In Conversation with Natalia Ferrara, guest presenter QVC & IMF 2020 speaker
Valerie Kaminov, founder of ILBC and director of the International Manufacturers & Distributors Forum (IMF) : ‘In Conversation’ with Natalia Ferrara, Guest Presenter QVC
You are one of the most successful Guest Host Presenters at QVC with sales of over 50 million internationally, how did you come to be on our screens?
I grew up watching beauty experts like Alison Young on QVC and I aspired to work with her. It wasn’t until I was 30 that I took the plunge and auditioned to be on the show. The time felt right as I had spent many years of working and gathering experience in the beauty industry, I loved the idea of sharing my tips and tricks on an international platform. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to live my passion.
At the IMF you will be speaking about brands diversifying their channels, how important is it for businesses today to expand their strategy and do all channels work for all brands?
In my experience of working for brands both in the retail sector and on TV Shopping I have learnt that diversifying sets your brand up for success because you reach a wider audience. You can educate the consumer effectively, boost traffic to your websites and social media platforms which in turn acts as free PR. However, this strategy may not work for all brands as it is important to avoid cannibalising either channel by not balancing promotional materials, prices, volumes and/or offering exclusives to either channel.
Championing niche beauty brands is your specialty, why is this?
My success and passion lies in brand building. Taking one or two targeted bestselling products to give them a strong voice and find the platform for them to thrive on, is what I really enjoy doing.
What trends should we be looking for in 2020? Do you think we will see a big influence either from a region like K Beauty, a specific ingredient or product type?
2020 is an interesting year as we are seeing how trends and beauty buzz words are relevant for all the market territories. For example, brands focused on “Ageless Beauty” and “Conscious Beauty”; are successfully speaking to the neglected 45-year old woman (Gen X) all around the world.
Today’s savvy consumer is much more attracted to the skin minimalist approach to make-up and skincare; there is a strong preference for sustainable, clean, vegan and CBD products as well as conscious packaging.
Other notable influences are microbiome technology promoting skin bacterial homeostasis is also popular, i.e. we are taking care of our gut health and understand how it correlates directly to skin health; devices that can swab the DNA of your skin and hair to tell you how and if your skin regimen is performing or not, and what minerals you are lacking is also on the rise. We are still experiencing the boom in men’s grooming, which is expected to reach $166 billion by 2022.
In what way do you think the new generations of beauty consumer are shaping the future of the industry?
The millennials are actually changing the face of the beauty industry, they are not the latest trend but are focused on individuality. Gone are the days when they would look to a magazine to see who’s trendy, beautiful and cool, they look to real people, real bloggers and influencers and form their own opinion of beauty. Mental health and self-care known as “holistic beauty” is taking precedence over physical beauty and the quest for perfection.
Do you have some top tips you can share for a brand to being successful on a TV Shopping Channel?
Research your competition, understand your USP’s and ensure your brand story and passion as well as the ‘wow’ factor features and benefits are communicated naturally and demoed effortlessly. The best person to do this is either the founder or a brand ambassador of your choosing. It is very important to establish a strong relationship with your buyer and communicate regularly about the best proposed TV show airing times/slots/days and product sku(s) that will be suitable for your brand. Finally ensure your brand visual assets, before and afters are strong.
Each year we see more success for women as entrepreneurs and in business, is this growth influencing the QVC environment?
Yes, very much so. Alyson Hogg (Vita Liberata), Mally Roncal (Mally Beauty), Laura Geller (Laura Geller Beauty), Michelle Mone (Diamonique jewellery), Liz Earle, and L(a)b sisters/founders Lauren and Charlotte are just a few examples that have catapulted to success from the QVC platform. Their passion to educate and share their inspirational brand stories, company ethos influences audiences from all age demographics.
Who or what inspires you?
A strong woman who can build her own world personally and professionally, face her fears independently and who isn’t afraid to speak her own truth. A woman who is graceful, vulnerable and shows kindness and empathy towards others. Some examples would be Mel Robbins, Amal Clooney, Audrey Hepburn, Queen Rania of Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, The Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Letizia of Spain.
Book your delegate pass and listen to Natalia speak at IMF, which is taking place at Professional Beauty London at ExCel London on October 11–12.