lar port­fo­lio. The per­son needs to un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence be­tween sell­ing a lux­ury brand and a mass brand—like, a mass brand’s strat­egy will be cen­tred around TVCs, while ours will be more ser­vice and ex­pe­ri­en­tial led.”

Nam­rata: “We ask can­di­dates ques­tions dur­ing in­ter­views to un­der­stand how they think. I usu­ally give them a spe­cific sce­nario—like, how would you in­crease foot­falls in a store?—to gauge in­ter­est and knowl­edge.”

Mamta: “Com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills are crit­i­cal. Since our role in­volves so much co­or­di­na­tion, I check how good the per­son is at re­la­tion­ship build­ing, ar­tic­u­la­tion, and sell­ing their ideas.”

Ankita: “I ask them about ba­sic mar­ket­ing prin­ci­ples and how they would po­si­tion my brand. If a can­di­date’s ba­sics are un­clear, then cre­ativ­ity won’t com­pen­sate.”

Savita: “I give them make-be­lieve sticky sit­u­a­tions to judge their people man­age­ment skills.”

Tashnu: “It might seem like a small thing, but you need to be very good at Pow­erpoint and Ex­cel, as these things come in very handy.”

Cosmo: What is the last prob­lem you faced at work?

Priyanka: “To en­sure that my brand is con­sid­ered cred­i­ble and au­then­tic. You have to con­vince people about your prod­uct, with­out be­ing pushy.”

Tashnu: “Driv­ing foot­falls! Then hold­ing on to cus­tomers and cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for their re-visit.”

Mamta: “My last prob­lem was to get my cre­ative agency to re­lease the TVC of my new launch for me to see it in time.”

An­juli: “Since Sephora has so many dif­fer­ent brands, I need to en­sure they’re do­ing equally well.”

Savita: “Time­lines. At any given point, there are yearly time­lines, quar­ter time­lines, shoots, launches, ed­i­to­rial tieups...they all come with strict dead­lines.”

Cosmo: How much money can one ex­pect to make in this biz?

Shweta: “A fresher can ex­pect to make about 25K per month. With five years of ex­pe­ri­ence, about 55K, and with 10 years ex­pe­ri­ence, any­thing be­tween 1-3 lakhs monthly.”

Cosmo: What are the perks of your job?

Tashnu: “We get a 20% dis­count on our prod­ucts. Plus, I get to travel for train­ing and mar­ket­ing con­fer­ences.”

Nam­rata: “You get to visit the stores in dif­fer­ent coun­tries and learn new sell­ing and mar­ket­ing skills.

Nidhi: “We have a brand store in­side our of­fice where we get all prod­ucts—across all brands—at great dis­counts.”

f g h i j

a b c d e

Priyanka spoke about the im­por­tance of con­vert­ing cus­tomers into brand ad­vo­cates

Nam­rata: “Re­cently, I faced prob­lems with pric­ing be­cause of the fre­quent dol­lar rate fluc­tu­a­tions.”

Laeti­tia spoke about cre­at­ing a bal­ance be­tween her In­ter­na­tional of­fice and the In­dian mar­ket

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