Urban Call Briefs: Leadership Profiles in Beauty

The beauty industry is undergoing seismic shifts in consumer behavior and demands, affecting every sector and market. What was once considered the norm is completely transforming. To address the critical challenges and opportunities the beauty industry faced, ECRM and the Global Beauty Alliance (GBA) collaborated at the Facts Matters: Multicultural Global Beauty Update in June to share their expertise with retailers, entrepreneurs, distributors, brand owners, media companies and consumers.


It was immediately determined that finding the right balance is the key to continuing efforts to improve the multicultural beauty category size of $7 billion and annual growth of 8 to 12 percent. A panel of experienced marketing research experts provided ready-to-use data about the latest multicultural beauty trends for skin, hair and body in a variety of essential topics, including:


  • The New General Market: The Minority is The Majority Global and Domestic Market Size and Geography
  • Dollar and Unit Volume by Segment
  • Shelf Space Management Retail Channel Preferences
  • Online Shopping
  • Demographics and Psychographics
  • Marketing and Consumer Mindset
  • Social and Traditional Media
  • Mobile Usage, Media Consumption
  • Retailing and Merchandising Opportunities
  • Shelf Space Management and Product Placement: Professional Salon Connections
  • Our Roots
  • Buying Power, High-End and Price-Conscious Shoppers, Shopping Influences
  • Product Choice, Brand Loyalty
  • Business Building Techniques – Free Product Sampling
  • Category Nomenclature: Styling Trends for Natural and Relaxed Hair
  • Multicultural Shelf Space History, Relevance and Importance


Cheryl Pearson-McNeil oversees the multicultural advertising strategy for Nielsen – the global company that measures what consumers watch and buy. She also works extensively with news media, elected officials and community and corporate leaders to expand the company’s philanthropic engagement and shed light on the significant purchasing power of multicultural consumers. She is a highly accomplished thought leader and the visionary behind Nielsen’s African-American Consumer Report. This award-winning report led to the company’s historic creation of Nielsen’s Diversity Insights Series. Each report focuses on the rapidly growing Hispanic, African American and Asian consumer base. Known for her engaging and refreshing perspective about why we buy what we buy, Pearson-McNeil is a much sought-after speaker. Learn more: Nielsen.com.

Presentation Description:
McNeil’s presentation was a briefing of Nielsen’s core measurement areas and how they reveal the true power and potential of multicultural consumers and the United States’ multicultural future. She also described how Nielsen’s insights influence how advertising dollars are spent and how those dollars may shift as the already formidable power of multicultural consumers continues to grow.

Deborah Johnson Hall has accumulated more than 35 years in consumer-centric research among diverse urban populations since her first market research position at the venerable Marsteller Advertising Agency in 1976. Her expertise includes primary qualitative and quantitative research for major U.S. companies and advertising agencies across a wide range of product and service categories, as well as major nonprofits in health, education, civic engagement and arts and culture, both locally and nationally. Her client/project experience includes impactful and actionable research for Alberto- Culver, American Express Financial Advisors, Art Institute of Chicago, Avlon Industries, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Department of Public Health, Coca- Cola, Cub Foods, Ford, General Mills, GMC, Helene Curtis, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson Products, Keystone Laboratories, Levi Strauss, Luster Products, McDonald’s, Motorola, Namaste Laboratories, Ortho-McNeil, Procter & Gamble, Reebok, Shorebank, SoftSheen Carson Product Company, Taco Bell, Walgreens and Wells Fargo. Hall is a frequent presenter and speaker for conferences, brainstorming sessions and other business development events. She also offers pro bono research services to new business startups, inventors and entrepreneurs in under-served communities. For more information: www.linkedin.com/in/deborah-a-johnson.

Presentation Description:
Hall conducted a wide range of studies across consumer product categories, with an initially inadvertent concentration in Black hair care. Whether it involved a new product concept for a diversified general market manufacturer like Procter & Gamble or a positioning study for a legacy brand like Luster Products, she’s collected data and heard women openly talk about their needs, desires, self-image, experiences, aspirations, concerns and even regrets when it comes to the products they use, the ways they shop, how they get and use information and how they’re marketed to.

Except for the hyper-vocal and super-engaged few, Hall doesn’t believe we’ve heard enough from the regular, everyday women. Her work is custom and proprietary, but she shared general, overarching insights that provided context into the general conversation on Black hair care.

Romina Brown is a graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She also earned an MBA in management science from the School of Business & Industry at Florida A&M University. With more than 20 years of sales, marketing, category management, general business management and international luxury good experience, she is a highly respected strategic consultant. Brown has served as a mid and senior level executive in marketing and sales for three well-known brands: Eastman Kodak Company, Sara Lee and L’Oreal USA. In 2004, she formed Strategic Solutions International, Inc. – a Chicago-based consultancy where she is supported by a diverse team of trained analytics, marketing and general management experts. Experienced in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments, Brown provides tremendous insight into the development and execution of strategies for all types and levels of business. Brown and her team have provided strategic consultation on many of the largest and fastest growing brands in their respective categories. She is a member of several charitable and professional associations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the National Black MBA Association. She serves on the board of directors for Temple Works Wellness Centers and the Young Executives Board at the Metropolitan Club. Romina is also on the advisory board of Guess Who Inc. Fluent in aspects of corporate, brand and product marketing, she is experienced in corporate/organizational development, brand position/strategy development, channels, special events, advertising, collateral, public and consultant relations and executive and internal communications. She has worked in a range of corporate environments, from startups to a six-division, $15 billion unit of a Fortune 100 company. She has managed shoestring budgets, as well as multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. She is experienced in new business and product launches, leading the introduction of more than 100 new products. She has extensive knowledge in a broad array of industry segments. Familiar with English, French and Spanish, she has delivered strategic direction based on seasoned unicultural insight. For more information.www.ssiconsults.com.

Presentation Description:
African American hair care is one of the fastest growing categories in beauty. The retail market is becoming more segmented based on the different hair characteristics and styling flexibility. With the growing embrace of the natural lifestyle and the blurring of boundaries, a new market of consumers is emerging. To better understand this industry shift, Brown presented a top line category overview for the multicultural hair care category at retail.

The overview included:
• Category Progression
• Key Growth Drivers
• Channel Summary
• Category Pricing
• Factors offsetting gains
• Segment Evolution Driven By Shifts in Product Usage
• Overview of Leading Brands


David Cooper is a seasoned executive with deep experience and expertise. He provides organizations with actionable solutions in strategy, marketing, analytics and planning. Cooper focuses on innovative thinking, using both traditional and unconventional models to be competitive in today’s tumultuous business environment. With a strong business acumen, he delivers holistic solutions which integrate disparate efforts toward the improved organizational efficiency and effectiveness needed to make the most of emerging business opportunities. He encourages leaders to build a dynamic business culture with evolving models, and he mentors youth by volunteering with organizations such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, Junior Achievement of Georgia and Year Up Atlanta. For more information: www.coopergroup.net.

Presentation Description:

The marketplace has never been more tumultuous. Consumer dynamics continue to disrupt previous norms, causing brands, buyers and retailers to re-think marketing and sales models.

The celebration of individualism and cultural co-existence continues to interrupt how we define haircare, obliterating historical category definitions, barriers and models. This phenomenon has permanently altered the competitive landscape. Contemporary strategies have truncated life cycles. Traditional approaches need lifelines. Cooper urged attendee to reevaluate their views on this movement.

For a copy of this presentation please contact LafayettegJones@gmail.com



Each month, Urban Call Briefs covers subjects that provide readers of OTC Beauty Magazine with information on multicultural consumers, Hispanics and African Americans, who are the fastest growing consumer segments in the U.S. The mission of this column is to build a bridge of communications and information between manufacturers and retailers and the ethnic consumers they wish to serve better. The column offers resources covering marketing, retail merchandising, consumer research, purchase behavior, fashion and beauty trends, industry events and people, trade association news, new product launches and a potpourri of information designed to help the readers make intelligent decisions about the customers they serve. Urban Call is a registered trademark of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc. (SMSi). For more information, call 336-759-7477 or visit www.segmentedmarketing.com.

The preceding article is the property of SMSi – Urban Call Marketing, Inc. and may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.

OTC Beauty Magazine offers useful business tips and effective selling tools to boost revenue and customer traffic for OTC retailers. The magazine also provides invaluable product knowledge, industry news and insights for retail store owners, manufacturers, distributors and professionals in the barber and beauty supply industry. Contact us: editor@otcbeautymagazine.com

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OTC Beauty Magazine

April 2024


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