Strategic Innovation

Apr 22, 2008 | Contact Author | By: Katie Schaefer
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Title: Strategic Innovation
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In the tight niche of cosmetics and personal care R&D, competition is heated. Demand from regulators, consumers, marketing and more push innovations and innovators above and beyond expectation to give consumers the biggest bang for their buck. In this dynamic setting, companies need a secret weapon to come out on top—whether it’s a supplier armed with an extraordinary ingredient; a new strategy borrowed from sister industries; even new means of deployment to deliver “the goods” more effectively.

Forming alliances can build on the strengths of both parties involved, a fact that the industry already is aware of and that Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine has reported on, ranging anywhere from various mergers and agreements, to licensing deals. In recognition of the success of a “combined strengths” approach, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine has itself formed an alliance with a new partner to bring the cosmetics R&D industry a new secret weapon for success: the CosmeticsXchange (CTX).

CosmeticsXchange
This exclusive event is unlike anything the personal care industry has yet experienced. In a nutshell, it is a series of private and confidential meetings that Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine, together with partner Vertical Xchange, arranges to match a specified profile or “need” expressed by a manufacturer to appropriate and creative solutions. These solutions are based on months of research conducted across various industries.

“CTX is not aimed at selling ingredients and technologies to manufacturers,” Nancy Allured, director of new business for Allured Publishing Corp., explained. “It’s about strategizing.”

The concept behind the CTX is to assist manufacturers in something that many of them are already doing: sourcing ideas and forming relationships to give them that edge in the marketplace. However, a key highlight for manufacturers that participate in the exchange is that the legwork has been completed by the CTX staff for them—under confidentiality and the manufacturer’s direction—so that they can spend highly focused time with the solution providers of their choice to strategize the next big move on the market. Manufacturers approve all private meetings with companies for the solutions of their choice and maintain control over their own agendas.

Aligning Shared Interests
According to Vertical Xchange, while manufacturers acknowledge they could hold these types of meetings on their own, the idea of accomplishing months of work during three days is quite appealing. “These meetings offer the unusual benefit of advance preparation on both sides—no cold calls or ad-hoc discussions,” explained Jill Norton, CTX director, in an editorial commentary.

“The core concept is simple: align motivated buyers and sellers with shared areas of interest,” said Norton. She added that research has shown that travel to trade shows in recent years has drastically decreased and one factor for this reduction is that loud and busy trade show floors are not conducive to meaningful discussions for product development and strategizing.

Several manufacturers have expressed interest in CTX and will serve as a founding board to guide the future of this exchange as it develops. So far, the response has been encouraging.

The industry continues to search for new opportunities to collaborate. Thus, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine, together with Vertical Xchange, has developed CTX as an innovative tool to help companies discover new ideas and strategize concepts from the development phase to launch on the market. It also will give smaller and less mainstream companies with brilliant, turn-key ideas a chance for some face-time with industry giants.

For more information on CTX, visit: www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/events/17743804.html.