Moore’s Law, as put forth by Intel’s cofounder, Gordon Moore, stipulates that the overall processing power for computers doubles every two years. In the beauty industry, that seems to be the rate of seismic change as well. Consider some recent dynamics: A new generation of indies has emerged to become the titans of tomorrow; new social media platforms have fundamentally and forever transformed how brands interact with consumers, and the strategic landscape of the industry has shifted, as once-powerful companies like Avon struggle to find their footing and others, like Unilever, aggressively enter new areas of the business.
This story first appeared in the June 5, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
All of this change is a journalist’s dream come true, and this issue of WWD Beauty Inc dives into some of the key stories that have emerged. First and foremost is the evolution of Procter & Gamble in the beauty business. It was only about eight years ago, under then–chief executive officer A.G. Lafley, that the Cincinnati-based consumer products giant was nipping at the heels of L’Oréal for the title of world’s biggest beauty company. Today, with Lafley serving his second term as ceo, P&G is in the process of dismantling the very empire that he erected. Why? What happened? How did both the market and environment change in ways that made beauty an untenable business for P&G? The answers to those questions and more are in “A New Game” on page 32.
Anne Carullo, the brilliant product developer at the Estée Lauder Cos., used to assess new launches by asking, “Is it a truth or a trend?” Mineral makeup, for example, was a trend that became a truth. In the last few years, we’ve seen wave after wave of such items—BBs, balms, masks, mud, oil and on and on—become true forces in the industry. Where they go, others follow. We have dubbed these the industry’s Power Products, and, after consulting with our editors, market analysts and retailers, have compiled a list of the top 50. These are the brand builders, the market makers, innovators that have created new categories of business. Find our choices on page 21, then send me your list of the power products of tomorrow at email@example.com.