Harlan Kirschner – Global Beauty Distribution

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Harlan Kirschner – Global Beauty Distribution

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pretty is pretty important in all things
in beauty welcome to radio a and B
designed for those who want to live a
long and vibrant life I’m patty smoker a
licensed cosmetologist who’s been in the
beauty industry for over 40 years
Radio AM B which stands for
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at american-made Beauty comm you know in
every industry there’s a few people that
each day show up over a career with
clear intentions focus on a greater
purpose my guest today is a man that has
not only become one of the most revered
professionals in the beauty space but
through his lifetime of commitment to
collaboration service beyond self and
long-term thinking he has become an
inspiration to many and has changed the
way people think about and come in
contact with beauty Harlan Kirchner is
the CEO and owner of the kirshner group
a worldwide sales and merchandising
organization that has been representing
manufacturers in the professional hair
skin and nail industry for over 35 years
the courser group is the largest and
only global professional sales company
in the salon industry
Harlen has been an active supporter of
the industry dedicating his time and
energy to many industry organization he
serves as a board member of the
professional Beauty Association chairman
of the professional Beauty Association
manufacturer leadership counselor
treasurer of the Western buyer
conference committee 2014 City of Hope
beauty industry honoree chairman of the
2015 City of Hope beauty industry
campaign and member of the eastern
buying conference committee
welcome Harlan I am just delighted to
have you with us today well thank you
Patty and it’s a pleasure to be here
with you so for our audience of which we
have a very large group of consumers
that show up help our audiences
understand what exactly is a
manufacturer buying group what is or
what is the kirshner group in the
marketplace today sure I’ll be happy to
do that in virtually every industry you
have manufacturers reps and there is an
organization it’s called mana which is
national manufacturers and agents and
every industry throughout the throughout
the United States they have meetings
occasionally on a quarterly basis and of
kind of shared best practices but
manufacturers reps are on in almost
every industry and most manufacturers
who aren’t publicly traded large
companies can’t afford to have their own
sales staff so in our particular case we
have 57 sales people who live throughout
the United States and Europe Asia Middle
East and Latin America so when a company
starts a brand or somebody who’s an
entrepreneur starts a company they’ll
generally reach out to the manufacturing
rep sector and that gives them instant
access to customers to a sales force to
marketing opportunities and so
manufacturers reps are in virtually
every industry throughout the United
States and service customers so we are
the actual sales force for the
manufacturers that we represent and it
did is was it how did you get into it
when you first started in the industry
was it through sales or through the
beauty industry so I started in the
beauty industry in 1979
and got started our company the Kirchner
group in 1984 and the reason I got into
the beauty industry I had originally
when I was growing up as a kid as many
of us you know mom says well what do you
want to be you want to become a doctor
or a lawyer and so he’s one of them
sounded particularly interesting to me
but I did get into working my way to try
to become a doctor and taking pre-med
classes and um became a respiratory
therapist and got into respiratory
therapy sales and that led me into doing
sales for a steel company back in like
1978 and the economy was really bad and
I looked and I thought well what
industry might be recession proof or
recession resistant and I looked at the
beauty industry and thought well that
might be an industry I want to look into
and started with the manufacturing
company and then 1984 started our sales
organization Wow and so as you began to
starting the sales organization what
does that mean as before you were you
yourself out selling and then and then
sort of grew your group
yeah and for those who are out there who
are entrepreneurial you know there there
is encouragement that you know you start
at the bottom and you work your way up
and and you learn the business and so I
started by working for a manufacturing
company and there was a sales
organization that this manufacturing
company used the the gentleman who was
the owner of it called the Bill powers
and was called the powers group arm was
getting older and was looking to retire
and so I took a job working with him for
a year covering five states and and
working for him and then eventually what
I did is I we acquired his business I
had a partner at the time who was a
partner for about three years we
acquired his business and for about a
decade
I covered Arizona and Nevada Utah on New
Mexico Paso Texas California and so on
visiting those customers and learning
the business from the ground up and as
as you went along
can you tell us about some of the key
things that happen during your career
that really propelled the company
forward yeah well the first thing is I
started to really enjoy the business and
enjoy the people that are in the
business the beauty industry has isn’t
it is a fun and changing environment
constantly there’s new products on the
horizon always you’re dealing with a lot
of entrepreneurial companies that are
looking to be creative and think
differently so first of all when I got
started in the industry I found it very
very enjoyable and fun and like the
people that you know we were doing
business with um and as you know being a
licensed professional that you know hair
stylist manicurist aestheticians tend to
be fairly creative folks right artistic
and you know look at you know be seeing
new things started you know visiting a
lot of customers and developing
relationships and mess time went on we
were able to draw some better lines as
we drew better lines we started to
attract a better sales force and and
it’s a building process I you know I’ve
been doing this 37 years and you know
every year you you build a little bit
more you you get a little stronger you
add more people onto your your staff and
you know you build infrastructure
organization so it is a process and you
know for entrepreneurs who are starting
out and you know it is a little
frustrating of course in the beginning
um but you just have to stay with it you
have to be consistent and you really do
have to learn the business and when you
talk about learning the business I mean
what are the what are the aspects that
as a sales rep other than knowing the
actual physical product that you’re
representing where else do you add value
in learning the business well starting
at the top you know you need to learn
the different classes of Trade and in
our world we have distributors we have
redistributes we have chain salons we
have independent salons we have arm the
large companies like the beauty systems
groups and the salon Centrex and the
you’ve got all time so foreign so you’ve
got all these different classes of trade
you’ve got barber distributors you’ve
got schools
you’ve got nail distributors you’ve got
Vietnamese Vietnamese nail distributors
you have Korean distributors and so you
have many many many classes of trade and
what works in the Vietnamese nail
business might not work so well in the
Caucasian part of the business and
vice-versa
so you really have to learn each aspect
of the business and what appeals to that
clientele and that salon professional
and programs that you know working here
don’t always work in nails think the
working nails don’t always work in skin
so um there is some overlap of programs
but you do need to learn the business
the different classes of trade you know
what they’re um what they do how they
work and and they’re all different right
right and so as you sounds like there
were a variety of different types of
lines that that were better lines that
you got and as a result of that you
mentioned that you’ve began being able
to attract better salespeople what were
some of the early lines that you got
there was sort of real game changers
yeah it’s so interesting because you
know many of those brands that we had in
the early days and I oxen wouldn’t you
know comes to mind arm that we started
not with Nioxin when it was a tiny
company and um did not have bene
distribution at the time and built it up
into eighty million dollar business and
then it was sold off to Proctor and
Gamble mm-hmm and that’s what happens in
our industry quite often is that you you
have these lines pure ology would be
another good example that we had from
the day it started we grew that up to
almost 100 million dollar business and
lore’l boy right so it’s the kind of the
you know what goes on in not only in our
business but in many businesses is the
big publicly traded companies they don’t
really develop anything they buy
companies they they don’t build them and
so when a company gets to that seventy
five two hundred million dollar point
they become very attractive for publicly
traded companies and you know usually
get acquired right and so as you have a
that seems like this hot it’s hard you
know that you are going to build it up
and then it’s going to be acquired and
then your services are no longer needed
how do you how do you plan your business
for that you know it’s so amazing
because if you know that that question
would have been different ten or fifteen
or twenty years ago right so what you do
is you know win a Nioxin you build it
you and then it gets acquired then a
pure ology comes along and ecology gets
acquired and so what happens is is it
yeah you know you do generally represent
these brands for most of the brand’s we
represent today we’ve represented for
twenty five or thirty years so there are
those occasional ones that you know are
lightning in a bottle and they grow
tremendously fast and they wound up
getting sold off but quiet large nine
hundred ten companies that we represent
we’ve represented for decades and we’ll
probably continue to represent for
decades right so you’ve got this core of
manufacturers who you do represent or
you’re loyal to and they’re loyal to you
and occasionally you get a very very hot
nail category product or hair skin care
product that goes like lightning and you
you don’t really plan on losing them but
you know something else comes along to
replace that as time goes on and the
same thing happens with the distributors
distributors build lines sometimes they
lose them and miraculously enough
something will come along to replace it
right right so as you reflect back on
all of these years because as I said at
the beginning of the show you you know
you’ve had a career every day showing up
and and being very purposeful about what
you’ve done what are some of the
important lessons in leadership you’ve
learned along this journey yeah that’s
what that’s a wonderful question there
are the thing that that I think helps
propel not only myself but all of our
salespeople is the relationship with the
customers on building trust building a
relationship that you they you know
you’re consistent when you say you’re
going to do something you do it your
follow up has to be great and so I think
it was earning the respect and the trust
of the distributors out there is is
primary because people buy from who they
like
and if they like you and they have a
choice of buying from you or somebody
else they like you more they’re going to
throw the business your way so you’d
also have to be on you know
communicative with the manufacturers and
and with your customers because you’re
the intermediary you’re the one who has
to go out there and really represent the
manufacturer but also represent the
customer at the same time and you’ve got
to be communicative between the two
parties and always really look for
common ground because the best deal is
where everybody makes money and you know
the distributors tend to always feel
like they’re getting taken advantage of
by the manufacturers and manufacturers
always feel like the distributors are
never appreciative and so you have this
you know Jing and yang that continues to
always go on it’s human nature and
you’ve got to assure the distributor
that the manufacturer is do giving them
the best pricing best promotions most
amount of support and education you know
and then you kind of go to the
manufacturers and constantly push them
to excel more and to you know step up
their games and increase their
educational spans or their
infrastructure or whatever it needs to
they need to do to be competitive right
and you’ve got a fairly significant
staff at this point you mentioned almost
70 people that’s part of your team what
there are specific things that you’ve
stayed true to with regards to
attracting and motivating and keeping
your team while moving in the same
direction you bet I am very very proud
of the fact that the majority of our
sales team the average tenure of our
sales team is about 17 years 18 years
you know which means that you know many
of them have been with us 25 years or
more and it brings down your curve when
you hire you stand and hire new people
but the average you know sales rep
Lynnae join our sales team they do not
leave theirs
this is kind of where the top of the
food chain in the beauty industry and
they for the most part they get to work
from home which is a huge benefit we
have sales reps who live in every in all
the major cities throughout the world so
they work from home they have home
offices they do get to be a little bit
independent they make their own
schedules and you know we really don’t
micromanage the
so you have to have people who are
self-starters who are motivated who are
highly organized um so you know
otherwise they don’t succeed and you
know through our history as we did many
acquisitions and the way we got to be
the size we are is that back in the it
would have been 1997 we were doing
acquisitions we start a first
acquisition in the beginning of 90 and
then 97 we had another major acquisition
and throughout the 2000s we were able to
generally bolster our staff but we
covered the entire United States and
then we sort of do spanned
internationally and and being successful
is really finding all the right players
to be in the right territories um I’ve
got a philosophy that best rep wins so
you’ve got to find the best rep in every
territory if you’re going to hopefully
win in every territory and you know
we’ve been able to do that throughout
Europe and Asia and Latin America and
the Middle East is find eight players
four to join our team who generally know
their territories have relationships
with the customers and are able to build
the brands we represent and when you
when you you sort of defined a little
bit what an a player is you know
self-starter they’ve got good
relationships you know they’re able to
organize themselves any other
characteristics that when you meet
someone you go that’s an a player yeah
you know generally you know you look at
their background um and most of the
people that have the work for us have
worked for bigger companies and it’s
always so interesting when they come
from a much larger company like
generally a publicly traded company in
L’Oreal a Unilever
a la Estee Lauder um they come to a
company like ours and they’re very very
appreciative because they’ve lived in in
a environment that was demanding and
ungrateful and then they come into an
environment where they feel part of a
team they feel like their input is
welcomed and they actually feel like
they’re making a difference and they
know it’s long-term and the one that
they were the more money they make
because they’re on Commission’s so it
benefits them to plan and
organize and strategize and more you
know they sell the more money they make
and the more money they make the happier
they are so it’s um being a manufacturer
sales rep is really a wonderful career
and I think that you know most of our
staff would tell you that um they’re
thrilled with what they do they love the
company they love the culture um and we
have a you know I look at the cultures
being a very important aspect is you
want people to feel like they’re making
a difference you and then their input is
welcomed and we do conference calls
every other Wednesday we do lots of
meetings and and we welcome their input
and you know you’ve got all these people
that are very talented a players you
want to hear what’s going on in the
front lines and you want to have them
you know give them a seat at the table
in decision-making processes yeah and I
think that’s interesting that you
mentioned as far as culture and it was
one of my questions for you because
being a virtual company because really
you’ve got people that are all over the
world the connectivity and giving people
a sense they are belonging it sounds
like that’s a very big focus are there
specific tools that you’re using and
finding helpful in creating that virtual
culture yeah if it’s an evolution um and
when you’re into when you’re inventing
culture mom but I think that you have as
a leader you have to set that culture by
and set an example you know by being
respectful on by making sure that if
you’re asked something you get the
information to them and you really do
have to set an example I learned um
Sally Beauty company was started by a
gentleman named Mike Renzulli many many
years ago and um he we were at a an
event and there was an auction it was a
American Beauty Association of gala and
I they had an auction and in this
auction they auctioned off an hour
consultation with Mike Renzulli and this
was when Sally was oh probably about 400
stores um but anyway I bid on this and I
had lunch with mister and you know he he
told me some very valuable things but
monkey-see monkey-do you have to set an
example you can’t ask other people to do
things that you’re not willing to do
yourself so he’s all he was always the
first one
the conventions and the last one to
leave the first one in meetings the last
one to leave
and so I’ve modelled that I’ve always
tried to be the first one in the office
and last one to leave and first one on
show floors and and set an example that
they could follow that’s true absolutely
you are always there all right well
we’re going to take a break and when we
come back we’ll talk a little bit about
what’s happening in the industry today
and key trends that are shaping the
future of beauty and wellness so stay
with us we’ll be right back
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life dotnet welcome back you’re
listening to radio a and beyond healthy
life net I’m patty smoker your host and
I have the distinct pleasure of speaking
with the CEO of the kirshner girl group
mr. Harlan Kirchner when we talked a
little bit about how the kirshner group
came to be tell us what’s happening
today in the in the industry and how
that’s that’s affecting your business
sure I love to and we I just came from
week ago an executive conference we had
in Scottsdale and it was many of the top
executives in the beauty industry and we
had a number of guest speakers and um
one of the guest speakers had talked
about change and the evolution of the
industry and what’s going on and and one
of the breakouts I was talking to a
couple of the senior managers in our
industry about you know what they’re
seeing and you know we we believe that
we’re seeing more change in the last
five years than in the last twenty five
years and the comment was made I think
was appropriate that you know if you’re
afraid or you don’t like the last five
years you’re gonna really hate the next
five I love that that’s right that’s
right and so you know I welcome change I
look at the industry changes they’re
challenging they’re different we have to
adapt a lot of it is technological today
but it’s exciting and I’ll give you a
real good example of that is that social
media that exists today you know we have
social media that is exist today that
never existed in in the history of sales
meaning that there’s influencers that
have ten or twelve or fourteen or
fifteen million followers where you can
reach these followers that are very
interested in beauty and unlike
traditional advertising where
historically we put ads in magazines or
newspapers or you know whatever the case
may be you put an ad in
newspaper let’s say the Los Angeles
Times for something like Sporting Goods
well you know you may may be sent to ten
million people only you know X amount
you know a few hundred thousand are
interested in Sporting Goods beauty
products in today’s world these
influencers the people that follow them
they’re following them because they’re
interested you’ve got a captive audience
of folks who are following these
influencers because they want to and
they when they see something with these
influencers recommend they’re more
motivated than historically ever to go
ahead and try that product so that’s an
opportunity and so many of the the
industry management you know managers
look at that as a challenge and I look
at it as well we have an opportunity to
reach millions of people at one time
that we’ve never had before
so I embrace this whole era of social
media it’s a little challenging for for
some of us and you know but but it’s you
know one of those things that if you
don’t get involved in it the world is
going to pass you by because it’s just
not going away right right and and so
the access to the consumer through
social media has become more direct I
hadn’t really thought you know you
really said that succinctly in that the
whole idea that a social-media
influencer has attracted a particular
audience that is not only interested in
them but what they’re talking about and
oftentimes they’re very focused about
what they’re talking about right if
they’re talking about beauty that’s
really mostly what they’re talking about
yeah and and it’s interesting that when
you go on let’s say Instagram these days
Instagram is is developing algorithms
that only allow messaging to go out to
the people who are interested because
you know we’re in an era where
everything is being refined on social
media so even though you may have a
following of a million people if you’re
talking about something that’s
irrelevant to 200,000 of them they may
not get that Instagram and so they’re
trying to is this the social media
companies you know Instagram and Twitter
and Facebook and all the social media
platforms they’re evolving and they’re
trying to make their companies
more acceptable to the consumer because
whether the consumers want to get junk
you know I look at my junk mail on my
email and it just keeps multiplying and
I’m trying to figure a way to get less
not more junk right you know the the
social media companies are finding ways
to filter the messaging going out to
that consumer so consumers are really
getting just what they want and not
getting overwhelmed with junk right that
that’s going to continue and as we’ve
talked about in the in the in the real
world one man’s junk is the other man’s
pleasure so you know that’s certainly
happens within within the virtual world
as you look at the way that you’re that
you’re shaping your business though how
is how is that changing that
relationship with the manufacturer rap
the brand how’s social media then
impacting all that so I think that I
need to get a bigger picture and you
know if you look at that the biggest
threat to most of the customers that we
have throughout the country the biggest
threat they have is Amazon mm-hmm and
that’s in all industries not just beauty
and so Amazon is a huge threat and if
you talk to upper management at Sephora
or ultra or BSG or salon centric or you
know many of the bigger companies or
their chains
um they tell you that Amazon’s which
keeps them awake at night and so you
know but what it’s doing is its forcing
and will just use you know let’s say
opens the floor for this conversation
it’s forcing them to increase the store
experience to be a much better
experience you know they know that the
only way they can beat Amazon is when a
customer comes into that store and they
have a wonderful experience they’re
going to want to buy right we buy from
who we like hmm so one of the things
that the kirshner group has done and
we’ve done this for about 1213 years we
started this program we have a store
support program where we have 57
licensed professionals who visit stores
like oppa like Sephora and educate the
store personnel on the features and
benefits of the products that we
represent so I’ll just pick a blow dryer
for example somebody comes into an ultra
store they want to buy a blow dryer
and they go they want to know the
difference between an AC and a DC motor
well if that store personnel can answer
their questions effectively and answer
their questions in regards to wattage
and waved and motors and all that most
likely that person’s going to buy right
right and um that is something that is
really a distinctive to the kirshner
group in that you’ve really put a decade
into really figuring out what works and
what doesn’t in regards to that store
activity absolutely and um it takes time
to develop all programs educational
programs really take time because you
know it’s it’s a moving target and you
know education people get bored of
Education really easy I mean I remember
when I was in school I spent a lot of
time looking out the window yes no
school is boring
yeah education isn’t you know so we’ve
learned how to make it exciting make it
fun make it interactive on with our
store support personnel we script them
so the messaging that is out there to
the customer is uniform the the same
message in California would be as in
Connecticut so if a customer goes into
an ultra store or Sephora store and in
Connecticut or California hopefully
they’re going to hear exactly the same
thing right right and that makes sense
to be able to you with the sales people
and then now a support a store support
system now you’re really being able to
hone that brands message and have
consistency and it sounds like that
really helps to create a lot of
continuity for the consumer it does it
doesn’t it’s a game changer because you
know you’ll buy the brand that the store
people is educated in and if they know
nothing about another brand then you’re
going to believe that
well that brand must not be so good or
they would know about Ryan ISM is
incredibly more important today than it
ever has been absolutely all right well
we’re going to take another break and
when we come back we’ll talk a little
bit more about some of these trends that
are changing and some of the things that
the kirshner group is doing to prepare
for the future so stay with us we will
be right back
[Music]
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created right here in the US of A
imagine everything you need from the
best hair skin and nail products to
makeup and even the tools because it’s
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your way healthy life net hey thanks for
staying with us this is patty Schmucker
here at Radio AM B and I’m just having a
delightful time here with the CEO of the
kirshner group mr. Harlan Kirchner so
Harlan let’s talk about trends I mean we
talking about the the way that you the
term Kershner group is changing that
environment in a retail store by
creating more engagement with the
consumer what are some of the trends
that you’re really seeing that’s shaping
how consumers are getting beauty and
wellness yeah one of the things that’s
been a interesting phenomenon in the
last couple years that is changing our
industry um when JCPenney put Sephora
stores inside the JC Penney’s JC Penney
was as we all know you know was having
challenges and if you followed their
stock they were not doing so well um
since they put the Sephora stores inside
their stores it’s brought in a customer
that they normally would not have gotten
and so that could that Sephora store
inside of the JC Penney is bringing in a
shopper who comes in may buy their
cosmetics or or fragrance or whatever
they buy in Sephora and then on the way
out they buy oh I need some towels I
need pillows I need a jacket or whatever
the case may be
so that’s been noted by other companies
and so we’ve had over the last year and
a half or two companies like Kohl’s
Anthropologie Urban Outfitters all of
the drugstores the Walgreens the CVS
Rite Aid
the target they’re all looking to
increase their beauty sections and one
of the things they realize is when you
have a beauty section that’s a
successful beauty section people come in
more often new people you need a
lipstick you need cosmetics you may only
buy towels or blankets or pillows once
every year or two years or three years
but for your beauty products you need
those all the time and so the beauty
segment for most of drug and mass and
prestige retail is become very
attractive and I see I think you’re
going to see that that trend continue
and get more competitive with more and
more beauty sets throughout all of drug
mass and prestige and that’s interesting
because you’re right I mean the whole
idea about personal care is that it is a
consumable that you’re constantly
needing to refill so your frequency of
purchasing that makes a lot of a lot of
sense are you seeing new categories are
you seeing things change with regards to
trends yeah there’s some categories of
you know if you go category by category
the nail category must be been very flat
for the last couple years we had the
gels and um those that kind of gave the
category of boost um but it’s been
pretty flat I’m hoping that we see some
innovation in the category but we
haven’t really seen much you know late
there are like mood polishes that have
come out so those types of things give
it a boost for a little bit but then
eventually you know they run their
course and people move on to the next
thing the the character category is
interesting because hair color has
really ignited the beauty industry and
has really been a driver for salons ah
the the fashion colors the vivid bright
colors on which we thought were going to
be somewhat trendy have become more
mainstream mhm
and so we see that as a category that is
continuing to grow and that is inspiring
other brands too or other companies to
have brands that take care of that type
of a hair color right well if you put in
these vibrant colors you want a shampoo
that’s going to be beneficial to
maintaining that color that you just
paid 100
two dollars have put in right right
absolutely and are you seeing sort of a
um we we talked about beauty and then we
also talked about wellness is that those
have traditionally been to sort of
separate industries are you seeing them
come come together more oh absolutely
hmm the trends in beauty right now is
natural and organic um those are big
buzz words people want to know
especially the Millennials are looking
for the more natural organic green
sustainable type of products on
packaging has become more critical
because there’s so many choices and I
think that the fragrance category kind
of set an example like if you go and
look at fragrances the bottles are
magnificent hmm and and beauty and both
you know liquid goods and cosmetics is
following that trend packaging is being
upgraded it’s more attractive um you
know so I think that that that trend
will continue and I I believe that
you’re going to see you know the
Naturals the natural products as a
long-term sustainable growth era for all
of the companies out there everybody’s
looking into that right right so when
you we talked we talked a little bit
earlier about things the courser group
is doing to prepare for the future and
we connected we talked about this the
the stores support being able to engage
the consumer more and the impact of
social media I have you I know that this
year you did something really
interesting called the american
influence or awards will you tell us a
bit about that I would love to house up
to um we did the American influence
rewards they and it you can watch it
it’s on YouTube um and it’s under
American influence rewards on on YouTube
and what we did is we put this event
together to recognize those influencers
who are really making a difference and
there were that I think we had a hundred
and thirty-five um
names that were the ones who are game
changers in our industry and we had a
hundred and thirteen of those
tend to the event Wow so we had
virtually every big-name influencer at
the event and it’s so amazing because
you know they all some of these these
influencers I mean they’re making money
like you wouldn’t believe we’re talking
millions of dollars in influencing on
and it’s the big companies like the
Estee Lauder’s know L’Oreal the max and
and these companies that are employing
these people to influence and get out
there their new products because really
today when you are a big company and you
have a new product you know advertising
and magazines is not going to help you
um
there’s there’s really no other better
way to get your messaging out there than
to use the influence for community and
with the this being the very first year
that you’ve done it what were there some
things that were sort of aha for you in
doing the program and sort of setting
you up for future programs yeah we’re
going to obviously continue this was the
first one we did it’s the first one in
the industry and the influencers
themselves absolutely loved it are they
they loved the recognition and part of
it is is to legitimize their what they
do as an actual profession because right
now influencers are kind of looked at it
not as a profession but the whole goal
of the American influence for
Association which is who put on the
American influence or award is to have
an association that these folks belong
to where we can enlist a code of ethics
we can have guidelines for you know
proper influencing you know and a lot of
it to be honest is telling the truth you
know we want to encourage the
influencers that we want them to tell
the truth we want consumers to be well
informed but but we want them to have
you know facts rather than fallacies and
so many of these influencers love the
idea you know because they want to have
illegitimate business they want to make
sure that this this model is sustainable
and that they can continue to do this
for you know years to come right right
and I didn’t realize I didn’t realize
that a part of the influencer Awards was
also an association that’s beginning to
lay down these guidelines that’s really
exciting
you bet and and it will be it’ll make
for the industry to be long-term
sustainable and and it will allow one of
the things that happens in that whole
world is the micro influencers try to
you know destroy the macro influencers
because they want to get recognition and
it is a bit of a wild wild west so we’re
trying to lay out guidelines that bring
some understanding and cooperation and
elevate what influencers do rather than
them tearing each other down yeah I love
that you’re trying to tame wild west of
social media alright well we’re going to
take our last break and when we come
back we’ll talk a little bit more
specifically to the industry and about
what brands need to be doing different
to survive in this wild wild west stay
with us
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[Music]
hi there it’s Patti Schmucker again and
we are wrapping up our last segment for
today that’s just been a great show um
here at healthy life net a radio a and B
and we’ve had the CEO of the kirshner
group the largest manufacturer rep group
I in the professional beauty industry
with us Harlan Kershner Harlan um as we
wrap up the show tonight today tell us a
little bit about where what you are
what’s key things for brands to know in
this market because it’s such a
different market than it’s ever been
today what are some of the insights you
feel are necessary to be successful
absolutely and um when I visit the large
retailers these days um especially if
it’s a new brand they’re not so much
concerned with what’s in the bottle but
what is your social media in your
digital campaign what is your education
your store support campaign you know and
where’s your advertising and so they’re
not so much looking at the products
today as what you’re going to do to
drive those products off their shelf and
so the things are important to retailers
today are you know how are you going to
drive people into my stores are you
going to tag me in your social media
you’re going to tag me in your
advertising you know As Seen available
at the store that store so they’re
looking for new users and they’re
looking for how are you going to drive
people into my store and they’re looking
for how are you going to get those
people to make the decision to buy
because remember many of them feel like
their competition today is Amazon and
you know Amazon people go on it’s
convenient it’s one click boom you order
they want to make sure that when people
come in to their stores that there’s a
process for getting them to be able to
buy and so that’s part of the strategies
that you now do when you sit with
retailers as you develop you know what
is that consumer when they walk in that
front door what are they thinking and
how do you convince them to walk out
with a purchase and how do you look for
ways to increase those purchases you
know for example if you bought destroy a
blow dryer this hairbrush goes well with
it if you bought this nail polish
well this hair accessory goes well with
it so you’re trying to cross-promote and
it’s a different world out there it’s a
much more aggressive competitive
environment but for those who are
creative and those who are four we’re
thinking it’s an environment that you
can play and win right and and when you
say you can play and win I mean is it
playing win by being smart you have to
have a ton of money what’s that that
recipe in this difficult time yeah I
would say it this is an era where you
know money always helps but smartest is
better and I say that because you know
when you have money you can buy
advertising you can buy influencers you
can buy stores new shelving you can buy
collateral materials but it’s better to
be smart and I look at a lot of
independent companies in our industry
today that have done a phenomenal job of
doing smart advertising smart marketing
on smart packaging and and so they’re
eating some of the bigger companies
because yeah they’re smarter and I think
the other part is think they can be
quick to react figure companies to get
something done takes a while more
companies that can react within you know
days or weeks seem to be winning right
right and so what would you say to
retailers as far as some of the things
that you think are critical for them to
be considering as we’re trying to
attract more consumers well I think that
most of the retailers are looking to
broaden what their selection is on when
people only have a selection of one or
two in a category they’re likely to you
know make the decision to walk away the
other thing that happens is you can have
too much selection and since we’re not
in the electronics business I can use a
great example but I was in Fry’s
Electronics a week ago and it’s there’s
so much there that it gets to be
overwhelming I wanted to have like a
case for my from my phone and my gosh
you know like aisles and aisles and
aisles it was too I couldn’t make a
decision there were too many choices
right right there is that fine
in between not enough choices and too
many choices and I think for retailers
who I get a chance to speak with it’s
having the right choice and you know
manufacturers may not always you know
like this but it’s an 80/20 80 percent
of the sales come from 20% of the
products so the retailer’s of today who
are smart they’re getting that 80% of
the business from those 20% they look at
those hero products from each
manufacturer and they’re stocking their
shelves with that and you know I see
that in our industry those smart
retailers are really igniting and doing
well and are you seeing any on the
horizon are there changes that you see
happening with regards to the retail
environment we talked earlier about the
kirshner group having a very intelligent
store support program that can help some
of those retailers are there other
things that you see in the future
happening to help create a better
environment for consumers in a retail
environment I do
I am trends and all the data that I get
talk about how the big boxes are
starting to week and we can and people
are more interested in small box where
they can get in and out quickly and
effectively
so if you need one item to walk through
a Walmart store you know may take you
forever and in the long checkout so
you’ll see according to most of the data
that I see more smaller specialty stores
and specialty Beauty I think will be you
know will start to grow um and again
when people walk into that especially
beauty retailer then you have all the
things they need and you can educate
them on what’s best for their skin or
their hair or their nails or answer
their questions they will wind up having
a more captive audience and so you know
some of the statistics you read Amazon
right now is about 8% of the total
Beauty business are you know going
towards you know higher numbers but even
if it gets to 20 or 25 percent that
means 75% is going to be retail
environments right so the better that
they can be and educating and making it
a comfortable
and welcoming environment to shop in the
more successful will be but that’s a
good point that even if you said 8%
Amazon is is basically producing 80% of
the purchases that are being made in
Beauty is happening in Amazon even if
they get to 20% the reality is 80% is
happening somewhere else and in one of
the areas that you know being a licensed
cosmetologist one of the areas where
we’ve seen shrinking has been in the
professional beauty salon spa what would
you say to them in terms of some of the
key things they need to do to recapture
some of their ground and to end to be
effective at retailing and as you said
in the beginning I’m a board member for
the professional Beauty Association I’m
treasurer and I’ve been on the board for
many many many years and I take
responsibility for our industry and our
association that shame on us that we
haven’t done a better job of educating
those stylists to retail mom you know
and part of it is shame on the the
schools because the schools have not
done a very good job of teaching them
you know and they tend to be stylist and
fan salon professionals tend to be very
artistic but they don’t tend to be very
good salespeople but they could be if
taught because what other industry is
there on planet earth where you walk in
and you tell us stylists all the things
they’re going on in your life that
stylists puts their hands on you and
shampoos you and you know it’s a very
intimate industry that we’re in that is
unlike virtually anything else that to
our advantage by
selling products when you’ve got
somebody in the chair who is a captive
audience so part of it is the industry
we need to better educate stylists on
how to sell the schools need programs to
do that and at some point in time
hopefully a number of the manufacturers
you know will step up take that
responsibility and move forward right
all right well that’s sort of at the end
of our show it’s some New Year’s Day I
hope this show has been an inspiration
for you as we part today Harlan are
there any things that any words that
you’d like to share for people starting
their brand
new 2018 yeah I would just like to
encourage any folks who are listening
today that there’s lots of opportunities
in the beauty business and we welcome
innovation and new ideas and new
concepts so if you’re out there and
you’re working on things continue to do
it stay with it and there’s great
opportunities for you ahead if you are
consistent and you move forward so thank
you Patti for the time today it’s been a
pleasure getting a chance to speak with
you and appreciate the opportunity well
thank you Harlan and thank you for all
of the amazing work that you have done
and will continue to be doing in the
industry that does it for us today and
we’re going to take a little break next
week we’ll have one of our favorite
shows from last year David Wagner the
original day maker will be rebroadcast
in his show so stay with us for next
week and we’ll be back then in just two
weeks so thanks for taking the time to
listen to radio a and B where we think
pretty is pretty important in all things
in beauty
[Applause]
[Music]
[Applause]
[Music]
for all your live or pre-recorded
webcasting needs come to earth channel
comm hit your web-based message out to a
select group or the whole world it’s
easy a pioneer in webcasting earth
channel comm provides the best products
and services to big corporations and
government users and now this same
technology is available to you they have
the best earth cast encoders servers and
products to meet your technical needs
but wait don’t want to mess the
technical stress no problem they’ll do
it for you earth channel comm is your
answer you can use webcasting for lots
of things like advertising marketing
customer support training and don’t
forget web radio and TV
in fact you’re listening to a live earth
cast right now so come to earth channel
comm actualize your audio or video
webcasting needs today you can’t beat
the friendly service or the price call
earth channel comm at one eight hundred
eight four nine eight nine seven eight
that’s one 884 915
making it easy for you to find what
makes your beauty shine we have
essentially everything you need and
american-made beauty calm celebrates
brands that were created right here in
the US of A imagine everything you need
from the best hair skin and nail
products to makeup and even the tools
because it’s all about pretty in
american-made beauty calm we also think
you’re pretty important so visit
american-made beauty calm browse by
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