The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. is riding a rising wave of digitally fed consumer empowerment.
“I have seen the world change significantly over the years,” said 28-year veteran Cedric Prouvé, group president of international at Lauder. “But the kind of change we are experiencing now — the degree, the magnitude, the speed — is unlike anything we have experienced before.
“Consumers have become empowered through the ubiquity of information,” he said, adding “their connectivity to one another and to us has changed the game. Their rising expectations are helping us reshape the way we understand their needs and desires, how we create and innovate and, of course, how we engage with them.” He added that this is happening in real time, providing the brands with insights and enabling them to spot trends.
Lauder has been so successful in embracing a truly global philosophy — led by chairman emeritus Leonard Lauder, chairman William Lauder and president and chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda — that the total sales balance has completely flipped from more than 50 percent in the Americas in 1996 to more than half overseas today. See Complete Coverage of the WWD Beauty CEO Summit Here >>
Reminding the audience that “globalization does not mean standardization,” Prouvé pointed out that marketing strategy has dramatically changed since the days when iconic brands in the West distributed and advertised the same product the same way everywhere. “The key is understanding the desires of the local consumer and the nuances of each market,” he said. “And of equal importance is always maintaining the equity of the global brand. We call this local relevance.”
He ticked off a few examples. Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Cream was developed for European women and has met “amazing success” in France and is now being rolled out to the U.S. Clinique launched Shades for Africa and scored a double-digit gain in South African foundation sales. Several Lauder brands launched fragrances in the Middle East that were inspired by local ingredients or designed to be customized for voracious tastes.
The challenges of market change also breed opportunity as populations grow and become more mobile. Prouvé pointed out that two years ago the number of international tourists hit the one billion mark, with Chinese travelers leading the way and Lauder catering to the migratory trend. The doctrine of local relevance is expected to gain importance as markets grow. Prouvé pointed out that four years ago, total consumption in emerging markets stood at $12 trillion. By 2025, it is expected to hit $30 trillion. Much of this is driven by the burgeoning middle class, which is expected to grow by three billion people over the next two decades. India alone is expected to add 475 million people to the global middle class by 2030. But even within mature markets, such as the U.K., there are pockets of ethnic diversity within cities like London and Birmingham that are ripe for a dose of local relevance.
With the opening of new channels to a growing and richer middle class, “we see the promise in a world of accelerating change,” Prouvé declared. “We know this will lead us to paths not yet discovered, and if we are strong leaders, we will take these uncharted paths and turn them into must-win global opportunities.”
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye