The NOW Gen

In this episode, we talk to Kevin Shapiro, Senior Marketing VP at Coty.

Guest

Kevin Shapiro

Transcript

Francisco Serrano (01:04):

Okay, so welcome to the now gen podcast. Today, we will talk about the importance of having a well planned marketing strategy for your brand and how it reassembles to the idea of driving a car. Yeah. it’s fun. So faster. Your seatbelts, this episode will be a blast. I have a very special guest today. Let’s welcome. Kevin Shapiro. He’s the senior vice president of US marketing consumer beauty at Coty. Kevin is a driver of change and his disruptive energetic brand management has been able to grow a lot of brands in most in most categories out there in the beauty, luxury and lifestyle. So I’m very happy to have you, Kevin. How are you or should I say, ¿cómo estás?

Kevin Shapiro (01:56):

Ando muy bien, gracias Francisco, thank you for having me, thank you for doing this.

Francisco Serrano (02:02):

Oh, thank you for taking your time to talk to us The NOW Gen.

Kevin Shapiro (02:09):

Of course, next time we meet let’s do it in Spanish.

Francisco Serrano (02:13):

Yes. Yeah. I mean, you’re kidding, but sometimes, you know, a lot of the audience ask me if we have some kind of a right now, we only have it in English. Right. But sometimes they ask us because of the company it’s influencing in, Latin America, they ask us to do it in Spanish. So, yeah, it’s not far that from here. And, and I know that you are fluently well spoken in Spanish, right?

Kevin Shapiro (02:39):

I am. I actually, I grew up in Mexico, so I have the fortune of, of having learned Spanish when I was very young. So si quieres la próxima vez lo grabamos en español para toda la gente que escucha el podcast de Latino América.

Francisco Serrano (02:56):

Perfecto, muchas gracias Kevin. Thank you so much for being here today, but we have a lot of talk about, I know in this, in this episode, but first I would like to you, if you can introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you, your quick bio and how did you, how did you hear about the this now Gen, and how it’s influencing your, your, your industry?

Kevin Shapiro (03:21):

Yeah, absolutely. And again, thank you for having me. I’ve been in the BD industry for, or gosh, Ooh, over 10 years now, which is, well, I mean, almost going on 15 years, so it feels like a long time. And I’ve been at, at a number of companies. I’ve started the, the, the foundation of my career in beauty at Procter and Gamble. And, and I’ve been at some of the, the smaller players and also some of the larger for players. And I’ve been now with Coty for three years. And so I’ve worked on different parts of the business as the company has grown and involved. I started originally with the, the hair color business, and now I lead our us marketing for our consumer beauty portfolio here in the US, which is mainly cosmetics and fragrances, but we also have some hair removal and self tanning business in there as well under Sally Hanson. And it’s exciting, you know someone asked me the other day, what would I be doing if I weren’t in beauty? And, and I told him that question was off limits because I can’t imagine. So I absolutely love beauty through and through, and, and I’ve had the, the, the challenge and the pleasure of working in, in pretty much every beauty category at this point in my career.

Francisco Serrano (04:36):

And it’s a, it’s a very difficult category, right. So, because it’s just such a, it’s a lot of it’s demanding industry, right?

Kevin Shapiro (04:45):

Well, it’s certainly fast paced. And, and I think that one thing I would say having worked in kind of all facets of beauty at this point, from everything from hair care to fragrances to cosmetics, is that within the category you have all of the categories that make up beauty overall have very different dynamics. You know, when you kind of break it down, you have different companies that tend to dominate different amounts and types of disruption by category. And it’s one where, where it is true that even in the industry, every time you turn around, there’s a new brand, right? There’s a new brand that’s coming up, that’s vying for the attention and the, and the dollars of consumers.

Francisco Serrano (05:26):

Oh, great. And, and I see that besides your time spending in developing all these big strategies on how to beat the market, you are also a fan of driving cars. Right. So can you tell us a little bit about your idea and your concept of managing brands and marketing and and racing cars please?

Kevin Shapiro (05:50):

Yeah, absolutely. So I am, I am a, a self confessed car guy. I did work at edmunds.com the car site before I worked in the beauty industry. So that was a chance to kind of live out another passion of mine. And I recently had the, the opportunity to spend a day at the track at skip barber while I was in Austin for south by Southwest. And as we were learning some of the basics I was thinking about them afterwards. And I really felt like there was a lot of parallels here to kind of driving a car, racing a car and, and really how, how things need to work in business. And we, we joke sometimes that we’re building the car as we drive it here at, at Codt, because it’s a dynamic industry, but I think in all seriousness I did actually jot down 10 things that I wanted to talk through that I think are, are critical for successful, successful racing and successful driving. And it’s very similar to, to things that I consider when we’re, when we’re running the business here.

Francisco Serrano (06:54):

Yes, please go ahead. Tell us a little bit about, I, I, I already seen some of the work you’ve done, but tell us, explain to us a little bit the structure of how you’re comparing it to.

Kevin Shapiro (07:05):

Yeah, I mean, first, you know, one of the first lessons they’ve taught us at, at skip barber is that you always need to look ahead and not just look ahead in front of you, but look ahead to the horizon. You know, when look out to the horizon, you automatically, you’re gonna see not just the horizon, but from the horizon all the way closer, naturally towards the vehicle or towards your current day. And so for us, for example, when, when, when the pandemic happened, we saw consumer habits starting to change. We pivoted very, very quickly in terms of becoming closer to where consumers were. And in that case, we saw a dramatic growth of 10 years penetration and e-commerce and decisions being made with their phone, right? So we are in mass beauty. Most decisions used to be made at shelf, maybe some research on their phone, and we had to really push further.

And so what we we did is for example, on Sally Hanson, which is our, our nail business, the number one nail color and nail care brand in the US, we actually launched a Tryon lens with Snapchat in partnership with a third party developer, so that consumers could try on all of our new shades from miracle gel. Obviously they weren’t leaving their home. This was really in the, kind of the, the early height of the pandemic. And what’s really exciting is we actually received an Effy award in commerce and shopper media innovation for that Tryon lens. So it was right built to where consumers already were at that point where they were, you know, making a decision. And then of course it had a click through to purchase through a number of our retail partners. So it was something that you know, we have had different elements of Tryon in the past, but it was something that we just saw as an immediate barrier that came as a result of the pandemic and something that we could sell for.

Francisco Serrano (08:56):

And, and what trying to agree sample to the strategy of, of driving a car. You look at the horizon and you see that the pandemic is there, that it’s not going anywhere, and that you need to drive growth against that challenge. And what you did is you, you went into, and you translated that into an opportunity.

Kevin Shapiro (09:17):

Absolutely. It’s, it’s looking further ahead and say that maybe, maybe, you know, there could be something, an obstacle let’s say on the course, but knowing where it’s on the horizon, knowing where you want to go helps you navigate maybe a slightly different course in order to still get there safely and get there in a way that you had maybe envision differently, but understanding the end goal, I’m getting there, maybe get a little bit different path.

Francisco Serrano (09:42):

Yeah. And, and I, I, I see now, so when, when I’ve never driven a, a sports car, like a big sports car, right. But oh, you have fast cars and, and then you get into the car and as you’re driving, you just get in the road and that’s it, you don’t, you don’t look at the horizon. So, and, and in marketing is the same thing. So, yeah. And after that, what do you do? So you’re in the car, you look at the horizon, then what do you do?

Kevin Shapiro (10:11):

Well, it’s, I mean, there’s a lot of things you can do again, I just kind of picked the 10 things that I think were most important and most impactful. I think about what I keep in mind. And the, the second one is you probably saw me. I just adjusted myself now, which is to sit correctly in the seat. So the, the business that you design or in the case of cars, the way the seat is designed is meant to protect you. You know, you have BOLs, you have built, we’ve built a business model that has kind of the, the, the main course that we intend to go, but also has safeguards whether it’s versus competitive pressure or other things to keep us on track, but it’s important to leverage them. So, you know, for us, it’s, you know, I think about this as mitigating risks.

So you’re always gonna have the potential for an unexpected maneuver, and it could be a lot of different things, but for us, you know, for example, on cover girl, one of the things that we always promise to our consumer is that we’re a brand that’s easy and breezy and beautiful. And so it means for us that we’re, we’re delivering a promise to consumer that is straight forward. And are we really making sure that we’re providing the reassurance to the consumer, that we’re not gonna deliver a complicated regimen or one that you have to spend like a 30 minute tutorial on YouTube to understand how to use our products, because then it wouldn’t be true to the brand. It would be not leveraging what we’re promising to the consumer. And it would, it wouldn’t be sort of sitting in a Covergirl seat if we were to be proposing products or regimens that were hard to understand that had vocabulary, that that would alienate our, our consumers, because that’s really what we uniquely bring to the market. You know, it’s very easy with a business that has over a thousand skews to become complicated. The difficult part is to say, how do we, how do we categorize? How do we provide education around those thousand skews that make sense and, and, and can still deliver being easy, breezy and beautiful for the consumer.

Francisco Serrano (12:15):

Yes. Every time I go into the so supermarket or convenience store I, I always go through every isle just to, to see what’s out there. And, and when I get to your category is just I mean, where do you start? There’s a lot of options. You need to really understand how to navigate that. So that promise, I mean, it has proven to work, right? I mean, can you explain a little bit to the audience what’s covergirl? What’s the, the brand importance in the market, as far as recognition, I heard that, that it has more recognition than even it’s at the top right there with Apple and McDonald’s right.

Kevin Shapiro (12:59):

Absolutely. obviously you have a global audience and, but Covergirls, primarily a us and Canada brand and in our market here in the US as an American brand, we very high brand awareness. We are very fortunate to have a brand that’s truly, you say, Covergirl to any American, and they, they know the brand, they have a certain idea of the brand and, and you’re right. It has a place with McDonald, with Coke, with other beautiful brands, with long histories in the market. And so we have a, you know, responsibility to deliver to consumers what they expect. And as I meant mentioned we are easy breezy, beautiful. That’s been the tagline for a long time in the brand. You know, and it’s something that we recently came back to because we realized there was, there was recognition, there was an iconic equity for that tagline that was meaningful to consumers.

And so it’s, it’s both a play in an honor, but also a responsibility to make sure that we are actually doing what we can to make shopping for makeup, easy, breezy, and beautiful again, because the category is complicated. There’s a lot of selecting and deselecting that happens in the isle, but we look at every detail, whether it’s the types of fixtures, graphics, wording, the balance between how, you know, our, our, how much wording we offer versus things that we could show via product or via model images. We look at that in individual pieces, we look at it together in terms of how it all comes together in the in-store environment.

Francisco Serrano (14:32):

Hmm. Great.

Kevin Shapiro (14:33):

And that really kind of gets me to what of, you know, one of the, the, the third pieces on, on that relates back to racing a car, which is that you need to position yourself for success. You know everyone, obviously there was a draw to decide how the starting positions are during a race, but at any point during a race, whether it’s it’s car racing or, or bike racing or any other kind of race is, it’s so important to make sure that any point you are thinking strategically about how you position ourselves. And so for us whether it’s the Covergirl business or anything else in the portfolio, we’re always looking at KPIs at given points in time that bringing them together will help us under are seeing, are we successful. So some, some of the ones that we look at as, as brands would in any category, our, our market share and household penetration, but it’s also balancing our internal KPIs, like top line revenue and operating income, and making sure that our KPIs are, are going across all of our stakeholders by those stakeholders are consumers and our retail partners, but also our investments sorry, our investors and shareholders because ultimately at the end of the day, we’re also delivering a number to the company on a quarterly basis, quarterly semi-annual and annual basis.

And so part of, kind of being positioned for success is always looking around and making sure we have our eyes on all those measures.

Francisco Serrano (16:00):

Yeah. I can imagine that. So when you’re driving a car, you see all the different KPIs. Now I’m gonna look at the, at the, at the, as a KPI, you need to follow that in order to keep up going the road. Right. So it makes, it makes a lot of sense because nowadays you need to measure what, what is success for each brand? It may be that you are the smallest brand in the portfolio of a consumer brand small company, or you can be like you the leader of a, of a well known top five brand in the industry. So yeah, it makes it, it makes a whole lot of sense. So then you were talking about the, the, the communication that you had with your audience. I wanted to, to ask this now generation, you know, the, the one that is constantly looking for instant gratification, and then next, next, next, next, next within one app, and then goes again to the, the other app. And then it just now consumers, we don’t get bored. We want to be entertained all the time. Right. So in, in a platform like TikTok, that is, you’re just like video, boom, oh, no, boom, oh, no, this is not interesting. How, how does that organic content work and how do you make it work for, for Covergirl?

Kevin Shapiro (17:33):

Yeah, that’s a great question. And, and that’s something where it’s always important to be aware of, of our brand strengths and, and ongoing opportunity areas. And so we have a multi-pronged strategy with TikTok, and I think one of the things that we’ve been very open to and TikTok has really opened our eyes to because of how much the algorithm favors creators and how much discoverability is really inherent to TikTok is that we’ve seen in particular Covergirl talked about in new ways that we had necessarily even imagine. So for example we have simply ageless, which is one of our core franchises on Covergirl. It’s our it’s in the category. It’s the number one anti-aging foundation. So very important role in the category, but traditionally you might think of an antiaging foundation is a brand that maybe you would start thinking about maybe in your mid thirties, maybe around that 40th birthday, but actually last year late last year we saw that a young influencer who was truly young, 19 years old actually a works as a beauty advisor discovered one of our products, our wrinkle defy foundation by simply just and she did a do comparing our $13 wrinkle defy foundation versus a $40 prestige foundation.

And she did kind of your, your very typical side by side comparison that you’re seeing on TikTok. And, and, and obviously it, you know, as I mentioned, as things happen with TikTok, the algorithm really picked it up because of how much consumers were engaging. And, you know, even though, yes, it’s just a quick swipe. If someone spends an extra three seconds on that swipe because the content is compelling and the content is engaging as it was when she first it you know, TikTok then really amplifies it across its platform. And, and, and we partnered with her to kind of continue to drive that message. But my point is that really it’s, you know, whether it’s thinking about kind of raising a car and understanding where you might have an additional opportunity that, that leverages the strength in our case, this is an amazing product.

It, it was actually developed from technology that originally came from Japanese beauty products that then came into Covergirl. And so we knew that it was always a great product and, and our core consumers known this for a long time, but to actually see someone who’s 19 that also appreciates these good for you, benefits hyaluronic asset, not to mention the, the performance benefits versus much more expensive product and kind of talking about it in her own way was something that delighted us. And we, we, we really ran with it because it showed us how a new consumer could, could leverage, strengthen our portfolio that, you know that we know is exciting and we knew is a great product, but allowed us to talk and kind of gave us permission to really talk to more younger consumers about a product that had been maybe originally conceived more for, for an aging or an anti-aging consumer.

Francisco Serrano (20:46):

Yeah. And now that you were talking about the TikTok option in the influencer the micro influencers and, and the impact that it’s having in the market, not only for small brands, but also big brands like you, I mean, the other day, I, I was talking to somebody in the you know beer industry and the craft beer has really hit the, the big guys. Is this something that, that has hit your industry? So, you know, the smaller, you know, regional craft D if you wanna call it cosmetic brands, has that been some kind of a hit to the brand? And, and how do you, you take a look at what others are doing and, and keeping at the top of the, of your game.

Kevin Shapiro (21:38):

Yeah, I, you know, I would say overall in, in cosmetics, in particular, but, but across beauty, innovation is super important for consumers and, and we see consumers gravitating towards innovation, wherever it comes from. And in our case for example, when we’ve launched clean, fresh foundation, a couple of years ago, we, we launched it obviously unbeknown us, right as the pandemic was hitting. It still ended up being one of the top launches in the beauty space in spring of 2020. It was a foundation that was very forgiving for for younger skin typically consumers who are younger, want something more sheer their foundation, almost like a, a BB or a CC cream. And it was a vegan product and had no TA and a lot of other things that consumers looked for that really propelled it to be one of the top launches.

And I think that for me, it’s not so much about, is there an indie brand per se, or is they’re something that consumers are looking for. And so they’re looking for inspiration and they’re looking for things that are relevant to them. And we’ve seen with, with our success on the clean, fresh lineup, which has continued to build out products since spring 2020 that were continuing most recently, we’ve launched lip balms under clean, fresh, which have already become a top 10 List in just a few months in the market. And so for me, it’s about really understanding what the consumer cares about in terms of product benefits, ingredients, or in some cases, lack of ingredients. Again, there’s some really you know, important, hot buttons that consumers look for in terms of, of things that are excluded in the formulas nowadays. And we’ve seen success even with consumers across age groups, but in particular with younger consumers when we’re really listening.

So for me, it’s less about any brands per se. I don’t know as much you know, I don’t work in the beverage industry. So I know less about what’s driving indie beer brands in makeup. And in beauty in general, it’s very much around benefit spaces and ingredients. And we see when we are delving into them, whether it’s with Covergirl clean, fresh, or lash blast clean, or Sally Hansen good kind of pure, which is a 16 free vegan nail Polish, we see success with consumers who are more ingredient and aware and more focused on these trends.

Francisco Serrano (24:12):

Yeah. And, and that, again is one of the 10 points of your marketing points that resonates with driving your car. Right? So listening to inputs of, of noises in the car, it’s, it’s looking what’s, what’s out there in the market and, and reacting to that, right?

Kevin Shapiro (24:32):

Absolutely. It’s, it’s part of, you know, one of the points that I had, which is also to practice and, and simulate before, it’s the real thing. So it’s doing the social listening, it’s doing the consumer research to understand where are the social conversations, where are the real conversations? I mean, it can be anywhere from things that are out there publicly. I mean, going into spending an hour, reading, reading the forums on Reddit is incredibly helpful as is the, the amount of custom research and things that we do to prepare for launches. So it’s understanding, you know, liken at race. What are the capabilities of your, of your vehicle? What are the, how does it respond in wet weather, dry weather, etc. And that’s how you really kind of future pre proof your brand and your reaction, or in your case, you know, or in my case, if you’re to driving the car, what, what it looks like, and that segment ahead.

And so that’s something that’s really important for us because when you’re practicing in simulate, it also leads me to kind of the next point, which is understanding how your tools work, right? So if you haven’t simulated, if you haven’t done the research to know what’s out there, and what are the potential opportunities where you can accelerate in a straightaway or somewhere that you may need to, to slow down and, and listen a bit more, because again, there could be a wet or a slick road ahead. That’s where it really all comes together. So for us, it’s, it’s making sure we understand how our tools work. You know, another thing that, that we, we had done when we saw all the transitions and consumer behavior during the pandemic is we really lean forward with fast delivery. And so you’ll see, for example, you can get our products, not just in traditional e-commerce, but also in platforms like goof that are delivering and less than half an hour across cities in the us, and really delivering that impulsivity that consumers had for beauty products.

So for us, it was understanding, okay, if consumers are physically in stores less, how do we still deliver on, wow, that’s such a cool nail color, or, wow, I wanna try that mascara. Now, the closest thing was really fast delivery. And so it’s really, like I said, kind of understanding where are the need gaps for the consumer? Where are her needs still not being met? And, and in, in, in this example, it’s not just about the product or about the messaging, but, but how do we get it right. I think the best, the best example from, from any, any product, any category is really Coke, right? They always say the product should always be at an arms length from every consumer. So, you know, that’s something that again, whether it’s simulating as, as you drive and understanding, how, how do you always have a maneuver up your sleeve that if something happens, you, you, you know how to react, you know, how to make it happen. For us, this was really about a distribution play where, where more and more consumers wanted something, even when it was kind of at the click of a finger that would come within 30 minutes.

Francisco Serrano (27:35):

Yeah. It’s impressive. How, how things can change right away when you’re driving a car and and also happens in the market. I mean, nobody knew we were gonna go into two year pandemic, right. Nobody knew that you were gonna double or triple down your investment in e-commerce, or you will be delivering cosmetics into the homes of everybody. So that’s, that’s pure reaction right there. So, yeah, it’s, it’s amazing. And and, and, and the toll is taking on the market right now, because what I see is that all these different generations, they’re, they’re confused of how we’re going to return to the new normal. What’s gonna be the new normal. Do you guys have like a, like like a plan or a sketch of how it’s going to be, are, are you doubling down on, on, on point of sale or are you gonna just keep the, the efforts of, of what you’re doing right now? What’s it like for your brands?

Kevin Shapiro (28:38):

Yeah, those are great questions. I mean, part of, for me, part of knowing our tools available and, and making sure that we’re tracking with consumer sentiment is the way that we maintain leadership and, and have even grown our market share as we’ve been kind of in the last six months, starting to ease up in some areas on the pandemic. It’s really, it’s a combination and factors of everything that drives the business. It kind of goes back to our KPIs earlier and really making sure that we have a broad view of what’s working. So for me, it’s not about necessarily abandoning an entire strategy that we had before, or, and totally immersing into a different strategy, but understanding again, what are the tools that we have available. And so it’s, you know, kind of goes back to a couple more of the racing principles that I had, which is one, is to, you know, listen to inputs from the car and the cars around you.

So you can always optimize your position. Right? So for us, it was looking at what, what are the KPIs that are changing as a result of the pen? What are the KPIs that, that don’t seem to be changing? Is it KPIs only around distribution or is it also around sentiment? And we saw there were, there were, there were changes in both and, and again, what, what within the realm of our control can we act on quickly to change without necessarily changing everything, which is kind of a ice flow into the, the, the eighth principle that I had, which is that extreme maneuvers can make it harder to get back in course. And, but, you know, back on course of the brand and, and, you know, one of the things, and, and I’ve been through quite a few major brand we saw in my career, or, or have come on to brands that have restage and, and a lot of brands change too many things during a restage.

I’ve seen the best brand restage really be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. You know, we saw in, in, prior to my time on the business in 2018, Covergirl changed a lot of its elements, including VI ID and, and, and, and packaging and things. And so with our current kind of refresh of Covergirl, which is really starting to come to life in store with this spring and earlier with our advertising, is that it’s a new VI ID, but at the same time, it’s actually a VI ID. That’s leveraging the things that worked from the brand before. So it’s bringing back outdoor semiotics to the brand. It’s bringing back sunlight, which really communicates that uplifting power of makeup. And that’s really what we bring to the category. We are the light in terms of, in some ways literal, but really also metaphorical. We are the light that we bring to the category for the consumer.

And so we’re, we’re bringing back these elements that were originally part of the Cogo DNA from the 1960s through the 1980s. And that’s where we’re really seeing a lot of success in, in the current brand positioning. So it, it might look very different compared to the 2018 re stage. But, but as we talked earlier, as you mentioned, the brand has a place in the mind of every American consumer and there’s associations with that, that were earned over decades. And, and so for us, the, the latest positioning and an expression of Covergirl is really paying ho to, to what brought us to where we were. And then, and, and we’ve seen, it’s continuing to accelerate our, our share and our result as a result of coming back to something that was really authentic and kind of getting out of those extreme maneuvers. It, it’s, it’s rare that a brand that has a decades of staying power truly has everything wrong with it.

Just the same way that when you’re in, in a race or you’re driving a vehicle at high speeds, it’s rare that everything is going wrong, but it’s making sure that if you, you hear something or you feel something Twitch, that it doesn’t become a reaction that leads tote your under here, which can make you spin out and kind of lose the business, you know, something that feels a little off if responded to calmly and, and kind of evaluated and focusing on what, where is it coming from still has to be done quickly is a much easier way to get back on the course.

Francisco Serrano (33:00):

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting, you know, when you piece everything together, I mean, we, unfortunately we don’t have the, the, the time to go step by step through all your 10 steps. Right. but we, we have touched if not all, most of them, right. And, and see how the brand can follow a marketing plan that can be mm. That can have a little bit more chances to be successful. Right. so if, if you would like to say, okay, let me give just a takeaway for everybody that is listening and that has listened to the podcast. What would that be Kevin?

Kevin Shapiro (33:43):

Yeah, I would say probably the last one we did hit eight out of the 10. So we’re gonna hit nine with my last one here. Yes. for me, it’s really about putting it all together because at the end of the day, whether it’s driving a car, whether it’s D dancing, whether it’s running a business at the end of the day, everything comes together in one continuous dance. And I think that the maybe for some, the challenge of either marketing or the challenge of, of driving the business is that you have to be comfortable knowing that there are some elements of the left brain that are in and immeasurable, but if you’ve done something enough and you understand the key drivers, you, you can sense if something is off, but at the same time, there are core measures, KPIs, there’s data that will tell you that something’s off.

The challenge is a lot of times when, by the time you have something showing up in a, it as a confirmed challenge in terms of KPIs it might be too late. So that’s where the balance between kind of having a feeling and having an intuition from knowing how the car runs, knowing how the business behaves will give you the leg op. So it’s really about kind of understanding everything together and having the confide to, to sense challenges, to sense changes ahead and, and to make pivots early before kind of, you know, waiting months, weeks until you have the, the, the, the confirmation that it’s happening sometimes by the time you have the confirmation that’s happening, the damage can be a lot bigger than if you are, are, are able to kind of participate holistically in the dance.

Francisco Serrano (35:23):

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it sounds like you need to as a brand manager or a brand responsible of a business, you need to really get everything together and, and just drive slowly but surely, and, and, and be confident of what you have. Right. So that is the importance of this 10 the one that we missed out is that dialing it in, right. Knowing when set it out the clutch, do you, do you wanna just give us that, that that last push so we can have it all in, in, in the podcast recorded?

Kevin Shapiro (35:59):

Sure. I would love to, I, for me, this is really coming back to, to TikTok and, and the phenomenon of how quickly things can come and go in TikTok. So I imagine that we’ve had some very early success with our new Covergirl, clean, fresh lip balms, which are beautiful, clean beauty, vegan formulas. So similar to who are simply ageless phenomenon. We, we had a specific view around what we were designing the lip bomb for, which is again, vegan cruelty free, like the rest of Covergirl, clean, clean beauty, but some influencers on TikTok realized that actually the performance, the results of our color payoff are very similar to a $20 prestige lip product. And so, again, with the duke strategy, you know, why spend 20, when you can get something for 6 99 at a store near you is something that we’ve leaned into, but with the, a way TikTok moves so quickly, it’s very similar to the clutch on a race car, which is much more unforgiving than a typical road vehicle.

There’s a very specific engagement point. It only engages with the gas unlike again, a road vehicle, you can engage the clutch on its own to get the car kind of slowly moving, but having confidence to also put the gas and go. So for us, that was about, you know, having always having our eye on TikTok, ready to let out the clutch. If we see something that is interesting, relevant, even if it’s not something that’s part of an activation plan, but dovetails consistently, or provides a new angle to something that we’re supporting and we success with. And so for me, that’s another one where again, it’s, it’s just always being ready to go because windows of opportunity now, more than ever open and close and in, it can be in a week’s time. So, you know, we don’t work in days. We, we work in hours when it comes to opportunities that we see on social. And so for me, this is very much similar to, to always being in tune with how the clutch works and knowing that exact second to let something rip.

Francisco Serrano (38:05):

Yeah. Great, great insight. And I, I wanted to ask Kevin, if it’s okay with you, because maybe some of the audience are like, you know, rewinding and playing and what is the one what’s first one second? Is it possible that we could get a version from one to 10 without all the confidential information for sure. And if somebody would lie, they can just email me and I can send them to them without any, any issues. Is that, would that be okay with you?

Kevin Shapiro (38:36):

Absolutely, absolutely.

Francisco Serrano (38:38):

Perfect. I will share with you to me, make sure that we’re clear to send it and yeah, because right now I’m telling you, this is pure gold. This is what the best of the best are using to keep the brands at the top of its game. So, yeah. Thank you for that. For, for that insight before leaving us I would like to, into the fun, final segment of the podcast and see what is the a great brand manager like you has as a top one brand in the breakfast category.

Kevin Shapiro (39:15):

Would be in the, which category?

Francisco Serrano (39:17):

The breakfast.

Kevin Shapiro (39:24):

Gosh, Cheerios. I can’t, I can’t even think of another brand.

Francisco Serrano (39:29):

Cheerios that would be your, your like, brand that you would have and, and, and enjoy. Do you consume the product or you just enjoy the whole brand approach?

Kevin Shapiro (39:43):

I consumed probably tons of Cheerios in my life. I’ve had to change my diet with age, so, okay. I, I so I do not currently consume Cheerios, but the, the, the brand is I trust the brand it’s healthy. There’s so many things that I remember about it, whether it’s the distinctive assets of the yellow box, the, the product itself, but also the health benefits. I remember that they had done heart disease..

Francisco Serrano (40:15):

The cholesterol, right? Yeah.

Kevin Shapiro (40:17):

Health study, exactly cholesterol. So for me, like, as a breakfast serum, when you think about starting your DF right. And healthy, and as you can probably tell are so much passion for brands that are easy breezy, like Covergirl to me, Cheerios makes breakfast easy breezy. I don’t have to think too much about nutrition or too much about anything artificial or not wanted. So for me, like the brand really hits the bullseye, what I would want to put into my body during breakfast, breakfast time.

Francisco Serrano (40:51):

Great. Great. Thank you for sharing that because I mean, typically this question, like off that you, and, and takes you into a different category as a consumer on the other side. Right. So it’s interesting how the the director of a brand now evaluates another brand in a different category. There’s non-competitive so thank you for that. Where can the audience reach you and, and learn more about you, Kevin?

Kevin Shapiro (41:20):

They’re always welcome to find me on LinkedIn. Send me a message. If they’re friends of yours, you have my email. You’re welcome to, to connect me with them. If it’s, if it’s anyone specific from your, your clients or your friends feel free.

Francisco Serrano (41:35):

Oh, excellent. Yeah, I will do that. Thank you so much, Kevin. Well we’ve been talking to Kevin Shapiro, senior vice president of US marketing of consumer beauty at Kati. Thank you, Kevin again for your time. And for the audience, do not forget to tune in the next episode of The Now Generation. Thank you very much.

Kevin Shapiro (42:01):

Thank You Francisco.