Alberto Noè, country manager for Shiseido Group Italy, opens up on how he means to tackle new market challenges, such as developing the Dolce&Gabbana brand acquired in October 2016, at a point in time he calls “historic” for the group.
This year Noè has an ambitious goal: increasing revenue by 20%, after the 16% rise in 2016, which closed with a turnover in excess of €100 million.
“The year 2017 has begun on a major new note in Shiseido’s Italian organization: the former divisions, Shiseido Cosmetics Italy and Beauté Prestige International, merged to form Shiseido Group Italy, with the aim of becoming stronger and more effective in reaching consumers and meeting their needs. A transformation that initiated a number of very important milestones concerning a few of our brands. In 2016, for the first time, Shiseido ranked first in value in the selective skincare market, according to NPD data; with the For Her Narciso Rodriguez line, it has become market leader not only in the perfume segment, but the beauty one as well.”
GERVASIO: Over and above the individual brand results, 2016 closed well for the whole group. Will you replicate the performance this year?
NOÈ: We achieved a turnover in excess of €100 million in Italy, showing 16% growth – versus a +0.7% increase recorded by the selective market in general. Besides Shiseido and Narciso Rodriguez, moreover, we had a major launch with Zadig & Voltaire, which allowed us to reach the millennials. We’ve also been developing the Dolce & Gabbana brand with the new Christmas ad campaign for Light Blue, the perfume.
GERVASIO: How will getting Dolce&Gabbana into your portfolio impact your business?
NOÈ: At the moment, €57.5 million out of the €100 million turnover comes from the Prestige division, which includes the skincare, makeup and perfume brand Shiseido Ginza Tokyo and the Parisian maison of artistic perfumery Serge Lutens; the rest is generated by the Fragrance division, comprising Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez, Elie Saab, Azzedine Alaïa and Zadig & Voltaire.
With the arrival of the new brand in the Fragrance unit, the two divisions will come to be equivalent. This year, we expect a major 20% upswing in our revenue thanks to Dolce&Gabbana, the new acquisitions and the other brands in our portfolio. Shiseido, for instance, is expected to increase turnover by 6%.
GERVASIO: What will you be focusing on to boost brands and increase market share?
NOÈ: On communication and R&D. On a global level, we have created a number of centers of excellence for the development of the various product segments: New York for makeup, Tokyo for skincare and Paris for perfumes.
As for advertising, each brand will be given an ad-hoc launch for its specific target. In the case of Zadig & Voltaire, for instance, we shall continue to target the new generation with musical events, like last year’s sponsorship of X-Factor; in the case of Narciso Rodriguez, we’ll be focusing on the premium bracket, while Shiseido will work on developing a line aimed at young people, which we shall launch in the second half of this year – besides, of course, continuing innovation in the premium segment.
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