The industry’s most influential thinkers reveal their thoughts for the future.
This story first appeared in the May 7, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and ceo, Macy’s Inc.:
We’re taking a much more customer-centric and personalized approached to consumers. Through My Macy’s and our work with Dunnhumby USA, we’re learning more about each of our color and treatment customers. By understanding details about what each customer prefers and might buy next, we can drive sales growth. Newness is critical, and we are committed to partnering with our vendors on ideas to engage the customer.
Beauty is inside out. Beauty is health and fitness. Beauty is a lifestyle choice and the industry needs to provide solutions. The documentary Food Inc. is changing how we look at the food industry. Soon enough, someone will do a documentary on the beauty industry and that will force the change. But why not create a beauty industry that looks at inside outside, from what we eat to what we put on our bodies? The question is, can the beauty game make the change?
Jo Horgan, founder and managing director, Mecca Cosmetica:
There is an increased focus on international distribution, as brands look to build an early presence in emerging markets and build a stable revenue stream in established markets. Consumers are being heard loud and clear through blogs, rating and reviews, etc., all of which is good news for emerging brands with strong products but limited marketing funds.
Ido Leffler, co-founder, Yes to Carrots:
The past 24 months have seen the consumer become increasingly value aware, efficacy diligent, socially vocal and constantly connected. To survive and lead, we have to go back to the fi rst and most signifi cant marketing mantra: “The customer knows best.” And if we forget, she will surely tell all of her Facebook friends about it!
Jean-Paul Agon, ceo, L’Oréal:
We are entering a new age of cosmetics with products based on new fields in science such as stem cells, genomics and modern biology. Driven by innovation and understanding of consumers’ diverse beauty needs and desires, L’Oréal has emerged strongly from the recession and is armed to reach out to new and growing markets where we are focused on gaining one billion new consumers.
Jacques Levy, ceo, Sephora Worldwide:
The change is visible in the client’s vision of selective distribution. She has a strong desire for innovation and for unfamiliar cosmetics territories. It’s been beneficial to the selective channel that, confronted by new players, it is renewing itself. The shopping experience must be a moment of pleasure with a fluid traffic flow and an offbeat, personalized and instructive tone.
Pericles Stamatiades, company group chairman, Johnson & Johnson Beauty Care Global Business Unit:
The beauty game is changing because of the demands and sophistication of the consumer. She insists on real results from clinically proven products that are effective and offer a memorable, delightful experience. Mass beauty brands now offer superior innovation and aesthetics traditionally associated with luxury products. [Research and development] scientists are being challenged to develop first-to-market technologies that exceed consumer expectations.
Mally Roncal, president and creator, Mally Beauty:
The customer is looking for authenticity, honesty and trust. It’s about building a passionate community of committed users, versus selling a little bit to everyone. Connecting to her via television, social media and the Internet is the way to get into her heart, her mind and her life.
Carlotta Jacobson, president, Cosmetic Executive Women:
The shift in power from company to consumer is driving the decentralization and democratization of beauty. This shift has affected three main areas: Shopping has no boundaries—it is about convenience, not experience. Distribution no longer defines a product’s value or status. Most importantly, consumers, not companies, own the message.