CTPA Annual Report 2015 - page 21

Underpinned by What Helps or Hinders our Members
In 2014, CTPA began a journey with members to source even
more input from them. At a CTPA-hosted members’ event,
members were asked to explain what it was that kept them
awake at night. In effect, they were asked what their key
concerns were and whether CTPA was providing appropriate
support in those areas. The outcome was reassuring in that
both CTPA and its members saw robust issues management to
be the key deliverable and that generally that need was met.
For the next step of the journey, CTPA set itself a deliberately
more difficult path. In 2015, we hosted a second members’
event that built upon the first but was more challenging to
the audience and consequently to the Association as well.
Views on how to manage issues were aired as we heard
that information itself can be dangerous in today’s superficial
sound-bite digital world because people are increasingly
unable or unwilling to manage complex thinking; yet there
has to be a balance struck between complexity and simplicity
whether in messages or in the evidence supporting those
messages. We were challenged over whether our messages
are delivered to where the audience actually is and whether
those messages are attention-grabbing enough; and we
were asked to consider what are we afraid of as we work
on reputation and trust for the industry and the Association.
These and other issues were debated by members who
concluded that CTPA must still put robust issues management
as its top priority but, in an increasingly digital and interlinked
world, should not restrict its activities to reacting to existing
issues or those that are just UK-based, but actively seek to
manage those issues that threaten the industry ahead of
them arising no matter where in the world they originate.
Quite a challenge!
So we return to the theme of global mega-trends and
what they foretell for the UK cosmetics industry.
The number of such mega-trends varies with different
commentators but those which seem of direct relevance
here are the growth of digital access and what that means
for speed of communications on one hand and changes in
the retail environment on the other. This leads to an
increasing globalisation of the market where people can
access products from around the world from wherever
home happens to be. How is this to be policed and by
whom? Where does the consumer go for redress when
things are not as they ought to be? Even to what standards
or regulations should a product comply when part of a
global digital retail platform? Also today’s consumer is
increasingly looking to products specific to them,
for increased personalisation at a time of increasing
wealth and increasing urbanisation.
Trust: Still the Heart of the Matter
It means that trust in an industry, trust in its brands and
products and indeed trust in its trade association will be key
to future growth. Yet regulators are having to cut back on
enforcement at the same time as consumers are not
seeing a distinction between cosmetic products as legally
defined within the European Union and other beauty
products. Disappointment in one area not under the same
control as our own could nevertheless damage the image
of the cosmetics industry at large.
That then is the challenge which came from the members’
events. First, to expand further our international network
of co-ordinated cosmetic associations and also to include
those products which abut our own, areas we have called
adjacencies. Second, to make use of that network to identify
actions by one sector that represent a possible risk of
collateral damage to the reputation of another sector and
act accordingly to minimise that risk. Third, to invest in
the brand equity of CTPA and what it stands for so that
members see their membership as providing more than
advice on legislative and technical matters, more even
than robust issue management but as a positive indicator of
a company that adheres to high standards in the production
and supply of cosmetic products.
“...members see their membership as providing
more than advice on legislative and technical
matters, more even than robust issue
management but as a positive indicator of a
company that adheres to high standards in the
production and supply of cosmetic products.”
The Road Ahead
Our future workplans will therefore be aligned with those
three long-term objectives. We will invest in the international
network of associations, taking opportunities for synergy
and avoiding duplication of effort; we will invest in
working together with those who represent the adjacencies
to the cosmetics sector to co-ordinate actions and activities
and thereby minimise exposure to reputational risk; and we
will invest in the brand equity of CTPA and of trust in the
industry we represent as the authoritative public voice of
a responsible industry.
CTPA Annual Report
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