By  on June 21, 2013

Creating a vibrant, winning chemistry for a brand can be tricky business. The process depends on a company’s creative impulse quickening at just the right moment to pick up on the consumer’s latest whim or fantasy or fit of angst. The right mixture of inspiration and daring can reap a golden payoff or turn into dread, as nagging existential questions creep in, like “Are we delivering real innovation? Are we pursuing the customers we will need in the future? Are we keeping pace or just sleepwalking? Are we losing our edge?”

“You have to have a vision of where you want to be,” advised Leonard A. Lauder, during the sweeping, landmark speech he gave at the recent WWD Beauty Summit in Manhattan. Lauder, who is now chairman emeritus of the industry giant he built, delivered arguably the most-quoted line of the summit: “A business without a vision isn’t a business, it’s just a pastime.”

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