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Dramatic Shifts in the Beauty Landscape Predicted by FIT's Beauty Think Tank

New York, NY (June 5, 2014) – In partnership with Unilever U.S., graduating students in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management (CFMM) Master of Professional Studies program have revealed findings about and insights into future beauty consumers, and methodologies that beauty companies should adopt to keep up with burgeoning trends.

Speaker onstage during Capstone presentation

The 2014 CFMM capstone research focuses on the evolution of the beauty landscape, exploring “The Changing Face of the Beauty Consumer” across three key areas – Accessible Beauty, The New Beauty Consumer, and Men’s Beauty and Grooming.

-    Accessible Beauty introduces a new name for a growing consumer group: Progressive Rationalists. This group regularly trades up and down, necessitating a different approach for reaching them.
o    Findings:
•    By 2030, there will be a 50% decline in global poverty, leading to strong middle class consumerism.
•    Asia will surpass the U.S. and Europe in GOP, population, military spending, and technology investment.
•    Global migration will increase due to an aging population in developed countries.
o    Recommendations:
•    The industry should adopt a new model called Progressive Consumption Equation: [function + higher order need] + performance = purchase.
•    Brands must focus on three higher order needs:
•    Convenience – Brands need to be hyper accessible by empowering local consumers to become points of distribution, utilizing the franchise method of “buying in.”
•    Clarity – Brands need to leverage radical transparency, from philanthropy to profits to resources.
•    Cash – Brands must help consumers save money by developing the next generation of private label products everywhere consumers shop, without risking brand image.
                
-    Engaging the New Beauty Consumer presents a new strategy that leverages total consumer identity. This new strategy moves beyond the traditional segmentation model of race, sex, age, and geography.
o    Findings:
•    By 2030, race will transform into cultural values. The U.S. will no longer be a melting pot, but a mosaic of mixed ethnicity creating individual ethnicities.
•    The range of gender identities will significantly broaden. Even today, Facebook offers 56 options for gender.
•    Age will evolve into cross-generational passions. By 2050, people ages 65 and over will outnumber the young, and age will no longer define product need.
•    Geographic borders will no longer limit the definition of community. Instead, connections, intertwined with community, will define geography.
o    Recommendations:
•    Brands must implement four key strategic initiatives:
•    Exchange – Establish a cultural exchange between brand values and consumer values.
•    Individual Reality – Connect with consumers’ key personal moments throughout the year, not only on national holidays.
•    Connectivity – Become part of a consumer’s unique community by leveraging technology and data to deliver a real and personalized experience.
•    Organizational Framework – Ensure that all marketing and sales teams have access to and responsibility for consumer insights.

-    Men’s Beauty and Grooming explores the increasing complexity that modern men encounter in today’s society. The research focuses on the changing economic and social attitudes toward masculinity that are impacting male grooming habits. The industry is at a tipping point where external drivers are altering men’s wants, needs, and aspirations.
o    Findings:
•    Changing Roles – Three out of four men agree that men and women no longer need to conform to traditional roles and behaviors.
•    Changing Views – 76% of men agree that males are under more pressure than past generations to present a polished image.
•    Changing Faces – Population growth for the older male segment, combined with millennial men being more accepting of women’s grooming products and routines, will positively impact product adoption and usage.
•   If brands are able to increase men’s yearly product purchases from five to seven items at an average of $10 each, the U.S. market could reach $10 billion by 2030, 30% higher than currently projected.
o    Recommendations:
•    A four-gear approach is critical to men’s grooming, each one representing a network of interdependent action:
•    Ignite – Identify authentic needs and genuine consequences by introducing credible, simple solutions.
•    Steer – Leverage key influencers and focus on ease, accessibility, and trust.
•    Fuel – Utilize imagery and communications reflective of the dynamic state of masculinity.
•    Accelerate – Focus on one hero product at a time, building momentum, sophistication, trust, and loyalty over time.

“At Unilever we deliver world class innovation based on rich insights that create meaningful connections with our consumers, and we know that what’s relevant today may not be tomorrow as demographics continue to evolve,” said David Rubin, Marketing Vice President, Unilever Hair US. “The dynamic and intelligent graduate students of FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management Master’s Program have come together to take on imminent challenges of the business, such as The Changing Face of the Beauty Consumer. We at Unilever are honored to partner with FIT to help foster the growth of these prospective industry leaders.”

“Working with a world class consumer packaged goods company like Unilever as partner, the faculty and class of 2014 were excited to explore the consumer of 2030, and how evolving cultural values, universalization, changing notions of life stage and gender, and the rapidly changing socio-economic landscape globally will impact on how brands innovate and communicate to connect with their consumers" says Professor Stephan Kanlian, Chair of FIT's unique graduate program.  "We are truly at a tipping point, with the convergence of social conscience in the developed markets and the rising global middle class in the developing world, and these forces are sure to effect widespread changes in the consumer landscape of 2030."

The CFMM master’s degree program provides advanced education for emerging beauty industry executives. Each year the graduating class presents in-depth, forward-thinking capstone research along with industry predictions and proposals for beauty companies.  

Full research white papers for The Changing Face of the Beauty Consumer, along with white papers for past presentations, are available at fitnyc.edu/5518.asp.

Photographs of the event are available at https://db.tt/uEgVNzxF.

About Unilever North America
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in more than 190 countries. Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. In the United States and Canada, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Fruttare, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Ragu, Simple, Slim-Fast, St. Ives, Suave, TIGI, TONI&GUY Hair Meet Wardrobe, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.
 
Our ambition is to double the size of our business, while reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined seven pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at http://www.unileverusa.com/sustainable-living/ or http://www.unilever.ca/sustainable-living/.
 
Unilever employs approximately 11,500 people across North America – generating more than $10 billion in sales in 2013. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com or www.unilever.ca.

About the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
Fashion Institute of Technology’s Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management (CFMM) program, one of seven advanced degree programs in FIT’s School of Graduate Studies, was developed in collaboration with industry as a leadership development program for outstanding mid-career executives. Luxury firms (such as Chanel, Estée Lauder, and LVMH) and consumer packaged goods companies (including Beiersdorf, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever) nominate talented mid-level executives to participate in the program. The curriculum combines strategic business skills and specialized creative and product innovation skills with intensive global field studies in Europe and Asia. Executive mentors from industry and a personalized development plan are part of a tailored management curriculum that develops future leaders for the sector.

As part of the research focus in the School of Graduate Studies at FIT, the graduate program has become the beauty industry’s recognized think tank, producing high level research each year that is presented to an audience of 700 executives and media, as well as in specialized panels, symposia, and forums in both academia and industry.

FIT is a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology, with a wide range of programs that are affordable and relevant to today’s rapidly changing industries. A college of the State University of New York, FIT offers more than 45 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees. The Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management program is one of seven programs in FIT’s School of Graduate Studies.

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