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Companies & industry An interview with Stéphanie du Chaxel, deputy marketing director, Sothys Paris

Sothys: eco-responsible luxury and marketing reactivity in 2009 An interview with Stéphanie du Chaxel, deputy marketing director, Sothys Paris

Stépanie du Chaxel, deputy marketing director for Sothy Paris, tells Premium Beauty News how the company that claims to be “the signature of excellence in professional skin care” intends to combine luxury and corporate responsibility in an uncertain economy in 2009. Parisian by soul but with deep roots in central provincial France, Sothys aims at reinforcing its positioning as a different luxury brand. The company is eager to protect its core-values despite changing trends and fluctuations of the economy.

Stéphanie du Chaxel, deputy marketing director, Sothys Paris

Stéphanie du Chaxel, deputy marketing director, Sothys Paris

Premium Beauty News - What have been the highlights of 2008 in terms of new launches and innovations for Sothys?

Stéphanie du Chaxel - As far as Sothys is concerned, the outcome of 2008 is very positive. We have been exploring new areas with many innovations in the fields of cosmetic science, and communication, and also in packaging, including heavy research investments in eco-design for our new eco-friendly and organic line: Beauty Garden® by Sothys.

It was a challenge for our marketing team to combine our image of elegance and originality, with the organic option of the line, and the company’s eco-responsibility. Primary packaging are made of recyclable materials. Beyond that first step we also worked extensively on the design of secondary packaging, using a lightened cardboard that is sourced from sustainably managed forests, vegetable inks for the printing, and designing the box so as we can mark instructions of use on its reverse side… As a result, we have achieved full consistency between the packaging, the brand’s aesthetical values and the environmental expectations of consumers.

Premium Beauty News - Forecasts for the year 2009 are not very optimistic. Within such a context, what is your message to the supply side?

Stéphanie du Chaxel - In such a particular economical environment, sales forecasts become a key component of the management of projects. We therefore expect high levels of responsiveness from our suppliers, so as they can adjust to necessary corrections.

Reactive and reliable suppliers, being able to propose a real partnership during these harsh times while addressing tomorrow’s key issues, will stand out from the mass.

Premium Beauty News - The volatility of raw materials prices does not simplify your daily business.

Stéphanie du Chaxel - That’s true, in particular because our retail price policy cannot change at the same pace as the prices of raw materials. The only advantage of this situation is that marketing and development teams, now have strong incentives to analyse and optimize value and costs, in cooperation with our Department of internal method and our suppliers.

Sothys, C Renewal System

Sothys, C Renewal System

Premium Beauty News - Will environmental concerns survive difficult economic times?

Stéphanie du Chaxel - As far as Sothys is concerned, sustainable development is not superficial window-dressing but a deeply rooted commitment. Mr Bernard Mas, Sothys’ chairman founder, explains recently explained for our company sustainable development is “the conceptualisation of values that we already put into practice in 1970, when we make the bet to develop worldwide a family-owned company based in provincial France”. [1]

Our commitment goes far beyond the creation of a botanic garden [Jardins Sothys, editor’s note] and our daily efforts to preserve the environment through our manufacturing practices that comply with ISO9001, OHSAS and GMP standards. Indeed, eco-design is at the very heart of our marketing strategy. The latest illustration is the creation of the C Renewal System TM line. For this high technology and high-end line with elegant graphic specifications, we also worked extensively to lighten cardboards’ weight.

Premium Beauty News - Owners of luxury brands are apparently modifying their supply policy with regard to “full service”. What about Sothys?

Stéphanie du Chaxel - Full-service is something we scarcely use. There are two main reasons for that. The first one is that we focus on the control of our supply sources, with strengthened quality controls, as per the company’s stringent specifications. The second is that, in compliance with the sustainable development principles, we think it is important to rely on our own local staff than making the choice of external suppliers in France or abroad.

Interview by Jean-Yves Bourgeois

Footnotes

[1] Speech by Mr. Bernard Mas, on the opening of a conference about sustainable development, following the publication of Sauver demain, a book written by Jacques-Olivier Gratiot, L’Oreal’s former Product creation director, Robert Salmon, L’Oreal’s former vice-president, and Toni Casalonga, plastic artist (published by Arnaud Franel, Paris, October 2008).

© 2009 - Premium Beauty News - www.premiumbeautynews.com
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