Rita Mangan Defines Her New Role at Shiseido
Rita Mangan was recently appointed as Senior Vice
President, Sales, Education and Retail Strategies at Shiseido Cosmetics America. Ms. Mangan reports directly to
Heidi Manheimer, CEO of Shiseido Cosmetics America.
Beauty Fashion sat down with Ms. Mangan to discuss her new role and how she will draw on her experiences both on the retail as well as the manufacturer side to help drive the company’s growth in the US market.
Beauty Fashion: In the new retail environment—fewer customers at point-of-sale and reduced number of stores—how should brands Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté position themselves in-store to create excitement at-counter while still maintaining their luxury status?
Rita Mangan: More than ever we are focused on the quality of service we offer the consumer, and this is really an area where Shiseido excels by providing the highest quality product, offering complimentary facial services and personalized consultations.
In fact, I believe that Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté Consultants are our most valuable asset. They work with their clients day in and day out to provide the best
product knowledge and service they can. To elevate that, we’ve also begun to create some in-store excitement for our customers, and we plan to continue to execute special in-store events such as Studio On Location and even some celebrity Makeup Artist appearances.
BF: Are you going to phase in any new training programs that might make use of technologies and social media not used before to stay connected with customers?
RM: One of the newest technologies we’ve introduced is Webinars, which we use to further educate our Beauty Consultants. What we like about them is they provide our Beauty Consultants a format to continually learn more about the brand, products and selling techniques. Webinars are useful because the Beauty Consultant can revisit them for further reference at their own convenience. However, our most important educational tool will still remain our one-on-one training seminars where we work with the Beauty Consultants.
BF: How will you strategize with the retailers to maintain and/or elevate Shiseido’s and Clé de Peau Beauté’s images in-store?
RM: Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté are extraordinary brands already! Both brands represent quality and service.
My goal will be to lead the execution of the brand strategies so that the consumer’s experience is a consistent one at every Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté counter throughout the U.S.
BF: Are you going to test any new ways to communicate the message of the brands?
We’ve recently developed a Facebook page for Shiseido as a method of communicating and publicizing our special in-store events and promotions.
BF: Are there any different retail doors you would consider appropriate for either Shiseido or Clé de Peau Beauté products?
RM: I believe the formula is right for now.
BF: Educating the sales associates is so important to the Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté brands. Are you planning to develop programs that will better educate the sales associates to tell the story and help the customers to understand the complex, high-performance products of Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté?
RM: One of our goals is to simplify the consultation process both in time and
messaging. We are focused on developing and providing resources, which will enable our Beauty Consultants to achieve this.
For example, the Shiseido Skincare Planner is one tool we use to work with the customer on an individual basis. The Skincare Planner outlines each of the skincare categories within the Shiseido brand, and it serves as a step-by-step guide in educating the customer about these products in a more simplified format. Through the consultation process, the Beauty Consultant will select the best products for the customer’s unique concerns. Once they determine together the proper regimen, the Beauty Consultant will highlight the appropriate items on the Skincare Planner sheet, explain product application to the client and provide the planner as a reference for proper usage of these items at home.
This Skincare Planner is like a recipe for good skincare. This has proven to be a very useful consultation tool for our Beauty Consultants, and our customers love it! In fact, some of our customers hold on to their planners and bring them back [to the counter]. Therefore, if the client does not want to purchase everything simultaneously, she can select one or two key products as an investment for now. Yet, she still has her guide to beautiful skin with additional product recommendations which often influences her to come back to the counter and purchase some of the other items at a later date.
BF: How do you feel your years spent on the retail side help you to understand what the Beauty Consultant experiences every day at the counter standing on their feet for hours?
RM: Both of my positions—the retail side and the vendor side— have given me a strong and total perspective of what this business is all about. Having been on the retail side, I know how hard a job it is to be in the store all day long, on the front line, representing whatever brand you are working for. It is the first and last impression for the consumer.
It is a hard job, and I respect our Beauty Consultants for the endless hours they are on their feet, stocking counters, working and selling.
Now, on the vendor side of the job, I have a realistic understanding of what I can expect from our Beauty Consultants, what we can ask of them and what they need to be successful. For example, when we talk about making some of the training tools more simplistic, it’s something the Beauty Consultants have indicated to us we needed to do in order to service our customers more efficiently.
I also believe in communication. I like to visit the stores. I get excited when I visit the counters and talk to our Beauty Consultants. That’s where we receive some of our most valuable information.
BF: As you begin your role at Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté, how would you define each brand? What do you feel are their special strengths and characteristics that single them out from the competition? How do you plan to capitalize on those points?
RM: In my opinion, the strength of the Shiseido portfolio is an unwavering commitment to quality products and service. Today’s consumer is looking for value and not just in price point. At Shiseido the value is in the consumer’s experience. This will be our strongest point of differentiation and our key to growing both our client base and
ultimately our business.
I would like to thank all of our Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté Beauty Consultants for helping us to communicate our brand message of quality and service through their consultations every day. BF