Although the market continues to speculate about who will be the next chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble Co., Deb Henretta, the company’s group president of global beauty, was very clear on who the new boss is: the consumer. Of course, as Henretta noted during her presentation at the WWD Beauty CEO Summit, the consumer has always been front and center at P&G. However, before the advent of the digital age, consumers had a much more passive voice. “But that was then and this is now,” Henretta said, noting that, today, consumers are taking a much more active role in cocreating products and services that meet their needs and engage both them both intellectually and emotionally. “The new consumer is the new force of change,” she declared.
Many industries have already started to adapt to the new consumer, Henretta said, citing the self-health revolution, in which apps help people monitor everything from their body temperature to their glucose levels, and smartphones, like one by Samsung, measure things such as heart rate. Henretta sounded the call for beauty to lead the way, too, then outlined three key areas in which the consumer has changed. “These changes are not simply demographic, they’re democratic,” she said, “where the world of supply and demand is fast turning into a world of demand and supply, a world where consumers are playing new roles as critic, as creator and as new media.
Noting that consumers can now cocreate and commercialize products without a major company behind them, Henretta spoke of the beauty industry shifting “from one that is constructed and business-led to one that is, at best, co-structed by us with her.” P&G’s Secret deodorant brand capitalized on that dynamic by tapping trendy “experimenters” to design the fragrances, the names and the packaging of its new Destinations line. “As a result, the brand is enjoying success,” said Henretta.
Henretta also emphasized the importance of values for consumers, citing a Reputation Institute study in which 73 percent of consumers said they would recommend companies they believe are positive stewards, but said only 5 percent of companies meet such standards. “This creates a tremendous opportunity for brands to take a stand on issues that the consumer wants and cares about,” said Henretta.
The final piece of the puzzle lies in inspiring consumers by creating a genuine emotional experience between brand and user. For its part, Cover Girl used its celebrity spokespeople like Ellen DeGeneres and Queen Latifah to front a Girls Can campaign that quickly went viral.
“Reaching the new consumer on her terms is our new reality,” Henretta concluded. “Beauty consumers are in charge and that’s energizing.…So let’s shed yesterday’s entrenched notion of the brand-consumer relationship in favor of a more modern approach where our consumer is the boss, but with a capital B.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia