Premium Beauty News - You have been assuming control of Cosmogen for a few months now. What are your main strategic objectives?
Renaud van den Berg - We mainly aim to keep developing what Cosmogen has become over the past few years, that is, a company that is rather focused on the development of innovative products, in particular of applicators, rather than on pure trading. We also intend to become a true partner for brands, with a real expertise in consultancy when it comes to choosing the applicator-container couple. Today, our activity of pure trading does not represent more than 30 % of our turnover. Everything else comes from specific developments, from our registered and patented designs or from existing patent licences.
Premium Beauty News - There is obviously an ever-growing variety of applicators on the market, and much innovation in this field.
Renaud van den Berg - This is a basic trend. Cosmetic formulations are both increasingly more varied and fragile. They require new application systems as well as more protective applicators that can also improve the efficacy of the formula.
This results in a growing need for advice. As formulas are getting more complex, and the market more segmented and naturally innovative, application has become a trade in its own right and a key element to the success of a cosmetic product, whether it is to protect the formula, facilitate the application, make consumers’ movements evolve, or produce a mechanic action on the skin. Cosmogen is now a recognized expert on this market, and our customers, among whom there are the world’s leading groups, do listen to us when we offer them real innovations.
Premium Beauty News - Do you intend to develop a production activity? This is what some of your competitors have decided to do.
Renaud van den Berg - We do not have authority to invest in production. However, we do have our own moulds and specifications for a large part of our patents. Therefore we are reinforcing our control on production, and strengthening our relations with our industrial partners. This strategy also allows us to benefit from the required technologies, where they are, according to the changing demands of our customers.
Premium Beauty News - Cosmogen owns trade offices in Europe, the United States and Brazil. What are your ambitions on an international scale?
Renaud van den Berg - Cosmogen benefits from a substantial export growth. In 2013, our turnover increased twofold in Brazil, and now represents about 15 % of our sales. Our international sales team includes two people in the United States, one for the East Coast, the other for the West Coast, and one person in Brazil. We manage our European sales from France. All this is supervised by Mylène Meunier, who is now responsible for our global sales.
Purely Chinese brands are developing rapidly, and some of them will become leading international groups. I am convinced a commercial presence in Asia is essential; we’ll be ready by the end of the year.