Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Brains Behind the Beauty

This is a great interview with QVC cosmetics buyer, Michele Tacconelli. If you love all things beauty and makeup, it's definitely worth going to the Sparkle and Gloss blog for a read. Michele is sort of the "woman behind the curtain" of QVC beauty brands.

Here's a little snippet ...

Michele Tacconelli, buyer of color cosmetics for QVC in the U.S., has been with the network 10 years and is credited with discovering and/or nurturing some of its biggest successes – Bare Escentuals, philosophy, Laura Geller and one of her more recent finds – 100% Pure that she expects will become a “huge” success due to its use of natural ingredients. It is currently the only brand in the world using fruit tints for color, claimed its creator in a broadcast in early October.

Why do you think women are willing to buy beauty products without seeing them or touching them?
At QVC we have the top expert on the brand, whether it is the president or a makeup artist, to really explain the product. You can’t get that kind of expertise and passion at traditional retail. That is an unmatched experience that QVC offers and that is the biggest difference between us and traditional beauty retail. It is about the story and the passion. There is a personal connection with the consumer that is really important. Plus the show is live and that develops a trust factor. You have to keep it believable.

Who is the QVC shopper? Do you have a target market?
Our customer is a shopper of the world and very sophisticated. They read the beauty magazines and they know this category well. They want you to excite them. So the brand and the products have to have unique qualities. Our customer loves to shop in store, on the Internet or anywhere. We do not see her as a target age group. She is someone who is looking for something new and different.

Do you have exclusives on brands? What do you look for in the brands you bring on?
We have a lot of brands that are also in traditional retail. But we have some brand and product exclusives as well, and that helps drive our business. [For instance, QVC has the exclusive on the 100% Pure cosmetics products until January.] We really look to build long term relationships with our brands. One of our strengths is in brand-building. For instance, we introduced Mally Beauty, the cosmetics collection by makeup artist Mally Roncal. I had seen a lot of celebrity makeup lines, but she had a unique point of view. Mally took the techniques she used on her clients and created products that made it easy to duplicate the looks at home. Her brand launched on QVC on March 5, 2005, and the one-hour show ended 22 minutes early because all the items had sold out.

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