Private label vs. known cosmetic brand – Interview with Gerlinde Galvagni
Interview with Gerlinde Galvagni, CEO of Galvagni Schönheit GmbH
A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet Mrs Gerlinde Glavagni, the CEO of Galvagni Schönheit GmbH, a leading German company that specializes in creating private labels. Since 1981 she has been working in the world of cosmetics and premium brands. During her long work experience at multiple large corporations she has led national and international cosmetic brands and as a result founded her own cosmetic manufactory, Galvagni Schönheit. Never before in Germany have there been professionally developed cosmetic products for regions, islands or resorts with local remedies and regional ingredients. Initially her concept was viewed with astonishment and a bit of skepticism, but today Galvagni Schönheit are known as a market leader in the innovative private label segment. In addition, Mrs Gerlinde Galvagni also works as a freelance writer for various magazines and journals and speaks at conferences.
SP: How did the idea of starting a private label company arise?
Mrs Galvagni: We developed our first cosmetic line for the spa Bad Salzuflen. All products were enriched with thermal water. At the time it was so new and rare that many newspapers and magazines reported about our cosmetic products. At the same time we were able to offer these products in our own show on a teleshopping program. In this way we got more recognition and numerous inquiries from other spas, which also wanted to incorporate and market their thermal water in cosmetic products. And this is how we came to develop private label products.
We were starting as the first spa hotels were opening in Europe, and there were actually no products for special spa treatments and signature treatments. So we were getting more and more requests from spas to create signature treatments and matching retail products for them.
Today our clientele are mainly wellness hotels, spas, thermal springs, cruise ships and beauty salons.
SP: What is the biggest challenge for a private label manufacturer?
Mrs Galvagni: The biggest challenge is developing innovative products that can compete with international cosmetic brands at significantly lower quantities.
SP: What are the advantages of a private label in comparison to a known major cosmetics brand?
Mrs Galvagni: You could compare it with a tailor-made suit. A private label is exactly tailored to the needs of the customer – in terms brand name, positioning, ingredients, packaging and design. We develop strong brands with regional specifications and believe this strengthens the core competency of our customers and provides them with uniqueness and a high added value.
SP: For who is a private cosmetics brand suitable? Is it just for large spa facilities in spa and wellness hotels, hotel chains, thermal spring resort … or even for smaller businesses such as: beauty salons, cosmetic studios, smaller day spas…?
Mrs Galvagni: Apart from the majority of our clients being wellness hotels, more and more small hotels and beauty salons are interested in developing their own cosmetic brand. We came up with a solution how to address this challenge and have developed the concept of "beauty to go". This means that we offer smaller businesses high-quality cosmetic products customized with their name, logo and design from a quantity of only 12 pieces.
SP: What is one of the hottest cosmetic trends at the moment?
Mrs Galvagni: Regional characteristics, authenticity and sustainability as well as highly effective anti-aging products, now available in a form of facial mask.
SP: How difficult is it to keep up with all the new trends?
Mrs Galvagni: Since time immemorial, the cosmetic industry has striven for innovation, new products, new ingredients and further development. This is also the reason for modification of existing formulations and it also makes the industry so alive. But everyone must decide for themselves whether they really want to follow each and every trend.
The quick round
SP: Your favourite spa treatment?
Mrs Galvagni: My favourite is a classic – the full body massage and as long as possible.
SP: The most impressive destination spa?
Mrs Galvagni: In my opinion the most impressive spas are all in Asia – Bali and Vietnam.
SP: You favourite cosmetic product?
Mrs Galvagni: Facial masks –make you look immediately 10 years younger. My tip, apply the mask at least once a week.
SP: The most foolish spa trend ever?
Mrs Galvagni: Colorful face masks with ‘artificial’ fruit or chocolates scents.