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FIT Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing Grads Suggest Open Innovation, Flexible Workplaces for Future

The graduating class of the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management program suggested that open innovation could lead to more products with fewer costs.

Individuality — a key beauty trend — is likely going to be reaching the beauty workplace, according to the Fashion Institution of Technology’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management 2016 graduate class.

Outside of the workplace, more open collaboration between beauty companies is going to be a key — especially as Gen Z starts working.

The graduating class of the FIT program presented their capstone research on the future of innovation at an event sponsored by LVMH on Wednesday.

Open innovation is the way of the future — and businesses should draw upon it not just for access to more great minds, but for financial reasons as well. According to the presenters, P&G (which does 50 percent of its innovation in the form of partnerships) would pay the same to develop one project in a closed innovation process or four in an open one. The presenters’ thesis is that a combination of government, nongovernmental organizations, cities, academia, corporations and individuals work as collaboration partners to develop into the innovation ecosystem. “In our innovation ecosystem model, we believe the [chief executive officer] would be the one to orchestrate this model,” said L’Oréal’s Andrea Muguerza, one of the group leaders.

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The process was distilled into a seven-year plan. In year one, companies should identify their innovation needs, including considering business culture or image reforms and resolving other challenges. In year three, companies should develop their own online open innovation platforms to provide the structure needed to map out innovation partners, and in year seven companies should develop the innovation ecosystem accelerator, which would combine collaborations and the speed of an accelerator.

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Internally, those things require flexibility, which will prompt companies to become fluid organizations, more in line with the workflows of their Millennial and Gen Z employees, according to the graduates. Organizations will comprise a smaller core team and external employees, supplemented with artificial intelligence. And those employees should have thoughtful work experiences in the same way a customer would have a curated brand experience, the group said. Though the shift in employee structure could be difficult, the graduates proposed the shift as part of a seven-year plan where technology could help access to a business’ innovation.

“In the employee the whole innovation blueprint, you have time design in place,” said Andrea Steele of Unilever. “The other part is trust where with those genuine human connections you’re forging a place where you feel safer to ask those questions and to ask for that institutional knowledge.”

The 2016 graduates included Jessica Abrams, senior manager at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare; Dolores Assalini, associate brand building manager, Unilever; Jennyfer Corazzari, senior marketing manager at Givaudan’s Fine Fragrances Creative Studio; Carmela Deang-Robles, senior marketing manager for L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics; Danielle Fanslau, fragrance marketing specialist at Flavor & Fragrance Specialties; Hilary Feldman, strategic finance manager at the Estée Lauder Cos.; Meredith Gray, director of online global communications at Lauder; Nicole Handy, director of marketing at Christian Dior Parfums; Eleanor Jablon, director of global education development at Tom Ford Beauty; Sorah Kim, marketing manager for L’Oréal Professional; Jacqueline Lazor, account manager in Google’s Large Customer Sales group; Therese Lizardo, head of finance for Charlotte Tilbury Beauty North America; Megan Manco; senior scientist for L’Oréal’s Early Clinical, Advanced Research team; Tori McGee, channel and customer development manager, Unilever; Andrea Muguerza, global marketing director for SkinCeuticals; James Purcell, director of financial planning and analysis at Lauder; Kristi Silko, customer marketing manager at Coty Inc.; Andrea Steele, digital and e-commerce insights and innovation lead at Unilever; Alejandra Thompson de Jordan, former assistant vice president of marketing for Giorgio Armani Beauty and Armani Privé; and Samantha Yungst, sales promotions and marketing manager for Chantecaille Beauté.