Avon wants the world to see it differently.

As the company moves forward with efficiencies and cost-cutting programs, it has also been redefining and fortifying beauty brands, according to Sheri McCoy, Avon’s Chief Executive Officer, speaking at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York [CAGNY] conference last week.

“We have a history of innovation,” from both a “scientific and technology standpoint,” stated Sheri. But, she wondered aloud, “have we made the breakthrough ideas big enough?”

To combat doubts Avon laid out a series of initiates to buttress its three key beauty categories – fragrance, color and skin care.

Fragrance, Avon’s largest segment and upon which the company was founded, “plays into the overall perception of the Avon brand, particularly in places like Brazil (its largest market), so getting it right is very important to us,” said Sheri. “We have to win in our three critical markets – Brazil, U.S. and Russia.”

A first step is to fix its base fragrance business by having the right balance between local and global scents and signing the “right” celebrities for brands. Going forward there will be more market testing and consumer sampling. Currently, its single largest selling product companywide – Far Away – with $200 million in sales is being tweaked with a packaging update and improvements to make the juice more contemporary and long-lasting. Consumers, “need to see that Avon fragrance is high quality,” Sheri said.

And, while Avon Anew introduced the first AHA product in the mass market in 1992, it has lost its leadership in anti-age skin care, something Sheri wants to restore. At present only 30 present of Avon representatives are actively selling Anew products compared to an 85 percent participation rate for color cosmetics. “Just getting a few more people to sell Anew will drive growth,” Sheri pointed out. While Anew’s sales still over-index in the upper skin care tier of mass, the brand hasn’t grown “to the extent we would like.”

Sheri said proliferation within Avon’s tiered skin care portfolio has made it confusing. Thus expect to see more clarity on skin care branding and product positioning. “We need to simplify our benefits and be clear about the technology and innovation and what product type is right for what consumers.”

At the same time, the flagship Avon Color cosmetics brand is being made over with a new palette, new packaging and “a whole new approach to talking to women about how to use makeup,” said Sheri.Strong in the entry and middle price point levels, Avon has fallen behind competitors in sales of upper tier mass or `masstige’ cosmetics with a 5 percent share versus an average 15 percent. A new goal is to ramp up those sales in its top markets. Now underway is the expansion of the Luxe line in Central and Eastern Europe after a successful debut in Russia. That launch alone, commented Sheri, “was able to pull the growth of total color up in Russia.”

Younger customers are getting attention too. The reformulated and repackaged Color Trend brand is being rolled out around the world, after a successful test in Brazil.

To help get the word out on its brands, Sheri said Avon is increasing product training for representatives and putting digital media programs on the fast track.Earlier this month Wall Street showed approval sending the stock up 20 percent when Avon’s fourth quarter financial report indicated signs of stabilization.