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21 Oct

P&G Beauty’s Alex Keith Talks Corporate Purpose – WWD

P&G Beauty’s Alex Keith Talks Corporate Purpose – WWD

A through-line of Alex Keith’s 34-year profession with P&G Beauty is the corporate’s involvement with Look Good Feel Higher.

“For so long as I can remember, Look Good Feel Higher has been an element of this industry,” said Keith, who’s now the chief executive officer of the division and was presented with the 2023 Corporate Champion Award on the BeautyCares DreamBall last week. “I joined P&G in 1989, one 12 months after Google was founded.”

“The efforts Look Good Feel Higher have undertaken across these 30-plus years have made an actual difference in how they’ve supported literally hundreds of thousands of individuals facing cancer,” she continued. “Thirty years ago, P&G Beauty support helped fund Look Good Feel Higher’s first website. Truthfully, after I began at P&G, I didn’t even have my very own desktop computer.”

P&G hasn’t just given money and products. Amongst its many contributions, P&G employees have also volunteered to operate the initiative’s 1-800 call centers and train volunteers on tips on how to give personal consultations to patients in this system.

“I remember attending a Look Good Feel Higher event after I was much younger and being so moved by the private stories of the lives impacted. That is what corporate championship means to me and to everyone at P&G Beauty,” Keith said, nodding to the corporate’s brand leaders in attendance.

“I even have been with P&G Beauty for 34 years. At the moment, P&G Beauty and the leaders that were there were a part of the founding effort of Look Good Feel Higher,” she said in a follow-up interview with Beauty Inc. “I’m representing people over the course of 30 years. It happens to coincide with my profession. I’ve probably been directly involved with Look Good Feel Higher and PCPC for at the least the last 10 to fifteen years.”

Since Look Good Feel Higher was created to deliver makeup and skincare services to people going through cancer treatment, deaths from the disease have dropped 40 percent. Keith said it was a natural cause to champion, given beauty’s emotional resonance with consumers.

Alex Keith

Lexie Moreland/WWD

“The role of beauty brands and sweetness products and technologies, as they’ve gotten higher during the last 30 years, remains to be meaningfully vital,” Keith said. “Cancer care still has meaningful impacts on people’s physical well-being.

“Hair care products, skincare and body all help people who find themselves going through cancer look good and feel higher,” she continued. “We take a look at what our brands stand for, what our products do, and the way they will play a meaningful role as we take into consideration purpose. We are also committed to communities where our employees live and work.”

Keith pointed to Olay for example of a brand that found purpose inside its own DNA. “We attempt to match our brands with programs that fit. As an illustration, Olay is a skincare brand that’s rooted in technology and science. That’s what the brand has been about for its entire lifetime,” she said. “We even have a number of female scientists working on Olay, and we realized there’s an actual gap in STEM education for girls. We’ve been taking a look at that globally for the Olay brand since it’s about women in science.”

Over the course of Keith’s profession, she hasn’t just seen scientific advancements in the sector of cancer research — she’s also watched the sweetness industry evolve. 

“It’s very dynamic, it’s never boring,” she said. “P&G is invested in three beauty categories: skincare, hair care and private care. We see those categories proceed to grow meaningfully and explode with latest offerings, however the one in every of the three that has modified probably the most is personal care.”

That category, which incorporates commodities equivalent to deodorant, has also been given an opulent reboot, Keith said. “I used to be leading our deodorant category, and we launched Secret Clinical Strength. At that time, the sweetness industry didn’t consider deodorants to be an element of beauty. Personal care items like soap and deodorant weren’t considered items that may be in your beauty routine.

“I remember having discussions as we were launching Secret Clinical and saying to the sweetness media which you could have great hair and great skin, but for those who smell, the sport is over. It will not be only a beauty product, but probably the most critical of beauty products. And for those who look today at that private care category, between the quantity of offerings each in mass and specialty and all types of exciting jobs to be done, the explosion of body lotions and the role of skincare advantages on the body — there’s just so many exciting things happening,” she continued.

As for where the opportunities lie, she’s seeking to her consumer for the white space. “We spend a number of time taking a look at their frustration points, their compensating behaviors, and the products that aren’t working the best way they need and wish,” she said. “What are the areas, within the categories where we’re, that may higher meet their needs? We’d like to try this not only with great technologies and great product solutions, but with brands which might be resonant and relevant for them. That’s where our brands show up.”

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