Industry Leaders Partner with Students to Forecast and Guide Planning for the Future
Every year, Capstone projects presented by the graduating class of FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management Master’s degree program address issues vital to the beauty industry.
The theme for the class of 2010, “Beauty 2020: The Future of Beauty,” was particularly ambitious, in recognition of the program’s tenth anniversary. It recognized the major challenges the industry faces following the severe economic slowdown of the past 2-3 years and the realization that, while some pressures may be short-term, many of the challenges may reflect fundamental, longer-term shifts in consumer attitudes and behaviors.
Building on this recognition, the graduates looked at how consumers, technology, and business evolution could shape beauty industry needs and opportunities a decade into the future. They urged the industry to move from traditional marketer-defined offerings, hierarchical organizations, and one-way communications to a consumer-centric view recognizing changing customer needs and values and leveraging technology in new ways to address them.
The four Capstone projects from the 2010 graduating class are highlighted below, along with videos of the actual presentations and papers providing detailed summaries of each presentation.
The Future of Beauty: Redefining the Conversation
This team’s forecasts included consumer evolution away from a homogenized quest for traditional beauty perfection to a more personalized approach to practical beauty enhancement, facilitated by information technology linking consumers with the beauty aids best suited to their needs. The team also suggested a programmatic approach to social responsibility that would not only elevate the industry’s stature but also educate the next generation regarding the benefits of beauty aids and informed personal care practices.
The Future of Beauty: Redefining the Conversation presentation summary (pdf)
Authors: Nichole Kirtley (project leader), Marta Cammarano, Mariangela Gisonda, Jennifer King, and Beatriz Loizillon
Industry Mentors: Lezlee Westine and Kathleen Dezio, The Personal Care Products Council
The Future of Leadership
The team taking on this subject explored what it will take to achieve the organizational speed, flexibility, and agility required to win by 2020. They suggested ways to leverage the talent required in an increasingly competitive market where rapid dissemination of knowledge and technology makes sustainable competitive advantage so difficult to attain. They urged the industry to move beyond traditional 20th century hierarchical structures and command-and-control management to more fluid models, aided by less rigid role definitions along with creative application of intranet technologies.
The Future of Leadership presentation summary (pdf)
Authors: Marixsa Rodriguez (project leader), Carly Guerra, Lea Koussoulis, and Caroline Ornst
Industry Mentor: Carlotta Jacobson, Cosmetic Executive Women
The Future of Fragrance
This team shared research documenting the impact of scent on learning and memory. Those findings were used to stimulate thinking regarding how the industry might tap into education, molecular technology, and a more consumer-relevant merchandising orientation to restore consumer interest and demand. Strategic use of fragrance was envisioned using available technology to deliver scents through television, the internet, and mobile phones, triggering consumers’ olfactive memories and igniting their desire for scent.
The Future of Fragrance presentation summary (pdf)
Authors: Shiri Sarfati (project leader), Lisa Negrelli, Jessica Wolfe, and Monika Ziobro
Industry Mentor: Rochelle Bloom, The Fragrance Foundation
The Future of Retail presentation summary (pdf)
Authors: Yumiko Nishikawa (project leader), Maura Cannon, Jennifer Marino, and Denee Pearson
Industry Mentors: Michele Serro, IDEO New York; Erin Armendinger, The Wharton School Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative