At Revlon, Michael Roth led several initiatives across multiple portfolios that delivered the company tens of millions of dollars in new sales and profits. Successes from fact based planning brought new sales share and profit records to Mitchum Anti-Perspirant. A return to sales growth was achieved for Revlon Flex (after 10 previous years of declines and the $250 million division was able to drive record promotional sales performance on a budget that was reduced by $2 million.
For many years, Revlon was buoyed by its most profitable brand; Mitchum. Yet, Mitchum had seemed to reach its peak share levels and was in fact declining in the face of significant industry competition and a mature brand life-cycle. This stagnation had hurt the corporation, which was in need of profits from Mitchum for larger corporate new product and technology investment needs. The company and division turned to Michael Roth to analyze the market, the brand, and the overall situation to determine if there was a growth plan available for the brand. The assessment identified several meaningful facts that were eventually turned into a plan. These included that despite the lack of growth, Mitchum possessed valuable assets and opportunities including some of the highest category loyalty, that Mitchum was by far the trades most profitable and productive product line and that Mitchum the brand was missing key consumers within the very form loyal category. The plan developed for the brand included a new series of new products that were designed to meet new consumer needs. The sell-in of the new products was guaranteed based upon a trade category management platform that justified the strength of the new products in terms of retail productivity and movement figures that were forecast based upon a new consumer and trade promotional program. The new consumer and trade program included a “buy-it-free” offer to encourage new trial that translated into many follow up purchases from newly minted loyal brand customers. The results of the plan were that Mitchum achieved new highs in sales, profits and market share. In year one alone, new sales were in the range of $5 million to $10 million. However, the annuity generated from the newly minted customers is likely still delivering results for the company many years later. Moreover, the profits generated from the Mitchum success helped Revlon to fund the breakthrough research and launch costs of the Colorstay product line which lifted Revlon to its best years ever in the company’s long and celebrated history.
In a separate Revlon case, the Beauty Care division of Revlon had long had a history of being a trade-driven company. Products were deeply discounted and great amounts of products were shipped to the trade at each quarter end and especially at the end of each fiscal year. While the division was modest in size at only $200 million annually, its trade budgets were enormous at well over $30 million a year in direct payments and nearly 2 times that much in off invoice spending. The challenge facing the company was to make more with less by optimizing promotional spending. A team led by Michael Roth analyzed the spending and retail productivity data of every major hair color, shampoo, conditioner and anti-perspirant brand in the division. The resulting assessment concluded that the company was wasting huge sums by not focusing on category and brand best promotional vehicles. It also showed that the company was missing key opportunities by not planning far enough into the future and by not linking its trade and consumer oriented events. The eventual fact based plans included longer lead time events linked to consumer promotional calendars and only focused on trade best vehicle events. Deviations to the strategy had to be justified on a case by case basis and salesmen were actually rewarded for tactical adherence to priorities and objectives in addition to sales results. The plan results led to higher trade support and shares for nearly every one of the division’s products, new high shares of trade support and “incremental” volume and to an actual lowering of total spending. The sales force actually achieved all of these results while concurrently it returned $2 million of unspent funds to the division’s bottom line.