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Completing a five-year plan is a rarity for most companies; priorities shift, management changes, the strategy misfires.

Natalie Danysh, Chesebrough-Pond's VP-marketing for skincare, has been one of the lucky few to experience it.

Ms. Danysh is in the fourth year of a comprehensive strategy for Pond's skincare, and the coming year is right on target.

In 1990, the Unilever unit was faced with the daunting task of transforming the passe Pond's brand. The cold cream had universal awareness, but consumers considered it old. As they traded up to fancier lotions and potions, Pond's brand share hovered at 6%.

Phase one of the five-year plan called for updated packaging. Next came Pond's first extension into facial cleansers, followed by its first facial moisturizers, including pricy skin-smoothing capsules that took their cue from upscale sister division Elizabeth Arden's Ceramide.

The Pond's capsules took the $800 million mass market facial care category by storm, becoming the best-selling item in the category last year.

Ms. Danysh credits that product with taking the Pond's brand "out of the 1960s and into the 1990s. It had a positive ruboff on the rest of the line."

Pond's market share is about 15% today.

Reinvigorated marketing efforts helped. Where Pond's once spent $9 million on advertising, it now spends closer to $20 million (via Ogilvy & Mather, New York). And total marketing expenditures have run as high as $35 million.

Pond's marketing mix also has more of a varied look. TV and print still play a large part, but the company also uses sampling. Among its more innovative programs: a tie-in with Tupperware parties and Pond's Institute, an educational and sampling vehicle.

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