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Albéa Creative Marketing Team

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Joint interview with Cathy Nicolay and Marie Bièque

Cathy Nicolay and Marie Bièque, Creative Marketing Managers at Albéa, talk about the importance of supporting brands before launching new products in order to anticipate new consumer expectations. 


What is your career history with Albéa?
Marie Bièque: I joined the Promotional Items Department in 2015 as a designer, and I have been part of the new Creative Marketing Department for the past 18 months. My expertise is somewhere between design and the technical aspects of product packaging.


Cathy Nicolay: I have been part of the Albéa group since 2012, first as a Project Manager and then as a Marketing Product Manager within Beauty Solutions. I then joined Make-up Marketing before taking part in the adventure of Creative Marketing.


What are the objectives of the Creative Marketing Department? What is its added value for Albéa and its clients?
Cathy Nicolay: We started from an observation: the beauty market is saturated by information. For brands, it is more and more difficult to differentiate themselves, especially since consumers, who are very connected and solicited, are also less receptive. The creative marketing entity was created to bring meaning and storytelling to our packaging, in line with market trends, to tell the story of Albéa's expertise in a more impactful way, especially during meetings between customers and our sales representatives. We also work with the group's marketing department before launching new products, as well as directly with the brands during innovation workshops or consultations on a specific theme. 


Marie Bièque: This work represents a strong competitive asset for Albéa, which is at the leading edge of beauty and packaging trends. We position ourselves as a partner of our customers by offering innovative packaging concepts adapted to today's market and tomorrow's trends. This expertise is often non-existent within small and medium-sized brands. We are currently working on post-Covid trends, the main lines of which are already shared with our clients.


What is the process for defining new trends? What is the time horizon you are working on? 
Marie Bièque: We carry out a global analysis of the sociological context for each major region of the world in order to cross-check consumer insights. On average, we work on a two-year horizon, which corresponds to most project launch.


Cathy Nicolay: This process also relies on trend books from external firms as well as feedback from brands, collected via the sales team or workshops with clients. The objective is to be both reactive and proactive!


How do you think Covid-19 has shaken up the beauty market? Has the crisis led to the emergence of new beauty trends?
Marie Bièque: A lot has changed in a short time. Lipstick will no longer necessarily be the “must have” as it was before, whereas eyes beauty will take precedence because of the mask. New beauty rituals based on hygiene are emerging to bring comfort and sensoriality to daily gestures, such as washing hands for example. Applicators will be redesigned. Multifunctional products combining care and beauty will become essential.


Cathy Nicolay: The in-store consumer experience must also be redesigned in the light of health measures. For the moment, frget about make-up that you can test freely on your skin! But above all and today more than ever, consumers need to be reassured, to trust their daily beauty and personal care products. The first brands to take the floor to decipher formulas or bring new uses will rise as winners in the coming months and years.